Monday, 21 September 2009

Patchwork Cutters

Today I used my butterfly patchwork cutters to make a 3D relief. Previously I had only used cutters to emboss fondant, and I was surprised at the range of effects these tools can make. Here's a brief tutorial on how I made my butterfly:

1. Press the cutter into sugar paste where you would like the 3D relief to go, to make a soft embossed design. Lift the cutter away using the handle to prevent fingermarks.

2. Roll out coloured Mexican paste (50% sugar paste, 50% flower paste) very, thinly on a non stick surface using a non-stick rolling pin. To aid in the release of your cutter, rub a bit of white fat (e.g. Trex) on to the cutting edges.

3. Press the cutter firmly into the mexican paste and lift up.

4. To remove the paste from the cutter, use a cocktail stick and/or gently tap the sides of the cutter. Peel away excess paste and use tweezers to remove any small unwanted pieces.

5. Stick pieces of paste into place on the embossed design in the fondant, by moistening the area with water.

6. Repeat the process until all the embossed sections that you wish to cover have sugar paste on them.

7. To make the picture 3D, build up certain parts with multiple layers of paste; sticking the layers on top of each other with a little bit of water. For my butterfly, I made parts of the wings and the body higher than the other sections by using 3 layers of paste.

8. Once the paste is dry, use paints or luster dusts if desired.

There are all sorts of different patchwork cutters available. Patchwork Cutters has a full range of cutters to choose from for all occasions.

Happy decorating!


  1. I love this design concept///I live in Canada,Edmonton,Alberta and have two questions:
    1] what is Mexican paste (50% sugar paste, 50% flower paste) meaning what is the 'sugar paste' and what is the flower paste?? and, LOL..guess I have more than two questions...where is the closest area I could buy the cutters..other than Calgary, Alberta

  2. Hi Reets05,

    I think in Canada you may call sugarpaste 'fondant' and flowerpaste 'gumpaste'. Mexican Paste is a soft fondant type paste ideal for cutting out shapes and modelling. It is very easy to make as it is basically icing with Gum Tragacanth.


    8 oz (226 grams) Sifted Icing Sugar
    3 x 5ml teaspoons Gum Tragacanth
    6 x 5ml teaspoons Cold Water

    To Make

    Stir the gum Tragacanth into the sifted icing sugar and add the cold water. Stir well until most of the icing sugar is incorporated. At this point it is best to just get your hands in and keep kneading until you have one lump of icing. Once you have reached this point, keep kneading until you have a smooth ball of Mexican Paste. It does take a little time and may seem impossible to incorporate all the dry icing sugar, but do not despair and do not be tempted to add more water as it will eventually become smooth.

    Wrap the Mexican paste up in cling film and seal in an air tight bag for 24 hours before use.

    I had a quick look online and this store in Canada sells a variety of fondants and modelling pastes:

    Good luck!

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