Building Confidence in Sugar Flower Artistry - The Basics | Nadia Jay | Skillshare

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Building Confidence in Sugar Flower Artistry - The Basics

teacher avatar Nadia Jay, Sugar Flower Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Building Confidence in Sugar Flower Artistry Skill Share Introduction

    • 2. Supplies for making Blossoms Buds and Berries

    • 3. Creating Blossoms

    • 4. Creating Quick Buds

    • 5. Creating Simple Leaves

    • 6. Quick Berries

    • 7. Adding Colour

    • 8. Adding Royal Icing Centres

    • 9. Grouping you flowers together

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Hi, my name is Nadia, and I have been running my wedding cake bakery for over five years. I have created over one hundred wedding cakes for brides and grooms, each of these adorned with hand crafted sugar flowers.

When I started out, I struggled to make these beautiful blooms just like many others do, but now, I have mastered the Art of Sugar Floristry. You only need to check out my Instagram to see the number of flowers I have made. And now I am going to share these skills with you.

This class will take you through;

  • how to handcraft wired blossoms, leaves, berries and buds
  • what brand of sugar florist paste or gum paste ( as internationally known) to use for the best results
  • how to apply edible colour to elevate your designs
  • how to group your flowers together, ready for placement on a cake.

This class is suitable for beginners, who are completely new to sugar craft, alongside budding cake decorators with some experience in working with this medium.

I am going to take you through the few tools you will need to get started, so this means you will not need to have a vast kit of cake decorator tools to get started. You can just jump right in!

We will start with making 5 petal blossoms to get you warmed up.

By the end of this class, you should have a good understanding of the material needed to make delicate edible flowers, and the basic tools required to achieve the desired effect.

You will learn how to make leaves without cutters, and secure your flowers and leaves securely to florist wires, ready for insertion into your cakes, reducing the chances of them falling off! 

You can find me on Facebook  and Instagram - where I hang out most!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nadia Jay

Sugar Flower Artist


Hello, I'm Nadia, wedding cake artist and baker at Cake Me By Surprise. I have been running my bakery for 5 years now, and have spent this time perfecting my skills in the art of sugar flower making. Sugar floristry or botanics (as I name it) has been my absolute passion from the day I started my wedding cake business, and it was for that reason that I decided to go into baking and designing cakes. Over the years, I have developed my own tips and tricks in how to create stunning edible blooms for all occasions. Although, to some, it may seem a daunting craft, it really is quite easy, once you grasp the basics and have the correct guidance on how to carry out each step. Joining SkillShare as a teacher has allowed me to share my passion with you, and hopefully encourage more budding ... See full profile

