How to Make a Gum Paste Tiara (Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial)

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How to Make a Gum Paste Tiara

After asking on Facebook to see if there was any interest, I was immediately convinced I needed to shoot and write this post: How to Make a Gum Paste Tiara.

I’m going to give you a step-by-step picture tutorial so you can make one too!  You can see my previous ones on this Princess cake and this one!

Hopefully after reading this tutorial, you should be able to make this tiara or take any template you find, follow similar steps, and make any gum paste tiara!

NOTE:  Please plan ahead!!   You’ll need at least 2 full days –  3 or 4 days would be better – to make this tiara before needing to put it on a cake!

Here’s what you’ll need:

PS – you don’t need pumpkin or diced tomatoes if you’re looking at the picture before reading the list… you just need a can/bottle about that size 😉

Step 1:
Print out your template and fold the paper so that the bottom of the tiara is on the edge.

Step 2:

Tape the paper around the can with the bottom edge of the paper directly on the bottom of the can.

Step 3:

Cut a piece of wax paper, fold a straight edge, then cover the template.   Tape it onto the can just like the template.  Don’t forget this step:  rub a thin coat of shortening onto the wax paper!

Step 4:  

Use a large hole or oval disc on your extruder and make a long rope of gum paste to serve as the base for the tiara.  I like for this part to be significantly “fatter” than the other parts!  The large hold disc comes with the basic Makin Professional Extruder set.  The oval is in an extra set of discs (set C I think!) that I bought (not at all necessary!)

My gum paste is blue because at the end, I want a glue sparkly tiara to match the cake (come back tomorrow to see!), but if you’re doing silver, you may want to tint your gum paste a pale gray… or whatever color you want!

Note:  I’ve had a few comments on Facebook about people not having, or never having used an extruder, etc.  Here are my thoughts… yes, you could hand roll all of these ropes, but it would be very time consuming and difficult to get uniform ropes.  But hey – if that doesn’t intimdate you – go for it!

However, an extruder is a relatively inexpensive tool (around $20 when I bought mine) and honestly, I use it almost every week so I’m gonna recommend that you get one!!  The Makin Professional Extruder that I have comes with 16 different discs that I have used for hair, grass, ropes, borders, rope borders, and lots of other things!!  


Step 5:

Wrap that long piece of rope around the base of the can and use your Xacto knife to cut it so that it lines up with the ends of the tiara.  It should slightly adhere to the shortening.  It won’t stay in place totally by itself, but the shortening helps!

Step 6:

Use a smaller hole disc on your extruder to make fondant ropes for the other details on your tiara.  You’ll want to work in small sections because the gum paste will dry out and crack if it sits out too long.

I like to do a small rope and make a section of the tiara quickly, then do another small rope and repeat.  You can see below that I have Tylose dusted on my mat to keep the gum paste from sticking and to make the gum paste dry faster and harder once it’s placed.

Note: I’m pretty sure I determined that these first ropes were larger than I wanted (in diameter) so I scrapped them and made even smaller ones.

Step 7:

For this template, I start in the center of the tiara and make the 2 “U” shapes first.  I laid it out on my mat and rolled the ends, then laid it in place on the can (which is on it’s side).  I have to guess on the length of each piece, lay it on the can and check, then trim with the Xacto knife as needed.  You’ll get a feel for it as you go!

  Step 8:

Use sugar glue to adhere the pieces to the base part of the tiara.  I paint it on between each part of the tiara that touches!

Step 9:

Repeat those steps, adding the different curls and layers of the tiara.  I always work from the center out outlining each part of the underlying template. This next step involves laying a rope on top of previous placed pieces.  Just remember to paint on some sugar glue at each connection!

Here are a few more pictures of me working…

Step 10:

Finish out the tiara with the small curls on the ends.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of those steps, but here are some pictures of the finished sides:

Step 11:

Let it dry!!  

I like to leave it laying on it’s side for a few hours, but after that, you can stand it up!  I tend to be very impatient, but you really want this to sit, undisturbed for at least 24 hours.  Or 48 hours would be better!! Honestly, you could make it weeks in advance if you needed.

Just keep in mind that it will be fragile, so keep it somewhere where it won’t be damaged but not in a closed container until it’s completely dry!!

Step 12: As I mentioned, I’m very impatient, so this is the tiara after 24 hours and I’m going to remove it from the can (it doesn’t really “look” any different than the day before other than the glue is dry).

I can’t really show you pics of this except to say that I gently hold the tiara, and with my other hand, wiggle the can back and forth a bit to loosen the tiara.  Then I simply slide it away.

See… it’s dried and hard!

Step 13:

I didn’t get pics of this or even include pics of these things in my “what you need” picture, but to finish this tiara, I mixed some silver luster dust with vodka and added a tiny drop of blue gel paste.

I painted it on for shimmer and to give the color more depth (to match the cake).    I also glued on the pink edible pearl to finish it off!  You’ll see why when you see the whole cake!

Princess Gum Paste Tiara

After painting it, I let it dry overnight again… and then put it on the cake!

I’ll be sharing the whole cake tomorrow – so be sure to come back and see!!  Update:  the Ombre Ruffles Princess cake is here – click over for pics and details!!

Worried you’ll forget?   Sign up for my FREE email newsletter and never miss another post! Do you have any questions about this tutorial or making a tiara? 

