Gumpaste Rose Leaves: How to Make and Color Them

Learn how to build realistic-looking gumpaste leaves and color them to add life to your gumpaste flowers.

Alright, now that you’ve created and dusted your giant gumpaste rose, you’ll need to make some gumpaste rose leaves to finish the appearance. The rose is lovely on its own, but it will require additional greens to appear natural.

This is the first of three posts in a series. These are the links to the individual posts in the series:

  1. Making a Huge Gumpaste Rose
  2. How to Paint a Giant Gumpaste Rose
  3. Gumpaste Rose Leaves: How to Make and Color Them (youre here now)

I’ve provided screen photos and complete instructions for building the rose leaves and calyx in this article (which is the under part of the rose). The good news is that there is a video later in the article that will walk you through all of the processes. Let’s get started!

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Supplies you’ll need to make the leaves and calyx:

  • Gumpaste dyed green (I used moss green liquid gel coloring) I also purchase Wilton or Satin Ice readymade gumpate.
  • Rose leaf and calyx cutters (I use the ones that came with the Wilton set that is identical to this one).
  • Wilton leaf imprint mat (I like the Wilton mat, but there are others like this veining mat) I believe the Wilton mat is no longer available, so if you click on the Wilton mat link above and it is entirely out of stock, you may be able to locate one on eBay.
  • Gumpaste foam board that is firm
  • Foam that is soft
  • Set of ball tools
  • dresden gumpaste tool
  • Fondant roller, small
  • Green wire in 22 gauge or 24 gauge (If you go smaller than a 24, it doesnt work as well.) Oh, and acquire the paper-covered cables if you can.
  • Floral duct tape
  • Exacto knife, small
  • Green moss petal dust
  • Petal dust in the hue of flesh
  • Dust of soft pink petal
  • Dust of burgundy flower
  • Tiny pain brushes that are solely used for caking

Making the gumpaste calyx:

Begin by creating the calyx that will go on the base of the gumpaste rose.

Lay out a little amount of the green gumpaste. I just use a little fondant roller for this, and it is not required to make it incredibly thin. Cut off one or two calyxes using your calyx cutter. It’s always a good idea to create extra.

Place it on your shaping foam and cup each point with your ball tool. Begin on the outside and work your way towards the centre.

Now, take your dresden tool and drag it from the tip to the center of each calyx point.

Flip it over and repeat on the other side.

Place it on your soft foam. You may use whatever soft foam you choose here. Before proceeding, I normally make a hole in the middle of my foam. Because I’ve created gumpaste flowers before, you’ll see that I already have a hole punched in it in the video. In any case, you may puncture the hole with the rose wires or a wooden skewer. You simply don’t want to poke the central hole while attaching the calyx since it will totally rip it apart.

After you’ve made a hole in the foam, moisten one side of the calyx and place it (wet side up) directly on top of the hole.

Just take your rose and puncture its wires directly through the central calyx.

The calyx will then connect beautifully if you just press the piece of foam up to the base of the rose. This approach is much simpler for me to utilize since the foam keeps the calyx intact and prevents it from flopping around everywhere.

So, the next step is to create the calyx’s base. (I’m not sure what the scientific word for this is. I did take a botany course in college, but it seems that it was erased from my memory.) So, we’re going to build that modest foundation right now.

Just wrap a tiny piece of green gumpaste into a ball and moisten the base of the calyx you just connected to the flower.

Attach the gumpaste ball to the base of your rose by running it up the wires.

Using your fingers, shape it so that it narrows towards the bottom. This is best shown in the video.

Just leave it aside to dry before dusting it with color.

After it’s dry, I like to sprinkle it with the same colors I used for the rose petals. You may read about it here. So I have moss green petal dust, flesh petal dust, pink, and burgundy petal dust. I didn’t use burgundy on the petals, but I generally always use a dark color of some kind as an accent and to provide depth to the leaves and calyx.

Dusting the Gumpaste Calyx:

It is really easy to dust the calyx. Just sprinkle the moss green over it. It’s OK if some dust settles on the flower’s base. You truly want it to happen. Just sprinkle it with green. Add the pink and flesh petal dusts, blended together, around the center of each calyx leaf.

The burgundy should be used at the very tips. If you don’t have burgundy, you may use dark brown or cocoa powder. Don’t be alarmed if some of the tips fall off. That nearly always occurs, and you don’t see the full calyx after you’ve arranged the flowers on your cake. Don’t worry about it.

Making the gumpaste rose leaves:

Well, I’ll show you two alternatives for the gumpaste rose leaves. I’m sure there are more, but for now, let’s stick with these two.

Leaf method 1:

The first approach is to utilize a veining board, which allows you to inject wires into your leaves. It’s just a board with some lines carved out of it. You wrap it in gumpaste and cut off your leaves.

After you remove the leaves off the board, you’ll see a tube of fondant running down the back of each leaf. It is where your wire will be inserted.

By the way, the wire I’m using is too tiny, but it’s all I had on hand when I began this lesson. If you check at the beginning of this page, you’ll see a supply list where I’ve included the gauge of wire to use instead of the 26 gauge wire I had on hand.

In any case, you’ll want to run your wires along that fondant ridge. Okay, I’ll be honest and admit that I despise poking wires through leaves, but other people enjoy this way. I’m simply not very good at putting them straight and usually end up with the wire exposed at some point along the leaf, so this isn’t my preferred approach.

Leaf Method 2:

I like to produce leaves using the technique I’m going to demonstrate. The advantage of this approach is that I never have wires hanging out of my leaves, but the disadvantage is that you can only manufacture one or two at a time. This procedure necessitates the use of a separate veining board.

