These super-cute umbrella toppers can be decorated in any way you like and are guaranteed to bring a smile, even on the rainiest of days.
For this step-by-step, I'll be showing you how to make the rainbow fade umbrella. It's best to make these in stages. So, create the umbrella shape and cover the cocktail stick (steps 1-4), then leave until the paste has hardened before you move on to the next steps.
You will need the following:
Gum paste (flower paste) 8 x coloured dusts & brushes to apply
Circle cutter 11cm Circle cutter 5cm
Circle cutter 1.5cm Cupcake foam dome / polystyrene ball or similar (for drying) Fine paintbrush & a little water
Note: Circle cutter sizes are approximate, so don't worry if you don't have the exact sizes.
STEP 1: Cut and Mark a Circle
Roll out some gum paste approx 4mm thick and cut a circle using an 11cm circle cutter. Use the edge of a ruler to mark 8 equal sections. Don't press too hard as it will weaken the shape's structure once dry.
PRO TIP: If you own a octaganol bunting cutter (I know lots of people have one of these) - you can use these to mark the lines too. You don't get exactly the same result but it's much quicker if you are making lots of umbrellas. An example is shown in the shading section of this tutorial.
STEP 2: Create the Umbrella
A: Use the 5cm circle cutter to cut away the paste at the point where the cutter meets the mark you have made on either side, as shown.
B: Smooth any messy edges with your thumb and forefinger.
STEP 3: Shape the Umbrella
A: Smooth the gum paste shape gently down over the foam dome.
B: At the top of the shape where the lines meet, create a small hole using a cocktail stick or needle tool. Leave to harden
STEP 4: Cover the Cocktail Stick
A: Roll a small piece of gum paste into a short sausage (I used black but use any colour you like).
B: Brush the cocktail stick with a little water.
C: Twist the gumpaste down the cocktail stick using your thumb and forefinger.
D: Roll the cocktail stick until it is evenly coated with a thin layer of the gumpaste, removing any excess paste from either end as you go. Leave one end of the cocktail stick with the point showing (this will be the end that goes into the umbrella). Leave to harden. PRO TIP: If you find the rolling difficult, try rolling on a foam mat - it's much easier!
STEP 5: Dusts for the Rainbow
A: The marks you can see on the umbrella in this pic are what you get if you use an octagonal bunting cutter to mark the segments as mentioned above. Use whichever method you prefer.
B: I found deeper colours worked better for creating the fade but use whatever colours / brands you prefer.
For my umbrella, I used the following:
Rainbow Dust: Cherry Pie & Navy Blue
Sugarflair: Sunset Orange, Lemon Yellow, Emerald & Peacock
Edible Art: Peony Rose
Magic Colours: Deep Purple
STEP 6: Shade the Umbrella
A: Using a soft bristle brush, colour each segment starting at the bottom, so the dust catches most around the bottom curves of the umbrella. Don't try to colour in the shape, just gently sweep upwards from the base - this will give you the fade effect
B: Continue adding each colour, one at a time until you have created the rainbow.
STEP 7: Create the Spokes
A: To make the umbrella spokes, roll out some gum paste in your chosen colour 1-2mm thick. Use a small circle cutter to cut 8 circles (this will ensure that each spoke is roughly the same size). For my umbrella I used a cutter that was 1.5cm.
B: Roll each circle into a cone and then into a long teardrop shape. The spokes need to be long enough to reach from the centre of the umbrella to just past the point at the base.
STEP 8: Attach the Spokes
A: Using a small paint brush, apply a tiny amount of water to the umbrella to attach the spokes. Gently squeeze the thicker end of each spoke between thumb and forefinger and apply a little pressure to make sure is attached securely to the umbrella.
PRO TIP: Make sure you keep the water line very thin as it will remove the dust when you apply it. By keeping the line thin you can ensure that the spokes will cover any mark the water leaves.
B: Work around the umbrella until you have attached all the spokes. If you have covered up the hole you made earlier - make sure to re-poke, so you avoid damaging the spokes when you insert the umbrella handle.
STEP 9: Create the Handle
A: Roll out a small piece of gum paste - approx 3.5cm x 0.5cm