Gumpaste Peony Tutorial
Fondant Rolling pin (Pasta Roller optional)
Pasteurized Egg white in a small container
50 mm (5cm) & 70 mm (7cm) individual peony petal cutters
Leaf veining board
Gumpaste in desired color for petals 18g wire 6” with 1” foam ball
attached (I use hot glue)
Green gumpaste for calyx
22 g white wire cut into 10-12 4” pieces
Baggies for gumpaste
Set of 5 petal peony cutters
50mm (5cm) rose petal cutter
Craft foam with X cut in center
Small flat paint brush (¼”)
Small soft paint brushes
Silicone Peony petal veiner
Shell & blade tool
Small & medium cardboard fruit separators
(From Grocery store produce section)
Plastic cover for rolled out gumpaste to keep from drying out
Condition the gumpaste with a little of the shortening to soften it & make it more elastic.
Take a ball of the gumpaste & run it through the pasta roller or or Rolling pin to roll the gumpaste to a thinness of 1/16” or 5 on pasta roller. If using the pasta roller, start at #1 before gradually going to the higher #. Some pasta rollers are set differently. For most pasta rollers, #5 is 1/16”. Mine hast to go to #6, so check yours.
Cut 3 sets of 50mm peony petals. Keep gumpaste in baggie to keep the gumpaste from drying out. Place the cut out petal sets under the plastic cover (I use plastic sheet protectors from the dollar store) until just prior to using them. If the edges have started to dry out, I gently rub a bit of shortening on then before thinning out.
Dust your celpad with cornstarch & place 1 petal set on it. Dust your fingers with the cornstarch to keep them from sticking.
Hold the petal set lightly, but firmly in place & use the ball tool on one petal at a time to stretch out & thin each one. Each petal top will be flat & squarish.
Next use the shell tool to create the veins & ragged edges on the tops of each petal.
Place the petal set on the craft foam. Paint the center with a small amount of egg white using the flat paint brush. Push the wire with the foam ball through the center & seat the bottom of the cone on the egg white area.
Brush the ball as well as each petal with a small amount of egg white. Remove the petals & ball & wire from the foam pad & invert all of it.
Press all of the petals to the ball, overlapping the petals to make sure all the foam is covered.
Set aside in the Styrofoam block.
Do the same with the next petal set.
For the 3rd petal set, thin & vein the edges. Put it on the foam pad & push the wire through the center as before, but only apply egg white to the bottom 7/8ths of the petals. Make sure the petals are slightly offset from the prior petal set. Attach each petal individually, overlapping each petal over the one next to it by about ½ – ¼. Remove it from the foam pad. With your hand, cup the bottom, gently squeezing the petals to attach them firmly to the 2nd petal set. Arrange the tops of the petals so that the petals seem to be starting to open away from the bud center. You can stop at either Steo 10 or here if you want to have a peony bud. I will explain in a later step how to attach the calyx.
Repeat steps 2-7 with the next size up Peony petal set for 2 or 3 sets. Use the flatter side of the dresden tool to curl in some of the edges of the petal.
Attach each petal set slightly offset from the prior set the same way as step 11, but only apply the egg white ½ of the way up. Adjust the petals in a way that continues to open the flower. You may have to add additional egg white to adhere parts of the petal in the way you need it to look.
Set aside to dry in the styrofoam block.. You may need to use something like small pieces of foam to separate the petals for a more natural look.
Condition some of the gumpaste. Place it over 1 of the grooves of the leaf veiner board. With the rolling pin, roll out the gumpaste with the farther edge being 1/16” & the nearer a& center over the groove a little thicker, buy no more than 1/8”. Gently remove from board & lay it, flat side down on a corn starch dusted flat surface.
Using the 50 mm individual peony cutter, cut 1 petal with the bottom of the petal at the bottom point of the thicker groove point. Make sure to cut it cleanly.
Take 1 of the white wires. Dip 1 end in the egg white. Insert it into the fat end of the thick groove about 1”-1½”.
Place the petal on the celpad & thin the edges with the ball tool. Place the petal in the bottom half of the silicone peony veiner, lining the groove up with the center of the veiner. Place the top half of the veiner on the petal & press lightly for 3-5 seconds making sure you have veined the whole petal.
Remove from the veiner. Use the dresden tool to pull some of the edges in to ruffle them a bit. I sometimes use the shell tool to make the edged a bit more raggedy.
Place it on the cardboard fruit separator & arrange the edges so that they drape & the base of the petal is cupped.
Repeat this for 4-5 more smaller petals then 5-6 of the larger petals. Allow them to dry for several hours or overnight.
Take the dry petals & arrange them smallest to largest. Tear off a length of the floral tape. Stretch it to activate the glue. Take the smallest petal & holding the base of the petal, gently bend the wire to about a 45º angle. Hold the wire against the wire of the dried center flower, lining the petal up against the bottom of the center. Use care not to break either. Wrap the tape around the wire in a downward angle for 1 full circuit. Continue adding petals smallest to largest until all the petals or until it is as full as you want it.
Roll out a piece of the green gumpaste to a thinness of 1/16” or 5 on pasta roller. Cut the calyx with the 50mm (5cm) rose cutter. Use a ball tool to thin each sepal of the calyx & cup them. Attach this to the bottom of the peony with the egg white as you did each petal. I don't always attach a calyx as it fixes the petals in place & I may want to adjust them when I am arranging it on a cake.
For the bud: Use the same process to make & thin the calyx, but attach the sepals to the bud like you did the initial petals cupping them around the ball.
Use soft brushes to dust highlights on the edges of the peony.