How to Make Sugarcraft Carnations using the FMM Easiest Carnation Ever Cutter Set

I recently wrote a blog tutorial on how I use the fantastic FMM Easiest Rose Ever cutters (CLICK HERE if you want to read that one), and I mentioned that FMM do other flowers in this range, including carnations. I thought I would show you how easy it is to make pretty carnations with the FMM Easiest Carnation Ever cutter set.

There are lots of different types of carnation cutters available but none are as quick to use as the Easiest Ever ones. What makes these cutters so different is their ability to make multiple layers of petals in one go. You can make tiny spray carnations to large full bloom ones. They look incredibly delicate and time-consuming, but as you’ll see they are so quick and easy to make. They are even easier than the roses as you don’t need to shape the petals with these ones. Just cut, frill and roll 🙂

Before I made my very first one I watched FMM’s video tutorial, and it would be a good idea if you did too so you can picture the steps better in your mind’s eye. It is so clear to follow and explains the method perfectly. CLICK HERE to watch it yourself. My very first attempt was the carnation below:

I was really pleased with it at the time, but now I like to dust the edges with a little bit of lustre dust as, if you look at a real carnation, the edges are often slightly darker.

The FMM Easiest Carnation Ever cutter set comes with 2 sizes of cutters, allowing you to make endless different sizes of carnations. You will see in the picture below that the difference between this cutter (on the left) and the rose one (on the right) is that the carnation one has lots of tiny lines along the edges. These tiny lines are what helps to give the beautiful frill detail at the edges of the petals.

To make your carnations, you will need the cutter set (obviously), modelling paste in the colour of your choice, a cornflour pouch, a cocktail stick or frilling tool, a small rolling pin, edible glue or cooled boiled water, and a clean paintbrush.

You can buy modelling paste ready made, or make your own by kneading a tiny bit of Tylo Powder into normal sugarpaste, or knead together a 50/50 mix of flowerpaste and sugarpaste. I use the Tylo Powder method as it is more economical.

Dust your work surface with cornflour. Roll the modelling paste out to around 1mm thickness. Press the cutter firmly down on to the paste, and move it around slightly while still pressing down. This will ensure a crisp clean cut. As there are so many tiny lines on this cutter, the paste will stay in the cutter when you lift it up. This is normal so don’t panic. Just gently use your finger to push each petal shape out on to your work surface. To make a full bloom carnation you will need to cut out 3 lots of petals. A slightly smaller one needs 2 lots, and a spray carnation or bud just needs 1.

To get the best results you need to leave the cut out shapes for around 10 minutes so that they dry slightly. This just makes them easier to work with and they will hold their shape better when forming the carnations.

Now for the fun part… frilling. If you look at a real carnation, the petal edges are very frilly, and this is where those tiny cut edges of the cutter really come into play. Watch the video again to really understand the technique needed here. It is really simple to do.

Lie your frilling tool or cocktail stick on to the edge of the petal, press it firmly down and at the same time roll it in small movements along the cut edges. Keep moving it in between each and every little cut part of the petal edge and roll each little section. This will make it really ruffled. the more frilly it looks, the better. Occasionally you might find little tiny bits tear as they become so thin and delicate. Don’t worry, you really won’t notice in the end result. Repeat this for all of the shapes you have cut out.

Stupidly I have lost the photo of the next stage, but I have a photo from a carnation I made a long time ago so please excuse the change of colour. It is just so you can see what I mean for the next part. When you have frilled all around the edges, brush a line of edible glue or water along the centre lengthways, and then carefully fold it in half. Repeat this step with all of the shapes you have frilled, so you have your layers of petals ready to use.

Brush another line of edible glue or water along the bottom half (the straight part) and very carefully start to roll tightly from one of the sides. When you have rolled about halfway along, gently stand the carnation up and continue to roll the remainder while it is standing up. This makes it easier and lets the petals move into a better shape. You now have the first size of carnation, perfect for a bud or a little spray carnation.

If you want it bigger, just wrap another layer of petals around, starting from where the first layer ended. If the petal edges are looking a bit too tight, just separate them gently using a dry brush. You don’t need to shape them as the frilling has done that already. And now you have the next size up.

One more layer of petals after this makes a lovely large full bloom carnation.

I went one further though with this one and made a huge carnation with one more layer of petals.

When you have the desired size, leave it to one side to dry completely.

You can either leave them just as they are, as they look beautiful already, or you can dust the very edges with lustre dust. To do this, dip a dry paintbrush into the coloured dust of your choice, dab off any excess on to a piece of kitchen roll, and using small movements carefully brush the edges. You can repeat this as much as you want to build up the intensity of the colour, but make sure you keep dabbing excess powder off the brush. It is easy to build up colour gradually but not easy to tone it down if you go straight in with a brush loaded with colour. If you look closely at the carnation in the main picture you will see I have dusted the edges just slightly darker.

To use the completed carnations on a cake, just brush some edible glue on to the bottom and place on the cake! It really is that easy! I used carnations of varying sizes on the cakes below:

On the one above, I gently dusted the whole carnations with a pale lustre dust so they had a beautiful soft sheen, and then dusted the edges with a slightly darker shade.

