Flamingos are one of my favorite birds and they remind me of summer and beautiful Florida beaches. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a quick topper to add summer-time whimsy to any cake project.
This would be so cute for a beach themed cake or even two of them as a bride and groom. You can use pre-colored pink wafer paper from Icing Images for this although I love the variation of color I get from painting.
White premium wafer paper (Icing Images), 3-4 sheets Black fondant (pea size)
Edible black pen
Parchment or wax paper
Paper Potion (Icing Images) Scissors
Hot Glue gun- low temp ideal Styrofoam dummy
Water in a spray bottle and/or paint brush application
Gel Colors in shades of pink/peach
White gel color (prefer Alan Tetreault or Artisan Accents brand)
Paint brush (broad bristled)
Lemon extract or Everclear (vodka not ideal)
3 inch Styrofoam ball
Wilton plastic Gum paste rose center
Wooden skewer = 7 inches
18 gauge floral wire OR craft/armature wire (any weight): 1 x 7 inches (leg), 1 x 8 inches (neck)
Teardrop feather templates cut out of cardstock- 2 inch (large), 1.5 inch (medium), 1 inch (small) and .5 inch (xsmall). You will cut out the following feather amounts:
2 inch- 30 pink, 10 white
1.5 inch- 40 pink, 10 white
1 inch- 20 pink, 15 white
.5 inch- 40 pink, 15 white
1⁄4 inch strips of white wafer paper (4-5 strips)
Preparing wafer paper
Spray all the white wafer paper lightly with paper potion on the bumpy side and set aside to dry.
Prepare paint by putting a small amount of each gel color into your pallet and adding an equal amount of lemon extract (alcohol) and mix with your paintbrush. Add a drop of white to each color and mix well. Put extra alcohol into one of the cavities for thinning your paint as needed. Working on top of a piece of parchment or wax paper- (painting on the smooth side of the wafer paper) using long, gentle brush strokes paint the wafer in the shades you prefer. Paint 2-3 sheets pink and leave 1 white (not painted). Set aside to dry.
Glue the flamingo’s body together
Begin with the 7 inch skewer and push into the bottom of the 3 inch Styrofoam ball then remove and apply hot glue to the end and re-insert. Hold still until it cools. Push your 7 inch wire into the body (ball) just beside the skewer and bend to resemble the flamingo’s lifted leg in the photo. Remove bent wire leg, apply hot glue and re-insert. Hold until it cools. Where the neck would normally be on the body, insert the 8 inch wire and bend to form the neck then remove, hot glue and re-insert. Hold still it cools. Add glue to the top of the neck and insert into the Rose center to form the head. Hold until it cools.
*I recommend adding a touch of hot glue where each piece goes into the Styrofoam to ensure they are secure.
Cutting the feathers
Make sure your painted wafer paper is completely dry. If you live in a humid climate you may want to paint your wafer 1 day ahead of time. If it is still wet, it will be very fragile. Use the templates to *cut your feathers and place in bowls to keep the sizes separated. I like to cut strips the size of my template and then use sharp scissors to cut 5-8 feathers at one time (see photo).
Bulking up the neck and legs
Use water to apply the wafer paper to the legs/neck. Begin by wrapping a strip of white wafer around the “knees” of the legs. Then cover the whole leg with 1-2 layers of strips white wafer. Do the same on the neck.
Applying the feathers
Begin with the medium feathers, apply water to the round end of the feather and stick to the back end of the body- adding white feathers randomly. Add approximately 8 medium feathers to the rear and then use large feathers for most of the body. As you get closer to the neck, use medium feathers and then small feathers around the neck. Use the xsmall feathers for the neck and head. Adding white feather randomly. Add any extra feathers you have leftover anywhere you like.
Adding beak and eye
Form the black fondant into a ball, apply water to the head where the beak would be and push black fondant onto the head to form the beak with your fingers. Use a tool to indent a line for where the beak opens. Use the edible marker to draw an eye.
Blog write up and pictures provided by Sara Weber
We are totally loving this topper idea from Sara and want to send her a big Thank you for taking the time to do a beautiful write up for us. If you would like too be a guest contributor for our blog or Facebook live please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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*As an option you can also using our Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to cut out the feathers too.