This is the 3rd Video in a 10 Part Series on making gumpaste flowers that are beginner-friendly.
A step-by-step Gumpaste Formal Rose – (Quick and Easy Method) Video Tutorial showing everything you need to know as if you were in the classroom with me, nothing is left out.
This Rose is an ideal third project because it uses some of the techniques that are in the first two projects, 1) The Traditional Gumpaste Rose, and 2) The Wild Gumpaste 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…
This Quick Formal Rose looks similar to the Traditional Rose, but I’m making it by a much quicker method.
I prefer to make roses using this method if I am going to make a lot of roses to decorate a cake.
Making roses by the traditional method takes a lot of time to mount all the petals onto the flower individuallíy, and the petals are usually much more delicate. Roses made by this quick method are not quite so fragile, and you can still have a beautiful arrangement of roses but in half the time.
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Making the Centers
I have three shades of gumpaste, and I’m starting by taking a small piece of the darkest shade, about the size of a large pea.
With it, I’m making the quick method of making a rose center the rolled way rather than using a cone.
I’m showing you how to make it again although I know I showed you in the WildRose Video, but as it’s a little difficult to see how to do it at first, the more practice you have the better.
Starting with my ball of gumpaste, I’m rolling it into a cigar shape. Then, using the end of a fine paintbrush (or use a cocktail stick), I’m rolling it to a ‘D’ shape making sure I leave a ridge along the flat side of the ‘D’. Refer to Video at 01:41
Now, I’m going to shape it first with my fingers to get a better ‘D’ shape, making sure the ridge is not too thick. Then, with my modeling tool, I’m going to smooth it out around the edges to make it quite thin. Refer to Video at 02:10
I want a slight ridge along the flat side of the ‘D’, but I don’t want it too thick, or I’ll end up with the base of my center being too big. Refer to Video at 02:20
Next, I’m brushing a thin coat of glue down one side, along the ridge and up the other side Refer to Video at 02:37
Download the Resource Guide at the top of this post to find out what tools and materials you need to make this flower.
Using a 24 gauge covered green wire and making a hook on one end, I’m placing the hook onto one side of the gumpaste ridge a little bit in from the edge.
Refer to Video at 02:49
Then I’m going to turn the edge of the paste over the hook and roll the ‘D’ shaped petal around the wire hook Refer to Video at 03:00
I’m making sure the petal is closed and formed nicely, and that the bottom is smooth, so there are no jagged bits left on the base of the bud. The bottom needs to be smooth so that when I add the calyx, it won’t tear.
Also, I’m making sure the paste is closed around the wire so that when it’s dry, the hook won’t come out. Refer to Video at 03:18
That’s the center completed, and I’ll put it into the flower foam to dry. Refer to Video at 03:45
The rose center also is used for the bud. Refer to Video at 03:50
I need seven centers all together for two closed buds, one quarter bud, one half bud, and three full flowers, and they need to dry for 24 hours.
Making the Quarter Bud
I have my seven dry centers, and I’m putting aside two for the closed buds, and I’m now making a bud, which I have called the quarter bud, that’s slightly open.
The method for making this rose is different from the rose made traditionally.
To make this rose, I’m using a blossom cutter that cuts five petals all at once. I have a set of five stainless steel blossom cutters, and their value is in the fact that I can either make blossoms or roses with them.
Refer to Video at 04:56
I’m using the second smallest cutter to make this rose. You could use a larger size cutter if you wish, but for the first ones, you make I advise you to keep to the smaller size until you have practiced making them.
You can find details about the cutters in the resource book, which you can get at the top of the page.
For the next stage, I’m rolling out some of the middle shade of gumpaste.
It is true that if you have got a lot of roses to make, you most likely haven’t got time to make roses with separate petals. You’ll find that the finer the petals are on the roses, the easier they break, so when you’re trying to assemble them into an arrangement, you might find that your rose will break.
You’re better off just keeping the delicate traditional rose for when you just put one or two of them on a cake.
Now I’m going to cut out the blossom shape making sure it’s clean around the edges. I’ll put any paste I’m not using under the cling film/plastic wrap to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
I’m now dividing the petal shape. I’ve just cut out into two petals and three petals, and then with a knife, I’m going to cut a little way down between each petal. Refer to video at 07:04
After putting the three petal part of the blossom under the cling film/plastic wrap, I’m working on the two petal section with a modeling tool to thin and soften the edges of the petals. However, I don’t want it too thin, just softened and shaped.
Now I’m painting a thin coat of glue on the bottom half of the petals (the pointed end), then taking one of the dry centers and placing the petals around the center. Refer to Video at 07:46
The petals are slightly curved away from the center because it’s just opening, and that’s a quarter bud, and I shall need one of those.
Making the Half Bud
The next bud I’m making has a layer of two petals, then a layer of 3 petals, and I am calling it a half bud, and I need one half bud.
First, I’m rolling out the gumpaste, reasonably thin but not too thin; then, I’m cutting another five-petal shape out of it with the blossom cutter, making sure the edge has cut cleanly. I’m putting any paste I am not using under the cling film/plastic wrap.
