How to Make a Gum Paste Rose

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    Gum Paste Roses

    Gum paste bouquet on a celebration cake
    Nerida McMurray Photography / Getty Images

    With the right tools and a little patience, anyone can shape elegant, intricate gum paste roses. This illustrated guide will help you make a variety of roses, from tight buds to extravagant blooms.

    What You'll Need

    • Flower paste/gum paste
    • Toothpicks
    • Styrofoam block
    • Nonstick board or marble slab
    • Cornstarch
    • Rolling pin
    • Gum paste cutters or cookie cutters in various sizes
    • Gum paste flower tool (optional)
    • Small brushes
    • Gel paste colors/edible petal dust
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    Make Base

    Base of gum paste rose
    Michelle Anderson

    Roll some gum paste into a small ball, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Pinch the top of the ball to shape it into a teardrop. 

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    Insert Toothpick and Let Dry

    Base of a gum paste rose on a toothpick
    Michelle Anderson

    Insert a toothpick into the base and set it aside in a Styrofoam block. Make these bases a few days in advance, as they need to be completely dry before you can proceed. 

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    Roll Out Gum Paste

    Rolling out the gum paste
    Michelle Anderson

    On a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch, use a rolling pin to roll out your gum paste to a thickness of about 1/16 of an inch.

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    Cut Out Rose Petals

    Cutting gum paste petals
    Michelle Anderson

    Use an assortment of gum paste cutters to make your rose petals. In order to create a more natural effect, use smaller cutters for the inner petals and large cutters for the outer petals. 

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    Thin Out Petal Edges

    Thinning gum paste petals
    Michelle Anderson

    If you have a gum paste flower tool, use it to thin each petal's edges and create a delicate, frilled effect. If you don't have a flower tool, simply pinch the petal's edges to thin them. 

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    Wet Finished Petal

    Wetting gum paste petals
    Michelle Anderson

    Wet the finished petal with a little water or gum paste adhesive. 

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    Wrap Petal Around Base

    Wrapping gum paste petals around base
    Michelle Anderson

    Wrap the petal around the base and furl the outside edge slightly to create a closed rosebud. If you're making a gum paste bouquet, keep some flowers at the rosebud stage.  

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    Make Another Petal

    Adding more petals
    Michelle Anderson

    Prepare another petal of similar size and repeat steps five through seven.

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    Wrap Second Petal

    Wrapping gum paste petals around base
    Michelle Anderson

    Wrap the second petal around the rosebud, then roll back the petal's outer edge. 

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    Attach Third Petal

    Gum paste rose
    Michelle Anderson

    Repeat this process with a third petal of similar size. Again, roll back the petal's outer edge to open your gum paste blossom. If you are making a gum paste bouquet, keep some roses at this stage. 

    To shape larger roses, cut out a set of larger petals and repeat steps five through 10. Always ensure that your roses are dry before moving on to the final step. 

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    Add Color to the Finished Dried Roses

    Painting gum paste roses
    Michelle Anderson

    Paint your flowers with a small brush and an assortment of gel food coloring or petal dust shades. Apply a darker tint to each flower's core for a natural effect.

    Note: If you are aiming for a deep red hue, use colored gum paste—it is nearly impossible to produce a rich, vivid color with just petal dust or gel food coloring.