This is the 2nd Video in a 10 Part Series on making gumpaste flowers that are beginner-friendly.
A step-by-step gumpaste Wild Rose video tutorial showing everything you need to know as if you were in the classroom with me, and nothing is left out.
This Wild Rose is an ideal second project because it uses some of the techniques that are in the first project, the Traditional Rose, and there are new ones to learn. You will also find out how to assemble the flowers, buds, and leaves into an arrangement that you can put onto a cake.
If you prefer to read, then this blog post has everything you need to get started.
I’ve also included references to key points in the video that need to be shown rather than explained.
Click the video play button to load the video and then click again to start…
The Wild Rose, which is also known as an English Briar Rose or a Dog Rose, is one of the most delicate and beautiful roses you can find in any garden or growing in the wild.
When fully opened, this Wild Rose has a 2″/5cm flower that opens flat, made up of five pink petals surrounding a yellow center. A spray of these roses makes a spectacular display when used to decorate a celebration cake. It’s a gumpaste flower to master.
I’m going to make a spray consisting of two full blooms plus a bud and a half bud. What I mean by a half bud is a bud that’s starting to open.
For this project, I’ll need some pink gumpaste for the flower and the buds, some yellow gumpaste for the center, and some green paste for the calyxes and leaves.
I’m using gooseberry gel paste for the leaves and the calyxes, mulberry gel paste for the petals, and lemon yellow gel paste for the centers.
Always use gel paste to color gumpaste because the liquid color will alter the consistency of the paste, and working with it will be difficult.
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Making a Calyx
I’ll start by making the calyx out of green gumpaste.
I will need to use a rolling pin and a cornflour/cornstarch dusting bag. First, I’m dusting a little cornflour/cornstarch on the board, the rolling pin, and, if necessary, on the gumpaste, so it doesn’t stick.
Download the Resource Guide at the top of this post to see how to make a cornstarch dusting bag.
The gumpaste doesn’t need rolling too thinly because the calyx is going to be the base on which the flower is formed
I’ll use the same type of cutter for the calyx as I used for the Traditional Rose. Refer to Video at 01:54
If you go to my blog post ‘How to Make a Gumpaste Rose’ you will see the calyx being used in the video at 25:00
After rolling the gumpaste and cutting out a calyx, with the gumpaste still in the cutter, I’m smoothing the edges to remove any extra paste making sure it’s a clean cut. I will need to cut two calyxes for this project. Refer to Video at 02:03
Because this calyx is not seen in this arrangement, and its main purpose is to support the petals, I’m not going to use any tools to thin the edges. If the back of the rose was going to be seen, then, of course, I would have to take greater care over its presentation.
The next step is to make a hole in the center of the calyx because it needs dry before I can use it, and when it’s dry, I won’t be able to make a hole because it will be too hard.
I have quite a large, thick pin, and I’m going to put a hole through the center of the calyx. Refer to Video at 02:42
It needs to be quite a decent-sized hole because I’ve got to thread a wire through it when it’s dry. Refer to Video at 03:00
Now I’m putting the calyx into a former, so it dries in the correct shape, and I’m using a tray that’s used for keeping eggs in the refrigerator.
I’m always on the lookout for containers in which to dry my flowers, and this suits my purpose. However, because I want a reasonably shallow curve, I’m putting some foil in the bottom of the cup, but if I wanted a more curved calyx, I’d let it go to the bottom. Refer to Video at 03:32
The calyx needs to dry overnight so that it’s really hard.
The Wild Rose Center
The next stage of making this Wild Rose is to make a center. It’s made by putting a little ‘button’ of yellow paste on the end of a wire and mounting small stamens around the edge. Refer to Video at 03:54
I’m taking a small piece of paste and rolling it into a ball, and once it’s smooth I’m just going to flatten it slightly. Refer to Video at 04:20
I am now going to mount the center onto a wire so I take a 24g green wire and make a hook on the end of it with my tweezers. Refer to Video at 04:46
Then halfway along the hook, I’m bending it again, so it’s at a right angle, so that the hook lays flat. Refer to Video at 4:49
Now I’m going to dip the flattened hook into glue and insert it into the center of the flat side of the gumpaste ‘button’. Refer to Video at 05:18
Once the wire is in place in the gumpaste button, I’m going to make sure to cover the hook adequately so that it doesn’t come out. I’ll need two of these centers. Refer to video at 05:30
I’ve got two long stamens that I’ve cut into pieces, and, using a pair of tweezers, I am going to mount them around the edge of the center button. Refer to Video at 06:01
You may be able to mount them without using tweezers, but unfortunately, I’ve got rather large hands and fingers, so I learned from a very early age to use tools to do any fine work.
Once I’ve gone all the way around sticking in the stamens, I’ll make another row a little further in, and I’ve included a few of them with knobs on the ends. I’ll keep going until I’m satisfied I have enough around the edge to achieve the look I want. Refer to Video at 07:28
Leave the center to dry for 24 hours.
The Wild Rose Petals
Once the calyx and the center are dry, then it’s time to prepare the rose petals. I’ll cut out the petals, mount them onto the calyx and let them dry slightly.