I’m now dividing the petal shape I’ve just cut out into two petals and three petals, and then with a knife, I’m going to cut a little way down between each petal.
After putting the three petal part of the blossom under the cling film/plastic wrap, I’m working on the two petal section with a modeling tool to thin and soften the edges and slightly indent the petals. However, I don’t want it too thin, just softened and shaped.
Now I’m painting a thin coat of glue on the bottom half of the petals (the pointed end), then I’m wrapping the petals around the dry center.
The petals are slightly curved away from the center to make it look as if it’s just opening.
Next, I’m taking the three petal section, and with my modeling tool, I’m softening and thinning the edges of the petals. Refer to Video at 10:00
Then turning it over, I’m painting a thin coat of glue on the bottom half of the petals (the pointed end) and wrapping them around the center over the first two petals.
Refer to Video at 10:20
I’m making sure the base of the bud is smooth so that when it’s dry, and I add the calyx, there aren’t any bits sticking out to make it tear.
I need to make three more half buds to use for the centers of the three full roses.
Making the Full Rose
To make the whole rose, I’m cutting another five-petal blossom shape, removing any surplus paste from the edge and cutting down between each petal slightly.
With the end of my fine paintbrush (or you can use a cocktail stick that has been sanded smooth), I’m rolling it softly around the edges of the péetals to thin them and make them slightly wavy. Refer to Video at 11:22
I’m turning it over, placing it on my hand (or if you prefer onto a gumpaste flower mat), and using my bone tool, I’m smoothing the inside of each petal to make a slight indent giving it a petal shape. Refer to Video at 11:55
With my paintbrush, I’m spreading a thin coat of glue in the center and about halfway up the petals. Next, I thread a half bud through the center of the five petals and bring the petals up around the center of the rose. Refer to Video at 12:30
Now I have a full Rose completed in a much faster time, and I will need to use the two remaining half buds I to make two more full roses.
I am sure you now realize that if you have many roses to make, it’s much quicker to make them this way than making them one petal at a time.
I’ve used the quick-to-make flat calyx with a small ball of paste for the seed pod, which I showed you how to make in the Wild Rose, for each bud and each full rose.
Making the leaves
I showed you how to make the leaves for the Traditional Rose, leaving a raised vein in the center of the leaf and fed a wire through the raised vein.
That’s a great way to make leaves, but each leaf has to be rolled individually, and they take time to make. The purpose of making these quick roses is to cut down the time spent on making the flowers and leaves.
These leaves may not be as delicate as the one made with the center vein ridge, but they won’t break so easily if you have a large arrangement to make or you have to transport them to a venue. Plus, they are faster to make if you need a large quantity.
To make the leaves, I need some green gumpaste, which I have colored with gooseberry gel paste color, and I’m not rolling it out too thinly. I’m cutting out the leaf with a plastic cutter, making sure the edges are cut cleanly. Refer to Video at 14:43
Next, I’m using a 32g uncovered wire to thread through the paste from the center of the bottom of the leaf, up between the back and the front, until it nearly reaches the top making sure the wire isn’t showing through the back or the front and is entirely inside the gumpaste. Refer to Video at 15:27
I’m then going to press the leaf onto the veiner, and that will give it a thinner edge and also imprint it with veins. You can use your fingers to do this as I did, but you can also use the plastic disc to do it that sometimes comes with cutters. Refer to Video at 15:55
I’m not going to put veins on the back because the arrangement will be flat on the cake and the back of the leaves won’t be seen.
If the back of the leaves were going to be seen, then, of course, I would imprint veins on the backs.
I need to bend the wire slightly within the leaf to give it some movement and also to ensure that when the leaf is dry, the wire won’t pull out, and then leave it to dry.
I will need six smaller leaves and four larger leaves to make two five-leaf sprays
That’s a faster way to make rose leaves, and if you have hundreds to make, it’s a much more practical way to produce them.
Fillers are used between flowers and leaves to fill in the gaps in a floral arrangement. Small flowers such as lily of the valley, jasmine, small blossoms, baby’s breath or freesia, etc., are often used.
However, they take time to make, and seeing as the purpose of this project is to make it quicker to produce an arrangement of roses and leaves, I’m using ribbon picks as fillers which are quick to make.
Plus, ribbon picks are perfect to put into any arrangement because they can add a little bit of shine and some extra color.
To make a pick, I need two pieces of narrow ribbon approximately 4″/10cm long, folded, together, in half.
Using a piece of 32g uncovered wire, I’m winding it around the cut ends of the ribbon a couple of times and twisted the ends of the wire together. Refer to Video at 17:34
I’m taking some tape and folding the end over the wire, pressing it together, and rolling it down to make a stem, and I have a ribbon pick. Refer to Video at 18:00
Assembling the Arrangement
To make this Quick Rose arrangement, I’ve got two buds, one quarter bud, one half bud, and three full roses. I also have some leaves, and some ribbon picks, so there’s enough to make a spray, for example, for a birthday cake.
Before I can assemble everything, the stems need taping to cover the wires to make them all uniformly green. Still, more importantly, so they don’t slip around while I am assembling the flowers and leaves into an arrangement.