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1. Building Confidence in Sugar Flower Artistry Skill Share Introduction : Hi there. My name is not a J, and I specialize in the art of sugar craft specifically designed. I fell in love with you to the sugar craft many years ago and over time built top Miami tips and tricks to creating these beautiful dreams. Absolute These Now, many students find sugar foul craft quite daunting at the very beginning. If you don't have the right tools or knowledge, then it could be very time consuming and quite difficult. Many people just lose their patients completely, but in the Syrians, the skills classes. I will take you for a very bright six and build up your confidence so that by the end of the century she'll get to create great stunning lips We went through in this class house. Make cold sugar, flower blossoms, Berries leaves on butts. You only need a few tools, so you can either use what you already have in your tool kit. Full cake decorated all your interest. She's sexy. I run three days. Children. Hanson House. If you have any questions on the way, please use school ship home. The idea of the series of classes is to really help build up your confidence so that you can just make flowers as you wish. And that may be for business purpose. Or you just want to make a peaceful celebration, friend. So why don't give it a go? And as a bonus, as this is my first ever school share cast, I'm so excited to be sharing with you guys. I have added a bonus lesson, which will show you how to assemble the useful flowers, buds and leaves that we've just created into one final piece that could be easily added to any cake that you have in mind. So let's begin. 2. Supplies for making Blossoms Buds and Berries: festival, you will need a nonstick rolling pin, but if you do not have one of these two hands, you can always use something like a coated chopstick. Also, we have this vein into all with a nice kind of crime point. Now you can buy these online, but also, if you don't have one of these toe hand, you can also opt for the end off a paintbrush that's coated as almost it has a kind of neat little point to the end that would be perfect. We also will need thes Bortles and these you can purchase online and from cake decorators stores. You will need a small to medium size ball on. As you can see with this brand you can also uses as a rolling pin to we will need a kind of blunt objects, and maybe the back of a scalpel or a butter knife will be ideal. I do have this neat little kind of curve tool that I found in the polymer clay section of the craft store, so you're looking for a tool that just has this kind of shape to make the lines later on in the project, you'll need some jewelry pliers, and we will also be used in 24 26 gauge florist wires. Edible glue is also a product you're need. You can buy this or you can make it yourself. I will leave the recipe in the class description again. I will leave a linked where you can purchase all these items in the project Gallery section off the skill share project. If you have any questions, always feel free to leave a comment. The life Okay, so the most important product that will be working with here is our sugar flores paste. This is also known on recognize as gum paste internationally, so I use Squires Kitchen Browned, which is a UK browned. If you're not in the UK than the next option, I would suggest is to buy a very premium back brand of sugar, florist paste or gum paste. The one thing that you must make sure, though, is that the gum paste contains and that is Tylo powder, also known CMC powder. This is what stiffens up the gun pace and allows it to set hard. It makes the gum paste a lot easier to work with. A swell you will find that some paste a very doughy and soft in their consistency, and that is not what we want. So stay away from fund int on modeling paste because thes and not the kind of materials that will hold up well to making sugar for hours. And finally, you will need some seven scissors and some heavy duty says is to cut through the wire and to make your neat snips into your 1st 5 petal blossom. 3. Creating Blossoms: So let's create our very first blossom. Okay, so I have all sugar paste here and I'll start need in this. So it's nice and pliable and easy to work with now. It can be quite sticky, dependent on the humidity in your country. So I take tracks or vegetable shortening, and I'm gonna put a tiny bit of this on my fingers and just massage this end to help make this a lot easier to work. So I know Vince takes and gel food color paste on. We're going to put a tiny double this onto the gum paste so that make me a lovely pale pink . You can keep the color white if you wish or die. This any color that you want. Just make sure that it's not a liquid based food pace, and it is just the gel. Be very careful when you add in this. Also, we only need a tiny bit because it's a very strong color. Less is definitely more. In this case. I need that in and distribute the color well, so we want to put this in an airtight by cling film or cellophane will do the same thing, and that will just make sure that we don't lose any moisture while we are working with the paste. Okay, so against take out 26 gauge wire's and we're going to make a little hook into these, you can do them all at once. So cut your wires about three inches long on. Then we're going to take a pliers and make a little hook. So we're going to bend these back onto themselves so that we have something to secure our flowers, too, and they won't fall through. I'm just bend in these with the pliers, and then I will