I made this polymer clay wedding cake replica to go in a wedding shadow box that I will make…eventually. We loved our cake and this is the perfect way to show it off.
Your cake will be different from mine but it should have many of the same steps. You may need to get creative with the decorations for your cake. If you had things on your cake that you don’t think you can make out of clay, try to find other ways to replicate it. For instance, if you had flowers on your cake you may be able to find similar small artificial flowers. These could be glued to the clay cake after it has baked and cooled.
I don’t normally paint clay but I could not have done this cake with out it. The baker actually air brushed the original cake so I don’t feel too bad that I didn’t even try to replicate it in clay.
- Polymer Clay
- Paint Brushes
- Needle Tool
- Clay Tile
- Alcohol Wipes
- Basic Polymer Clay Tools
Start with a picture of your wedding cake. I printed a picture from my computer and you can tell in the finished product. The color was way off. This doesn’t bother me but if it will bother you then you should have the picture printed.
Mold the Clay
Condition the clay you will use for the tiers of your cake. The brand isn’t super important, use your favorite. I used FIMO Soft. Half of my cake was white and the other half was painted blue so I only used 1 color. White clay is really easy to condition, just roll it around in your hands until you can work with it easily.
You will need to make discs of clay for each of the tiers of your cake. Roll a chunk of clay into a ball, then flatten it a little on both sides. You can then flip it on its side and roll it back and forth to smooth the sides of the disc.
Make consecutively smaller tiers that match your wedding cake. My wedding cake had 4 tiers so I made 4 tiers that were roughly similar to the original. The top tier of my cake is a little bigger than a nickle.
If you are making an ornament then you will need to attach a hanger of some sort. I would suggest using an eye pin from the jewelry section on your craft store. I would put the pin through the top tier (and possibly the second depending on the length) then lift the second tier away from the third and bend the eye pin before putting them back together. You will need to do some reshaping after all of that so you should do it before adding detail.
My cake had frosting draped down the side to hide where the two side of the cake met. To replicate this I rolled white clay out with a plastic rolling pin until it was fairly thin (1/16 in). I made it long enough to go up one side of the cake and back down the other side. Putting 2 pieces together would never have looked as good as 1 piece did.
I draped the clay over the cake, making sure to press it into each tier. Then I used a tool to press 2 lines into it. I didn’t like the lines drawn with a needle tool so I used a plastic tool that is wider. It gave my “frosting” a softer curve rather then looking like a dent. No one wants dented frosting.
Next, you’ll create the detail in the cake. The clay should stick to the tile fairly well. If you don’t get too crazy with it you should be able to pick the tile up to work on the cake.
Each tier of my wedding cake had a different design, some of them easier to recreate than others. I started with the diamonds on the bottom tier. These were fairly easy. Just create lines with your needle tool going one direction then go the other direction.
I then skipped a tier and went to the second tier from the top. This tier had a pattern drawn in frosting on top of the smooth layer of buttercream. Though this could be done with clay it would be really hard and I don’t think it would ever look great. Instead, I carved the design into the clay. The design is a loose interpretation of the original design.
The top layer was smooth so I left it alone and moved on to third tier. I knew the dots would be easy but I didn’t want to accidentally bump them while working on one of the other tiers so I left it for last. To make the dots I experimented with a few different size dots. Pick the size that looks best and make a whole lot more.
That was my last tier so it’s ready to bake. Be careful what you bake with your cake if you are adding decorations. Plastic cannot be baked and wood or paper can burn if they are open to the air in the oven (inside the clay wood does fine if you used a tooth pick).
If you had ribbon on your cake you could make them out of clay. I painted mine but that wasn’t as easy as it looked and they don’t stand out. If you ribbon was more prominent on your wedding cake you may want to try making them out of clay.
Before you bake the cake you may want to clean it. White clay attracts dust, other clay, and in my case… cat fur. Use an alcohol wipe to wipe your project off. This doesn’t always catch everything but it does a pretty good job.
You can then bake the cake according to the instruction for your specific clay. I baked mine for an hour and 30 mins at 275°. The white clay did darken a little though not much. I watched it like a hawk to make sure it wasn’t burning. I have only burnt clay once but now I’m paranoid. The day I burned the clay I had the oven way too hot because it had already been on and I wasn’t paying attention.
Now you can add the finishing touches to your cake, start with paint if you will need to paint anything. My wedding cake had an entire side that was airbrushed so I did a lot of painting for my clay cake. Your cake may not have any painting but you may need to add ribbon or flowers.
I used acrylic paint to create the silver ribbon on the white side and blue tiers on the other. Glitter paint did not work well. The glitter was too big for my tiny replica so I used silver paint. The blue tiers get lighter as you go up the cake though the ombre look didn’t photograph well.
I then painted the red ribbon, black cityscape, and yellow windows on the blue side of the cake. It took me a few weeks to get the courage to try the Superman Logo. I was afraid I would screw it up. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. I did keep water close so I could wipe away little mistakes. I am not a painter so this was a little out of my comfort zone.
You now have a 3D replica of your wedding cake. I think this will be the perfect addition to my shadow box if I ever get around to putting it together. Every cake will have different challenges, how did you make yours?
I would love to see how your project turns out. Post your pictures to Instagram or Twitter #boutsofspontaneouscrafting.com