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 🙂