pinch them at the end to make a small you can do one at a time. These are quite fiddly sometimes on because they're very fine wire. You can bend them back with your fingers, but pliers, it is much easier. So you'll see here. I have a hook. Okay, so let's take a pea size ball off gum paste. We're going to roll that so it's nice and smooth in between our fingers, and then we're going to taper the ends so we have a little teardrop shape. Make this nice and long because this will be what our wire will attach to. Then we're going to take all kind shaped vein. It also something of a nice point. Um, you can use any tool for this that has the same shape as long as it's known. Stick well, this into some cold stop so that it doesn't stick as well. And we're going to make a little div it in the center off our teardrop. So twist this end, Twist in the pace at the same time. So we have this nice little hole. Now take your so in scissors and we need to make five cuts one to three, uh, five. They need to be fairly equal if you can. That takes a lot of practice. Now, gently pull these out and we're going to just soften those little corners. The sharp corners without finger and four full finger and thumb. Sorry, I will show you this again up close on the camera and just get used to the method. Now flip this over and take your bottle. Or we could use the end of a chopstick or rounded paintbrush. That bottle would be best and we're going to gently softens. He want gentle pressure used to cold start on the map. If it does seem to stick and make sure you are doing this on a soft map and here we go so it will take our wire with hooked and and we want to dip that into the glue. Make sure that it's not completely soaked with glue were just a tiny bit. Um, let's drag this through the center off, out But apple blossom. Sorry on Drag it through the stem at the back with a little bit of that wire. Still, Sharon at the top twist and press the paste at the back down onto the wires that we're taping this on through the wire and making sure that is very secure. And then just drug off any excess like I have their I will run through this a second time with you. Now we will put this in some polystyrene to dry up. Okay, so again, we are small piece of gum paste. We're going to tape at the end, or roll it to make a teardrop, take your coat on tour and just make a little hole in the center and then twist this down into the center so that we have a nice deep clone or different every won't cool it. Then we're going to make five equal cuts that we have equal size petals again. This does take some practice, so don't worry. Just make a many as you can and keep going. So Pope one slip here, another snip three four on day five, and then we're going to pull these petals out gently so they're easier to handle. Just slightly pull those out, and then you're gonna have these sharp little points. So you want to just soften those a little bit, Such as? Very generally around those off with your fingers. Don't worry too much. Just enough gentle press. Okay, so now we're going to press each petal between our thumb and finger just to really soften those out. And now we need to flip this and call the edges back with a borstal. Now, I would use a soft map for this, but for the purpose of the visual, I'm just going to do this on the palm of my hand so that you can see what I'm doing to take your Balto on. Depress it slightly to round off the edge pill that back here we have a lovely five petal blossom, so we're now going to take out edible glue and just a smidgen smallest amount of glue we're going to put on the end of that. And they were going to drag the while through that hole that we've made and push it through the back of the stem, making sure that the wire goes right through each other bottom of the gum paste. So just pull that up gently and then just press the petal very gently at the bottom when it reaches the wise, when the wise just about to peek through, that's what we want to secure it. So which is pressed the gum paste at the back very gently onto the wire so that it's got something to secure, too, and then just kind of dragged down any access. Be gentle when you're doing this as well, cause sometimes heavy handedness cause more problems, and here we go, so you can kind of manipulate these petals into whatever position you want. Now, I wouldn't need to make about 20 to 30 of thes share your pictures on skill share of your progress because the more practice you get, a much better you will be, and you'll get really quicker doing this 4. Creating Quick Buds: So in this lesson, we're going to run through how to make some really simple little buds thes air, fantastic to fill out those sugar flower arrangements. And they're very quick and simple to do. So we're going to take a pee sized ball of gum paste or sugar flores paste, tiny bit of edible glue to go on the end of a straight point piece of wire. Noticed. This does not have the hook in the end. And we're just gonna piss this through on that by accident that has gone through to the other side. We don't want it to go all the way through. We literally just wanted to go halfway, and then we will pinch the end of this little ball, so that is secured nicely onto the wire. So just pinch the piece of gum paste on drug that down now taken this curved tool that we have, we just want to make some little groups little lines rock in the tall back and forth to make these indentations. Now, you could do this with the back off, a blunt knife or the blunt side of a knife. I should say now, as you can see, when you put all these together with your blossoms, they