On the one below the bride wanted pure white carnations so I didn’t dust them at all.

 

If you would like to have a go at making these for yourself (and I promise you, you can easily do them!!!) you can buy the set directly from FMM by CLICKING HERE

So now you can easily make stunning roses and beautiful carnations. Wait until you see the other cutters in this range: the Peony and the Ranunculus! They are even easier still, as you will see in my next tutorial coming soon.

Have fun making your flowers! I’d love to see your creations. You can find me on Twitter if you want to share your beautiful cake pictures. My Twitter name is @Confarreo. Or pop a link to your pictures in the comments on here. Can’t wait to see them 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Make Beautiful Glass Pebble Magnets – An Easy Craft Activity for the Whole Family

I recently had a wonderful subscription box called the Sunshine Box (see my review HERE) and part of that was a little craft activity, making glass pebble magnets. I had never heard of or seen these before, but my son and I had so much fun making them! The supplies in The Sunshine Box were enough to make 20 magnets, and one was included ready made as an example. As soon as we had made the 20, Luke asked if it would be easy to find the supplies to make more. Luckily it is very easy and very cheap, so now we make them whenever we have free time.

These were the ones we made from the supplies in The Sunshine Box:

Photographing them clearly is a bit tricky with reflections, but you can see how lovely they are. The beauty of these is you can make them in any design you fancy. They would make gorgeous wedding favours if you used the same colour and design as is being used on the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards. We love geocaching, and part of the fun of that is swapping little treasures. These are perfect for geocaches as they fit in most sized containers. They also make beautiful token gifts as you can choose the design to suit the individual person. They are perfect for rainy days to keep your children occupied, or as an activity for childminders (as long as young children are supervised so they don’t put them in their mouths). It is also such a therapeutic activity for yourself, just to unwind and feel creative.

Here is a list of what you need:

  • a selection of magazines, old cards, brochures, catalogues, wrapping paper, or anything with a design you like the look of,
  • PVA glue,
  • a small paintbrush,
  • a pen,
  • a pair of scissors,
  • self-adhesive small round magnets/magnetic dots (I bought 132 which were 12.5mm across from Amazon for £3.49)
  • clear round decorative glass pebbles/stones (I bought 100 which were 18mm across from Amazon for £3.99)

Look through the brochures or whatever paper materials you have and find a small design you like. It doesn’t matter if it is tiny, the glass magnifies things slightly. Place a pebble on top of it to check it fits, and if it does draw around the pebble. We found lovely designs on a letter from Morrisons:

and a Lakeland brochure:

as well as book brochures and magazines:

When you have drawn around your pebble, cut the design out just inside the circle you have drawn so it fits perfectly. Brush a thin layer of PVA glue on the back of the pebble (the flat side) and press it down on to the cut out design. Make sure it is perfectly positioned – you might need to trim a tiny bit more off from around the edge. Brush another thin layer of PVA over the back of the design and leave the pebble face down to let it dry.

When it is dry, simply peel the backing off one of the magnets and press it on to the back of the pebble. Polish the front with a cloth to make sure there are no glue smudges or marks, and there you have your beautiful personally chosen pebble magnet! It really is that easy! If you prefer you can paint the back of the design before you stick the magnet on so that you can’t see any other print if you turn it over, but we didn’t bother with that.

Here are a selection of ones we have made so far:

I also had the idea to maybe try using some pressed flowers we had to see if they would work. I hadn’t got many small enough but I did have a few:

For these, I drew around a pebble on to plain paper and cut out the shape. I brushed a thin layer of glue on to the paper and carefully placed the flower on to it, then brushed a layer on to the pebble and pressed it down on to the flower. Finally I brushed another layer on the back and let it dry, before sticking a magnet on. I absolutely loved how these came out:

These would be perfect wedding favours too if the bride’s bouquet has small flowers like gypsophilia included. You could buy some well in advance, press them and make up some magnets using them as lovely keepsakes. Or use bits of confetti instead of flowers. The possibilities are endless!

Have fun and happy crafting!

 

How to Make Sugarcraft Roses with the FMM Easiest Rose Ever Cutter

I absolutely love cake decorating, and I particularly love anything that makes the process quicker and easier. Cakes with flowers on always look so beautiful but they can take soooooooooooooooo long to make, especially if there are lots of flowers on them. I’ve tried many methods of making roses before. The wired method looks amazing but I just don’t have the patience for wired flowers. I’ve tried the 5 petal rose cutters before… absolute disaster! I just can’t make those things work! I’ve tried the method of making individual petals, smoothing their edges in a ziplock bag before sticking them on the rose… too much faffing around and inconsistent results for me. When I heard there was a cutter from FMM called The Easiest Rose Ever, I had to have it! Now it is all I use and I love it. One rose literally takes minutes to make and I love the look of them. I used this cutter for the roses on the cake in the main image. A few people have told me though that they are struggling to use this cutter, so I thought I would show you how I do it.