Please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

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  1. Maite Corcega says

    Me encanta esta idea, es fabulosa y parece fácil de hacer!! Muchas gracias por compartir sus conocimientos!!

        • Rose says

          Ha… I wish I could take credit but I used Google Translate. My Spanish from high school is almost non-existent these days! My 15 yo son took a few pics for me but I took most of them myself.

  2. Sarah says

    This is a fabulous tutorial! I just made it and I can’t wait to see the final result :-) I had to make it without an extruder… ok, I’ll have to get one :-)
    Thank you so much!!!

  3. Valerie Khey says

    Thank you so much!! Your tutorial is awesome and I am not professional baker but feel confident enough to create this for my daughter’s princess birthday cake. One question – can you use piping gel instead of sugar glue to glue the pieces together?

    Muchas gracias!!!


    • Rose says

      Thank you for your sweet compliments! I haven’t ever tried it, but I don’t think piping gel will “dry”. I think you’d do better to make some “glue” with tylose or melted fondant!

  4. Renee says

    Thanks for the tutorial! I made one a couple weeks ago without the extruder and I wish I had one! Which model number do you have? Does it make a huge difference if it says ‘clay’ extruder versus sugar craft extruder? They look really similar to me, but the price is what is making me wonder. Did you find yours at a local cake supply store?

    Any help would be appreciated!


    • Rose says

      I’ve only ever used the clay extruder that I link to on my blog (it’s this Makin’s Professional) and I love it! I honestly have no idea how it compares to the sugar craft one. I live way out in the country so I order almost everything online – including my extruder that I got on Amazon. Sorry I’m not more help!

  5. Valerie Khey says

    Hey Rose!!! Thanks again for all your help along the way. I am no professional baker by far, I just have a passion for it. After reading through your tutorial I thought I would give it a try and I did. I didn’t buy the extruder because this was a one time thing, I made the first and did not look good but I got a feel for working with the gum paste and then the second one came out pretty cool for a first timer. Thanks again – am trying to post my picture.
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  6. Imelda says

    Thanks so much on the details on how to make the tiara. It has encouraged me to try my own. Thanks again. Continue making great cakes and everything in between.

  7. jenny says

    Hi Rose, I love the tutorial. I have not come across the brand of gumpaste you used probably because I’m in England. I just wanted to check whether you have added tylo powder to your gumpaste.

    • Rose says

      I’ve never had that problem. I just leave it sitting out at room temp and once it dries, it’ll last for weeks (or longer!) just like that.

  8. Gladys says

    Oh, wow. thanks so much for your quiick reply. I will be making one this weekend for a sophia the first cake in two weeks and an amulet. keeping my fingers crossed.

  9. Gladys says

    Hi Rose, On my cake I will be making a two tier cake with the bottom being shaped like sophia the first dress, (scalloped at bottom). How do I cut and with what the fondant at the bottom to be shaped like scallops?

  10. Gladys says

    Hi Rose, On my cake I will be making a two tier cake with the bottom being shaped like sophia the first dress, (scalloped at bottom). How do I cut and with what the fondant at the bottom to be shaped like scallops?

  11. Tanya says

    Ah this is great… I tried to make two tiaras last night and it did not work out as planned. Will try this today. Thank you very much

  12. Gladys says

    Hi Rose, Im desperate, I made a tiara according to your instructions and it came out beautiful, my problem is i touched it by mistake yesterday and a piece broke off on the side. is there a way for me to somehow glue it back together??? I am in panic mode. I made another one but that didnt work out either. This cake is for saturday morning pick up and I am in a panic and really stressed. what can i DO? I am honestly stressed. I want to cry.

    • Rose says

      I really don’t recommend fondant for this if you can avoid it, but if not, I’d probably use 2-4 tsp. per pound. But it also depends on the brand or recipe of fondant that you’re using. If possible, I’d really recommend using gum paste for the best results!

  13. Sherry says

    For sale, using your link, there are 2 extruders – one professional (with fewer tips) and a regular one with many more tips. Which would you buy and why?

    • Rose says

      I have the professional one – I’m not sure how it’s different from the other one (because I didn’t know it existed and haven’t used it), but the professional has not let me down!

  14. Janice says

    Hi Rose,

    Fabulous tutorial! You make this look so easy. I was just about to begin when I realized I have a 28 oz. can. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but the top my tiara picture goes above the top of the can. Did you shrink the template? How high is your tiara?

    • Rose says

      I just adjusted my template as needed before printing (or after printing if it was too big or small and printed it again). I haven’t done one in awhile, but probably around 4″?!

  15. Nchang Patience says

    Thanks very much, it was a wonderful tutorial, straight to the point, may God bless you, i will do one and show you!

  16. Nchang Patience says

    Thanks a million for that wonderful and fabulous tutorials, that was great may God Bless you abundantly for sharing your knowledge!!

  17. Caroline says

    Rose, this is the best tutorial ever, thank you! This is the second tiara I made using your instructions, and it came out perfectly both times. Everybody was amazed :). And both tiaras made the most beautiful toppers for their cakes. Thank you!!
    (As a side note, in case you wanted to know about results, I used your homemade MMF, which is what I use for everything, and added Wilton Gum-Tex to it (very similar to Tylose powder), and it hardened and dried beautifully. Maybe 1/2 tsp for a fist -sizes chunk of MMF…?)

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