just really fill them out. So I'll show you again how to make a different style off. But we guys make this a little bit more of a cone shape. So will taper that end. We'll take our 20 eight gauge wire. In this sense, you can use over 26 or 28 now. For this we are going to call the edge, and that's just because it is a little bit of a bigger bad. So we need something that's going to hold the weight. Little bit of glue will have to the end of the hook, and then we will piss this through, and then just tape of that end down so that the gum paste is nice and secure onto the wire . Make a little point to York iron to give it a little bit more of a shape and again using the back of the scalp or a knife, for example, we could make a little lines down the side, so we want to do about three to full lines, equal measures apart down the but so basically this is like a little closed flower, That's what Dominican pinch that edge. Give it some definition. It was lovely shape. That's it. Very simple, very easy, but very effective. 5. Creating Simple Leaves: Now, this is a technique that I wish I had known about when I started out making sugar flowers. You're going to save so much time with these very simple wired leaves. And the great thing is, you don't even need a cutter to make them. Okay, so I've already died some gum paste green. I'm gonna need a good sized amount off. Gum paste too. Make thes leaves. Roll these so that nice and smooth in between your fingers. So it's going to be quite a bit larger than a pea sized ball. Then roll the end so we get that nice teardrop shaped. Don't make it too skinny. This needs to be quite a fact piece off gum paste. Take your 26 gauge wire and we're going to dip this in the edible glue and take off any excess. You could just do this on the back of your hand because we don't want it too. Liquidy and sticky pierces into the very fat part off your leaf that we're making. And then we're going to just take in the end, secure that to the wire up, and then take our finger and thumb and just squeeze that down. Now, make sure you don't press it too hard. I do not want that wire to come popping out of the back. Now take your little roll into. Also, you can use a chopstick in this sense, or a new tools that you have to hand their nonstick. We're going to gently roll away at the sides, so you're slightly feel that wire underneath. We don't want that wire to come out. We just want to add an angle. Roll the edge round. Now take the portal or anything that you have to hand that's rounded in shape, and we will gently ruffle the sides. Now we will take our curves tool and you draw a line through the center and then do some nice little lines at an angle, pressing down gently on the side of the leaf, making these impressions now. Don't worry if B why it's starting to show a little, but we do not want that wire sticking out a toll, and now we can just gently curved the edges with our fingers have been there, so it's got a nice interest in shape, and I suggest you in all your leaves of different shapes playing around with them, but just being very gentle. And then we get we can just leave this on the side to dry. Leave it in any position that it just drives how you like it, and you've got a lovely natural organic sil hit. Okay, so let's run through some of those key points again. We're going to take a role, and we're going to roll from the inside out words at an angle, so we get that nice leave shape. Keep in the point at the top. Do this on a soft mapped. Then we will also take our ball tours. You could use the end of a rolling pin if you have a small rolling pin, or we can use our portal and dress with half the ball on the match on half the ball on the edge of the paste. Ruffle that edge very gently. Now take a little sharp craft hall or the back of a knife so the blunt section run a line through the middle, and then we would generally drag that through. You do not want to cut through the pace. We just want to make these lovely defined lines so just this or takes and practice and run through these methods a few times and you will really start to get a feel for house. Do this. Okay, so now we will move on to hell to make some really simple Berries in the following lesson. Leave this to dry overnight. 6. Quick Berries: so the technique will be a little bit different here, but we are pretty much keeping along the same lines. You want to roll a nice piece size ball of gum paste, and you can. You can vary the size of these so that we have different levels, and it kind of adds interest to the final piece. That's absolutely fine. You want to make another hook in the end of our 26 gauge wire, and we're going to dip fists into some edible glitter, wiping off the excess. So this time we're going to actually pierce the bottom of the wire through the top of the gum paste and then drag the barre upwards because we want to use that little hurt as parts of the design. So when you see Berries in nature, they always have a kind of it'll stem in the top, and that's what we're achieve in here. That was a very simple and quick one that even easily achieve how you doing. We are five classes in, and I really want to see how you're progressing with this class, so please up play those pictures onto the school share platform into the gallery And also, if you have Instagram or Facebook, remember to tag me at cake me by surprise with your beautiful pictures of all that work that you've completed. I want to see these flowers made in different colors on. I want you to play around with the techniques when you feel confident, So make sure as you're progressing, you're putting those pictures up. If you have any questions, do you ask me? I'm here to help, and I'm happy to give more tips and advice so that you can achieve beautiful blooms. I'm here for any of those troubleshooting questions, right? Let's get on to the next class. 