I’ve also seen decorators who don’t use a veining board at all, instead rolling out the gumpaste incredibly thin, laying the wires on it, and then folding over the gumpaste to encapsulate the wires. They just cut out the leaf forms. I haven’t gotten that procedure to work as well for me, but I still prefer it over putting the wires.

Well, let’s go back to this strategy. I like using the Wilton veining board (see supply list above.)

There are two sides to it. One side is for making the vein for the leaf wire, while the other is for imprinting vein lines on leaves and petals. True, there are finer veining boards available, but I like my old faithful Wilton. I’m going to explain why. (By the way, if the mat is sold out on Amazon, try Michaels or Hobby Lobby.) They’ve been seen there.)

UPDATE: I’ve just found that these veining mats are no longer available, so you’ll have to go on eBay for them, but I’ve included a couple alternatives in the supply list at the beginning of this page.

To begin, take your gumpaste and roll a little amount onto the Wilton mat’s central veining side.

I just remove the gumpaste off the mat and place it on your cutting area. Make a shape using your leaf cutter. Nonetheless, the ridge line should not be visible on the upper half of the leaf.

So, what makes this veiner different from the first? This veiner creates a flat ridge, and all you have to do is put your wire next to it and fold it over on top of it. You don’t have to put your wire through a tube of toothpaste. It’s not as attractive as the previous veiner, but it’s the back of the leaf, and we’re going to imprint some vein lines on them anyhow. In reality, no one will see their backs very often.

Well, let’s go on. Just take a little brush and dab it along one side of the vein line. Put your wire down, then fold and push that flap over it. You may use cornstarch to dry any damp places on the back.

Place your leaves on the hard foam surface and use a tiny fondant roller to thin the edges. Just thin them out.

Just flip the veining board (the one you just used) over and use the impression side to add some veining lines to your leaf.

I just push the leaf down with some foam.

You now have a veined leaf with no wires protruding from it. Nice!

Then, using a little exacto knife, make some tiny v-shaped regions around the edges of your leaves. This will just make things seem more realistic. Don’t go overboard here; just a few for each leaf.

You should also squeeze the base of the leaf just a little where it meets the wire so it doesn’t seem completely flat there.

Place your leaves on some egg-crate foam to dry completely, which should take approximately a day. Some of your leaves should be curved so that they don’t dry flat.

After they’re dried, it’s time to color them.

Dusting the Gumpaste Leaves:

We utilized the same colors as on the calyx. The list and where to purchase them may be seen at the top of this blog page.

Just sprinkle your straight moss green or kiwi color all over the front and back of the leaves. I try to make the outsides of the leaves darker, but I don’t overthink it.

Then, take a dab of the flesh petal dust and pink petal dust mixture and apply it to the center of the leaf. (I’m using pink since that’s the color I used to dust my rose. If your rose is a different color, just use a toned-down version of that color in the middle of your leaves. You may change the hue by adding cornstarch.)

Now, take some dark colored petal dust (I chose burgundy, but a dark chocolate color would also work) and apply it to the regions where you cut the little vs.

Just mix it into that area.

Well, you’re nearly done. You get to choose whether you want the matte appearance of the leaves or if you want them to have a gloss to them. Just steam the leaves to make them shinier. Just place them in front of a steamer or over a pot of boiling water for a second, otherwise they will melt. Steaming them will set the color of the petal dust and add a gloss to them.

With this, I could go either way; sometimes I steam, and sometimes I like a more matte finish.

The only thing left to do is tape your leaves together and then stick them on the rose.

And here’s a video to walk you through each step:

That’s all there is to it! You’ve now created some lovely, realistic gumpaste rose leaves.

Don’t forget to watch the related videos listed below:

  1. Making a Huge Gumpaste Rose
  2. How to Paint a Giant Gumpaste Rose

I hope you found this tutorial useful. If it was, I’d appreciate it if you could share it! Remember to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any new content.

Remember to Pin it for Later!


How do you make rose leaves with gumpaste?

Bush a rose blossom with sugar glue and secure it in place. stem to your rose’s base Brush each calyx strand with sugar glue one at a time, then apply them to the rose one at a time. After fastened, manipulate each strand into position. Make a tear drop form out of a little ball of gumpaste. Share this along the skewer.

Can you use regular food coloring for gum paste?

To deepen the color of the gum paste, add additional food coloring as required. Apply color a bit at a time to ensure you achieve the desired hue. Since gum paste decorations are primarily meant to be seen rather than consumed, as much coloring as desired for even the darkest hues may be employed.

Can you put gumpaste decorations in the fridge?

Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer. The gum paste dries fast. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a plastic bag. At room temperature, it will keep for up to two weeks.

What color are rose leaves?

Because of the presence of anthocyanins, rose bush leaves may appear red or bronze while young and developing. They shield the leaves from UV radiation, keeping them safe from the sun during their most susceptible period. When the plants develop, they no longer need this assistance, and the anthocyanins and scarlet tint vanish.

Is it better to use gumpaste or fondant for flowers?

Gum paste is a soft and malleable sugar dough that dries totally hard, unlike fondant. This makes it ideal for crafting intricate cake decorations like as roses, daisies, and other flowers.

Can I refrigerate a cake with gumpaste flowers on it?

Sugarflowers may be refrigerated, although we recommend keeping them in the fridge for as little time as possible. Sugarflowers will be progressively broken down by the moisture and condensation of ordinary high traffic refrigerators.

What is the best glue for gum paste?

Fondant figures, for example. Tylose glue, sometimes known as gum glue, is an edible adhesive used by cake decorators to attach gumpaste or fondant together. For example, gumpaste flowers or gumpaste

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