The flower tape is slightly sticky, it won’t stick to your fingers, but it will stick to itself. The stems are taped so that they stick together, making them easier to handle when assembling them.
I’m using dark green flower tape (florists tape). I have cut a length of tape from the reel, and then I have cut it into four pieces lengthways with the tape cutter I showed you when I made the Wild Rose.
The wires I used for the rose and bud stems are already green, but because the wire is slippery, I need to tape them.
I’m taking one piece of the tape and folding the end around one of the full rose stems as near as I can to the base of the rose.
I’m pinching the tape together around the stem, then rolling it between my thumb and forefinger while pulling the tape slightly in a gentle downward motion with my other hand until it has rolled down the stem and covering it with tape. Refer to Video at 20:00
Don’t worry if you can’t do it very well the first few times you try, just keep practicing and I am sure you’ll perfect the skill. It does help when you are trying to assemble everything.
If the wire is already a covered green wire, you needn’t be too careful about covering it thoroughly because, as I have already said, it’s added to stop the stems slipping around. On the other hand, if it is an uncovered wire you must be careful to cover the wire completely.
Now I’ve covered all the stems on the buds and flowers. I’m going to assemble the leaves into five-leaf sprays.
Before I assemble them, I am brushing the base of the leaves with brown petal dust mixed with a little cornflour to make it a softer shade, and I’m going to steam them along with the roses and buds to give them a little shine and seal them. You can find out how to steam flowers and leaves in the Wild Rose Blog post
For a leaf spray, I need five leaves, three small ones, and two larger ones. Take one small leaf and add the other two small ones each side of the top one, so the tips of the leaves come halfway down the top one and tape them together. I’m adding a large leaf on one side of the stem and taping it, then adding the fifth leaf to the other side and taping it onto the stem. Refer to Video at 22:42
Next, I’m arranging the leaves so they are a nice shape, and I’m making another leaf spray the same. Refer to Video at 23:24
I mentioned earlier about making flowers a bit sturdier if you were going to put a lot on a cake and having to transport it to a venue. The reason I mentioned it was because, before I knew any better, I broke quite a lot of roses because I made the petals too fine, making them very delicate.
It was very upsetting when I had to start making them again or hastily replacing flowers at the venue because they had broken while being transported.
Making flowers that are fine and delicate is excellent for exhibition purposes or if there is just one or two on a cake. However, when you have an arrangement where there are a lot of flowers and leaves together, it’s wise to make them so they will stand up to harsher treatment.
Also, people cannot resist touching the flowers, and if they are too fragile, the result is broken flowers.
Now I have all the buds, flowers, and leaves ready to assemble. Refer to Video at 25:02
I’m starting with one closed bud at the top and one closed bud slightly lower down, so the tip of the second bud is level with the top of the calyx of the first bud, and tape them together. Refer to Video at 25:22
Next, I’m putting one of the five-leaf sprays behind the two buds, so the buds come about a quarter way up the top leaf, then winding a little bit of tape around the three stems to hold them in place. Refer to Video at 26:00
Then I’m attaching a quarter bud to the stem, so it comes about a quarter way up the lower bud and taping it to the main stem.
I’m then adding one of the ribbon picks on the left-hand side and attach it to the main stem with a short length of flower tape. Refer to Video at 26:55
Don’t be too concerned about arranging everything as you want them at this point, as you will be able to do that once you have finished mounting them onto the main stem.
Next I am adding the half bud so the top of the bud comes to the top of the calyx of the quarter bud, and taping it to the main stem. Then I’m adding another ribbon pick to the right hand side and taping it.
As you add the flowers, leaves and picks just attach them to the main stem with a small amount of tape or the main stem will become too thick.
Now I have assembled all the buds for the top of the arrangement.
I’m adding a full rose to the left hand side so that the top of the rose comes about half way down the half bud.
On the right-hand side of the main stem, I’m adding another rose at the same level as the rose on the left-hand side. Refer to Video at 28:15
At this point, I can hear the flowers and leaves knocking together as I am taping them, but because these are slightly more sturdy, nothing happens to them. Of course, they will break if I handle them too roughly, but as long as I am careful with them, they will survive quite well.
Now I’m adding the third ribbon pick between the two full roses and taping it to the main stem. Refer to Video at 28:37
Next, I’m adding the third and final rose in the middle of the other two roses, in front of the third ribbon pick. I’m staggering it, so the top of the rose is about halfway down the other two roses and then taping it to the main stem.
Finally, I’m adding the second leaf spray behind the final rose and taping that to the main stem. Refer to Video at 29:27
If the stems of the flowers I have attached to the main stem are uneven or the stem is too long, then I’ll trim them with wire cutters.
I’m now using a length of broader tape to cover the main stem down from where I attached the last leaf spray. Refer to Video at 29:30
All that’s left for me to do now is to arrange the buds, flowers, and leaves into the position I want them. Refer to Video at 29:43
After arranging the buds, flowers, and leaves, it’s now complete.
One or two of these arrangements will make a beautiful display on any cake.
If you have any questions or comments, please put them in the comments section below.