7. Adding Colour: in this class, we will take a look at how to add edible color to really enhance all those flowers that you've made. Now you will need some edible food Color dust for this on these could be purchased online or from your local cake decorating store. I'm using this pink color, which is a nice pale pink, and this avocado green from welcome. I will leave a linked away. You can purchase these in the class material section. You also need around paintbrush, a soft round paintbrush and a soft flat point paintbrush. Also, some kitchen Tallinn and a surface that you can wipe clean will be a deal toe work from. So let's take these buds. So starting with these buds that we've made, we're going to take our flat point paintbrush. And I've got just distributed some of the green into this part here that you can wear it straight from the pot to take a little bit of the green and a little bit goes a long way and we're going to take actually the excess of this off on some kitchen towel we gradually wants build up the color. So we're just gently dust This around the very top off. Thes buds were just highlight in the top of the butts just to work with light and dark hair . I'll show you again up place on the camera. So we just gently brushed down over the top, turning and just to add a little bit of color. And this just really gives our flowers and our bods some definition. So moving on to our leave, we're going to take out flat brush again. Get some of your edible green powder on. We're going to work from the bottom upwards and outwards with our paintbrush. They just drag that color from the bottom of the leaf outwards towards the edge. You can either go all the way to the edge, or if you wanted to add the contrast of light and dark. We can leave those edges as they are, and then it will look like the natural life is hitting, at least. And then what will do from here is we take the flat part of the brush and we're going to just drag this across those very edges of the leaf, and that will highlight any little creases and calls that you have made just build in the Colorado nice and simple, so we'll move on to our blossom. We're going to take al pink dust now. And of course, you could use any color of you wish going to add that onto our around paintbrush taken off the excess before applying to the blossom. There's also reduces wasted as well of the dust, and we'll just start to build that color up a the onto the blossom, so a bit close so you can see we can build this color up gradually, like they always say less is more so just at it a little bit of time, but I'll show you what happens if we add a lot more color. So as you can see here, it does build out. But you do get a lot of dust kind of flying into the air. So that's why it's always better to just build this up. Gradually use in the towel to take off any excess from the brush. Let's finish off. Add in the centers 8. Adding Royal Icing Centres: Okay, so let's move on to Adam Rule license centers thes are going to be the stamens of our blossoms. Now I have pre made this royal ice in, and I will share the recipe in the class materials for you. It needs to be very thick consistency and that you can see when I drop it back into the container. It does not settle it. Just days, quite stringing as we could say, I've colored this with a gel based food color in primers by sugar Flare again if news which ever color you prefer. Now I have a large pay piping bag, and I've just cut this in half because I only really need a small amount, and it would just make it a lot more manageable and easier to hold. You don't have to do this. Let's distribute this role ice and then into my small piping bag. So we're just turn the edge of the piping bag outwards to make a little kind of cone. It makes it a lot easier to get this ice in into the bag if we do it that way, and we just get this and then just pop that into a little bag, and then we just unravel the edge on just push this ice in down, trying to make sure that there's no air bubbles. I need to slip the end. So make a tiny snip of the end. Only needs to be a very small hole that we're pipin through and that will allow you to have a lot of control over the docks that we're making just going to roll down the top of the bag and then just push my ice in through so that it's at the very end of the pipe him back . Now let's take our blossom and we're just going to pipe a tiny dot in the center, so just careful pressure. Gently squeeze, and then we have a nice little dot. Now, if you don't feel comfortable using royal icing and this is the first time you've done this , you can always make a little ball up out of gum paste and just stick this in the center of edible glue. Or you can also use little drag days in different colors. You can buy those online, and you can just kind of stick those and move a tiny bit of edible glue if you wish. But this is a very quick way of doing less 9. Grouping you flowers together: So here's an example of how are we going to group these flowers together? As you can see, it just looks really beautiful. Works really well, now you need some Flores type, and this can be bought from a lot of stores and online. We're going to cut a piece of this tape, so just a nice, long length of tape and you need to stretch this out. So activate it. So that will release this stickiness so that we