I watched this YouTube video before my first attempt. Have a look at it before you read on, or go back to it if my instructions aren’t clear enough. It helped me brilliantly.

You can buy The Easiest Rose Cutter from most cake decorating stores or direct from FMM, who make it. It is also available in a Smaller set which has 2 smaller cutters… perfect for cupcake toppers or small cakes. The original sized one though makes different sized roses too. I’ll put links up at the end for you to buy the cutters.

To make a rose you will need the cutter, flower paste in whichever colour you prefer (or I use normal sugarpaste with a little bit of tylo powder added), a small rolling pin, edible glue, a workboard or mat, a foam pad, and a cornflour pouch or large soft brush to use to dust a bit of cornflour. In the YouTube video it says to use the end of your small rolling pin to thin the petal edges. I actually find it much easier to use a large ball tool, but either method is fine. Just see which works best for you.

Dust your board or mat with a light dusting of cornflour and roll out your flower paste to about 1mm thickness. Press your cutter firmly down on to the paste and give it a little shiggle around to make sure it has cut through cleanly.

Gently press the shape out from the cutter and cut out another 2 shapes. These 3 shapes will make one full rose. Place them on to the foam pad. This bit is vital…. leave the shapes to dry slightly for 5 to 10 minutes. They hold their shape much better if the paste is left for a few minutes. Ignore the glue in the picture below, you don’t need that yet.

After this time has passed, we can thin the edges of the petals. Very lightly dust the shapes with cornflour. Position the ball tool or tip of the rolling pin so that it is half on the edge of the paste and half on the foam pad. Go all around the edge of the petals pressing down very firmly. As you follow the shape around you will see that the edges start to go really thin and curl into gentle waves. This is exactly what you want it to do. If you hadn’t let it dry for a few minutes after cutting out the shapes, these waves would just flop back down. As you let it dry slightly though, they will stay. Repeat for all 3 shapes.

Brush a line of edible glue across the middle of each cutout shape. You can just see the glue on the picture below so you know where I mean.

Carefully fold the shape in half lengthways so that the bottom petals lie alongside the top petals. Keep the folded edge nice and straight. Repeat for all 3.

Now for the fun bit… making the rose. Brush a line of glue just above the folded edge, making sure you don’t go on to the rounded parts of the petals. You can see my glue line in the picture below. Keeping the petals lying down, start rolling from one side as tightly as you can. When you are about a quarter of the way along, carefully stand it up and continue rolling in an upright position until you reach the end. You might need a tiny bit of glue to secure the last petal on to the roll.

You have now made a small rose.

I now use a dry soft brush to gently tease the petals slightly apart. If that is the size of rose you want, leave it to dry, preferably overnight, and then dust with lustre dusts if you want.

If you want a bigger rose, brush a line of glue just above the folded edge of the 2nd set of petals you have waiting. Look on the small rose to see where the last petal finished. That is where you will start wrapping the 2nd set of petals from, just slightly overlapping it. Keep the rose upright and turn it at the same time as gently pressing the 2nd set of petals on. I like to let these petals fall open a bit so it doesn’t all look crammed and squashed.

That is the next size of rose. Again, tease the petals apart slightly with a dry brush. At this point I gently pinch the sides of each individual petal to shape them into a more realistic shape. A gentle pinch in the middle of each petal edge is all that is needed. You can now either leave that to one side to dry, or make it even bigger for a full bloom.

For a rose in full bloom, you just need to add the final set of petals. As before, brush a line of glue just above the folded edge, look for the last petal on the rose, and start wrapping the final set of petals from that point, overlapping it slightly. You now have a full rose.

Use a dry brush to separate any petals that are too crammed up, and to lift any that are too floppy. This is where I spend the most time, shaping the petals. Look at a real rose and you will see that they do tend to look like they have been pinched slightly in the middle edges of the petals. They often look like the sides of each petal are curling underneath too. Pinching the petals helps to achieve that look better.

Another thing I do to mine is to hold them from the bottom, not touching the actual petals, and give it a gentle squeeze. This pushes the centre up a bit and in my opinion, makes a more natural shape. Not much of a squeeze though, only enough to slightly lift the centre.

Leave this to dry overnight.

It is now ready to dust with colour or you can use it just as it is. I like to add a bit of colour to mine.

If adding colour dusts, make the centre of the rose a shade darker for a more realistic effect. And there you have it! Believe me when I say if I can make one, you can too. I’m not claiming mine are brilliant but I am pleased with how they come out. To use them on a cake, just apply a bit of edible glue or royal icing underneath them and position them wherever you want them.

If you would like to buy this fantastic cutter to try it yourself, or the Smaller set, here are the links:

The original large one which I used in this tutorial is The Easiest Rose Ever

or this is The Smaller Easiest Rose Ever set.

There are currently 3 other flowers available in this Easiest Ever range and I shall be putting up tutorials for these soon. They will be the Carnation, Peony, and Ranunculus cutters.

I hope you have found this tutorial useful 🙂