First of all, I’m going to use some pink paste because wild roses are usually pale pink. However, Wild Roses have been specially bred for gardens so you can now get them in a variety of colors.
For these petals, I am going to use a heart-shaped cutter. Refer to Video at 08:20
An important tip I can give you about working with gumpaste, especially if it’s a pale color. If you wear a sweater, fleece, or any garment that sheds its fibers, you will find that as you work, the fibers will float off and attach themselves to the gumpaste.
I do advise you to wear something made of cotton or a synthetic fabric that doesn’t shed its fibers while you’re working.
Rolling my paste finely, I’ll cut out ten petals, five for each flower, smoothing the edges as I cut them to remove any surplus paste.
The paste I am not using is going into my store, and I’m putting all but one of the petals under cling film/plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
After dusting my board and the petal with cornflour, I’m using the end of my fine paintbrush to roll out the edge of the petal, so it’s very thin and slightly wavy. Then laying the petal on my hand and using my ball tool, I’m going to just slightly hollow it out, so it takes on a petal shape.
Then, being careful not to flatten it out, cover it lightly with the cling film/plastic wrap, so it doesn’t dry out too quickly as I want to shape it into the calyx.
I know lots of people use a foam pad on a firm surface when they are working on gumpaste with flower making tools, but it’s a matter of choice how you work and which way you find is easiest. I was taught how to work using my hand for support while shaping the gumpaste, and I find I have more control over what I am doing.
Before I started making this video, I did have a go at working on a foam pad, and it was OK for some things, but I need more practice. However, there are still techniques I find I have more control over by doing them on my hand.
Once you have been making flowers for a while, I am sure you will find methods that are easiest for you.
Mounting the Petals onto the Calyx
These Wild Roses are so pretty that they are worth the effort to make, and these are approximately their natural size, but if you’ve got a very large cake and you only want one spray, you could make larger blossoms and leaves.
Taking one of the petals, I’m painting the back of it with a little bit of glue and mounting it onto the calyx. I’m putting the petal right to the center hole, which I will open up again after they are all in place.
Continuing to place the rest of the petals on the calyx, I have a guide where to put them because each one goes over an arm of the calyx, and the last petal should go under the first petal because that’s the way they grow naturally. Refer to Video at 15:40
I’m opening up the hole through the center again to make sure I can get the wire through when I assemble the rose.
I’ve rolled up a little bit of tissue and made it into a loose knot to make a former for somewhere to put the rose to dry overnight or use something similar to the refrigerator egg tray. Refer to Video at 17:08
Making a Bud and a Half Bud
Now I’m making the buds, and I need a rose center, but I’m making it using a different method.
In the last video about making a formal Traditional Rose, I started by making a cone of gumpaste for the center, which is the conventional way to make gumpaste sugar roses.
If you would like to see the cone made then go to my blog post on ‘How to Make a Gumpaste Rose’ and look at the video at 02:16
If you don’t want to make your own cones, if you look at the resource book, you will see that you can buy artificial cones to put into the center of gumpaste sugar roses. Refer to Video at 17:31
Download the Resource Guide at the top of this post for information on Buying Artificial Centres for Making Roses
However, for these buds, I’m using a center which I devised myself, which I like a bit better than having a cone center.
I start with a small ball of paste slightly larger than a pea, and I’m rolling it between my fingers into a cigar shape with two narrow ends. Refer to Video at 18.33
Using a fine paintbrush, (or if you prefer to work with the cocktail stick), I’m going to roll it lightly, so it forms a ‘D’ shape Refer to Video at 19:01
Now I’m working it with my fingers to improve the ‘D’ shape further but leaving a ridge on the flat side of the ‘D’ that will form the same base I would have if I were using a cone center. Refer to video at 19:14
Then lay it on my hand, and I’m going to smooth the outside edge of the ‘D’ so it’s very thin and slightly wavy. Refer to Video at 19:51
I didn’t want the ridge to be too thick because I’m rolling it to form the base for the rosebud.
I’m making a hook in the end of a 24g green wire, then spreading a little glue along the ridge and slightly up each side of the ‘D’, then placing the wire hook on one end of the ridge and rolling the gumpaste around the wire. Refer to Video at 20:39, 20:43 and 20:47
The result is that I’ve made a center for the rose that looks as if the first petal is opening. Refer to Video at 20:52
Next, I’ll turn it upside down to make sure the base of the bud is smooth. If I don’t do this and if anything is protruding from it when it dries hard as I mount on the calyx, it will tear. Refer to Video at 21:09
I’ve now made the first bud.
To make the next slightly more open bud, I’m going to add another layer of petals to the first bud.
First, I’m rolling out a small piece of paste quite thinly and cut one heart-shaped petal, making sure that I remove any surplus paste from around the edge.
Remember to wrap any paste you are not using, or you will find yourself wasting vast quantities of gumpaste because it has dried too hard to use.
Next, I’m softening the edges of the petal by rolling it with the end of my paintbrush, then paint some glue about halfway up the petal then wrap the petal around the bud. Refer to Video at 23:33
Now the second row of petals is mounted, and it’s now what I refer to as a half bud.