can secure this onto the wire. Now, take your wire and we're going to take the tape and press this round, sticking it onto itself so that it secures. We'll take our next flower, bend the wire, and we're going to place this a little bit lower than the last flower. Be careful not to press these two hard together because the petals will break. So just lean this a bit further down, take the wire and then start twist in the wire with one hand while we twist the tape around with the other, moving those petals on those blossoms away from each other so they don't crush into each other and break So just taking the 3rd 1 and we want to do this in groups of twos and threes. That's pretty much the rule with securing flowers. We usually just in groups of threes on God numbers. But in this case, I have done a couple of the Berries in groups of two. Twist the wire, drag the tape down, pulling to tighten and snapped off at the end. There we have our first bunch of blossoms, so what I've done here is I've done the same thing with owl Berries, buds and leaves, and some I have mixed together a little bit. Keep in the blossoms together as one. So once you've grouped them into threes impairs it makes it a lot easier to move on to this next stage. So we'll take our activated florist tape again to take a bunch of blossoms secure in the tape around on itself and twist in that so that it sticks into the wire. And then let's go for thes leaves. I've secured the leaves exactly in the same way that I secured the blossoms on. I want to secure these a little bit higher than the blossoms, and that's because we want to add a bit of height. So we want different levels in this arrangement to keep the interest, make it look more organic. Same thing goes for the buds. I will place them towards the back. And we just literally taken each section of wire bringing that into the centrepiece, which are three blossoms taking the wire up against the centerpiece that we're holding in our hand and then securing it with the excess tape. See, once makes you have a lot of tape toe hand, and then we just take in that tape all the way around. Let's move these leaves out of the way and will start putting them in the shape that we want taken on next little group in. We're gonna bend the wire here and actually move this a little bit lower down on our final stem and then pull that tape down diagonally outwards. Twist in the bunch of flowers as we go or move that round again. Just put that in the place that I want it and we'll move in with a couple of the Berries that we've made to just keep in mind where you're placing things, look at the heights, play around with it a bit and moved the flowers into place before you secure them to see what suits you on. What looks good, basically, so to secure that down. And the great thing about these being unwise is that you can move them around in their group ins so you can kind of just bend them and put them where you want them. And that's it. So we're gonna go a little bit lower down with next bunch which are little blossoms again and pull this down. And I'm doing this in a very organic and natural way. I want you guys to do the same thing with your projects. Just at the flowers and the blossoms and the Berries, etcetera, where you fill, they look good, make this personal to you, so just play around with it. It doesn't have to be exactly the same as what I've done here, cause I really just want you to use your own creative intuition with the's flower sprays. How we go. Just rearrange that a bit and you can keep going. You can make this as large as you want, or a small issue one. Just take off a little bit more tape here pull that toe, activate it. And the stickiness is on the underside of the tape. Remember, you'll be out to fill this with your fingers, and I think I'm going to add a few more leaves a bit lower down just to really fill out this final piece so that there and sometimes it's a good idea to have a little soft mat underneath your hands while you're doing this Just in case, you know, you are a bit of a Butterfingers and you might drop them. So just make sure that your surfaces soft ceding any breakages. And there we go. I've pulled the rest of the take down stem and Porter. Now, what I have here is a bubble tea straw, and I'm gonna cut this down because basically, to make these ready to insert safely into a cake, you want to make sure that the wire is not touching the cake. So with the bubble tea straw, you can now slide your flower spray into this and then insert the whole piece directly into the cake. It also makes removal of a foul spray a lot easier when it comes to serving your cake. So that's neat little trick to get you started Here we have our final piece of flour spray ready for summer 10. Final Thoughts: you've done it, you should now know how to use just a few tools to create simple sugar. Flowers and foliage has started to get used to working with gum paste and have a new understanding of how to group your flowers together. Now it's your turn. I want to see your work. Upload your progress shots to the skill share gallery as you go through each lesson, make at least 20 of each flower leaf in, but before assembling into a spray as your final project piece, follow and tell me when your instagram with your flower work photos and, of course, asked me questions along the way where you get stuck. Thank you so much for joining my skill share class. I was so excited to share this knowledge with you. And if you have any suggestions the future classes that you would like me to run, please do. Let me know. Remember, practice really does make perfect