I’m making sure the base of the bud is perfectly smooth, and making a hook in the wire the opposite end to the bud, and I’ll hang it upside down to dry.
Making a Calyx for the Bud
The next stage is cutting a calyx out of some green paste. I’ll make sure the edges are cut cleanly, and then instead of using scissors to cut the sides of the calyx, I’ll use a knife. Refer to Video at 25:28
I’m threading the wire of the bud through the center of the calyx that I’ve painted it with glue. Refer to Video at 26:00
Then pushing the calyx up the wire, I’ll mold it around the bud.
I’ve used a flat calyx, and this is cheating really, but it’s a bit quicker than using a cone of paste to make the calyx and seed pod.
To make the seedpod, I’m taking a small piece of green past, rolling it into a ball, and threading it onto the base of the bud, and attaching it with a little glue between the calyx and the seed pod. Refer to Video at 27:00
Completing the full Rose
To finish off the full rose, I’m threading the dried yellow center through the dried petals and calyx, and after painting a little glue in the center of the petals, I’ll bring them both together.
I’ll hold it in place for a couple of minutes to make sure it sticks together and then hang it upside down to dry for a couple of hours.
Adding Color to Petals
If you look at a wild, rose you will see that the outer edges and the center of the petals are a slightly deeper shade of pink, so I am going to add a little shading to my rose.
I’m adding color to the petals using petal dust. It comes in a file, and it’s a very intense color, and if I want a deep shade, it can use straight from the file. Refer to Video at 28:40
However, if I want a more delicate shade, I’d put some cornflour into a small container and mix some petal dust into it until I reach the shade I require. I’d make sure I mixed it well, and it will still tint the gumpaste, but it will be a much lighter shade, so I’ll have more control over the color. Refer to Video at 28:59
Taking a small, dry, slightly stiff, paintbrush and dipping it into diluted pink petal dust, I’m gently brushing the edges of each petal then tapping it very gently to knock any surplus dust back into the container. Refer to Video at 29:34
There will be times when you want to use petal dust in its neat form if you want a solid color. For example, if you’ve made a rose from red gumpaste and don’t think it’s a deep enough shade of red, then if you brush it with neat red petal dust, you would get an intense shade of red.
Once I have brushed the edges of each of the petals, I then brush some on the petals around the center then tap off any surplus dust.
Steaming the Flowers
Note: Always apply petal dust before you steam flowers and leaves or before you brush or spray them with confectioners varnish because afterward, the petal dust will not adhere to the gum paste.
To set the color and to give the flowers and leaves a slight shine, then I either steam them or brush or spray them with confectioners varnish, which you can buy from a cake materials supplier.
For this project, I’m going to steam my flowers. It is not the safest thing to do, and I must admit I have scalded myself several times. I never learn, and I don’t always protect my hands, but I do advise you to use oven gloves or something similar to protect your hands.
I have to be very careful when steaming the flowers because I can’t just hold them over the steam and hope they will be OK, I have to flash the front of them and then the back of them over the steam, and that is enough, or you will melt them, and they will fall off their wires.
Now I have a slight shine on my flowers. I need to leave them to dry for about an hour before I go any further.
Making the Flower Spray
The next step is to show you how to assemble this wild rose spray.
I have used the same type of leaves that I used for the Traditional Rose in the first Video, so I won’t show you how to make them again.
To see how to make the Rose Leaves go to my blog post ‘How to Make a Gumpaste Rose’ and watch the video at 31:40
Before I steam the leaves, I’m coloring them with petal dust slightly on the base of the leaf with a little bit of brown and a tiny bit of yellow onto it just to give it a bit of shading. Refer to Video at 31:31
In front of me, I have the bud, the half bud, the two full roses, and the leaf sprays.
To start, I take one of the leaf sprays that have already had flower tape applied to the stem. I place the tip of the bud just to the base of the top leaf and tape it together, using a narrow tape, the way I showed you on the Traditional Rose.
Go to my blog post ‘How to Make a Gumpaste Rose,’ and you will see how to tape the stems of the flowers and the leaves on the Video at 37:50
The next one I’m adding is the half bud, slightly lower, the tip of the half bud is just about halfway down the top bud and tape it together. Refer to Video at 33:59
Now, I’ll place another leaf on the right-hand side of the main stem. The bottom of that leaf is at about the same level as the bottom of the stem of the half bud. Refer to Video at 34:24
Tape the leaf to the main stem, and the next part to assemble is one of the full roses.
I’ll leave about two centimeters of stem on the rose before I tape it to the main stem. Refer to Video at 34:58
The third leaf I’m going to put on the left-hand side and to the back of the full rose and tape it to the main stem. Refer to Video at 35:41
Then the last rose I’m going to put slightly lower down and tape it to the main stem. Refer to Video at 36:00
Trim off any uneven wires from the bottom of the main stem, then using a wide tape give the main part of the stem a final wrap with the flower tape. Refer to Video at 36:42
After arranging the flowers and leaves, it’s now complete.
One of these arrangements will make a lovely decoration, and if you have two of them, they make a beautiful display on any cake.
If you have any questions or comments, please put them in the comments section below.