Picture this: It's time for the last course at your dinner party, and you bring out your stunning dessert centerpiece ... a shoe! Not a regular shoe (gross!), but a sleek, chic, perfectly sculpted pump made out of gum paste. Everyone gawks.
Did you make that yourself? Yup, sure did.
Gum-paste shoes are a definite showstopper ( learn how to make gum paste heels here! ), and they're not nearly as hard to make as they look. You can choose from all kinds of molds and techniques; here's a simple one that works.
What You Need
- Shoe template: You'll find many out there; just do an Internet search for “gum-paste shoe template." (Here's an example by Boonenati .)
- Gum paste: Follow a basic gum-paste recipe (you'll need egg whites, confectioner's sugar, vegetable shortening and Tylose powder — available online or in cake supply shops). Or try one of the many brands of gum paste available at craft and specialty cake-supply stores.
- A roller
- An overturned stack of unused cupcake cups
- A gum-paste mat
- Sharp knife or X-acto knife for cutting fondant
- Stitching tool to make stitching marks
- Other decorations or accessories
1. Make the Heel
Take a small piece of gum paste and roll it into a short, snake-like shape. Be sure it's flat on the bottom and a bit tapered on the top. This is your high heel: It should be as tall as you want your shoe to be.
It's a good idea to stack up your cupcake cups to the height you want your heel to hit, and compare the heel you just made so you're sure it's the right size.
Let the heels dry overnight (while your shoe is drying). If possible, let them dry for at least 24 hours.
Note: There are many ways to dry your heels. You can turn them over a bowl or a stack of cupcake cups set at the right height. If you have a different method, go for it.
2. Make the Shoe
First, make the sole. You want to roll out the sole a little thicker than you'd normally roll out gum paste — at least ¼-inch thick.
Next, place the template onto the gum paste, and cut around it using a sharp knife or X-acto knife. Once you've cut out the sole shape, pick it up and soften the outside edge to even out any sharp cuts.
Now, lay the sole of the shoe down, lifting up the heel part so it rests on top of the baking cups, or whichever form you chose for the height.
3. Create the Liner
Roll out the gum paste much thinner to make the liner. Then cut it out following the same steps as above.
After that, use a stitching tool to make marks around the outside of the liner, so that it looks like it's stitched to the sole of the shoe.
Lay the liner on top of the sole, leaving an equal space around the heel of the shoe.
4. Make the Top
Roll out your gum paste so it's about as thick as the liner. Again, cut around the template and soften the edges.
Then, using lemon extract or your favorite method of gluing gum paste together, brush the outside edge of the toe of the shoe. This will get it ready to apply to the top of the shoe.
Gently apply the top of the shoe to the sole, by matching up the top edges of both pieces.
By now, the gum paste may be stiff enough to stand alone and not even need interior support. If your shoe still needs support, you can stuff plastic wrap or cotton inside to help it hold its shape while drying.
Let the shoe dry overnight, or preferably for 24 hours, before attaching the heel.
To attach the heel, it's best to use royal icing or make a gum-paste glue, which you can do by adding a little bit of gum paste to a small amount of water and letting it dissolve. It'll turn into a sticky mess — perfect for brushing onto the bottom of the sole and attaching the heel.
Once your shoe is dry, it's time to make it pretty. You can add a simple bow, or let your imagination run wild. You may be inspired to learn how to make sugar flowers or a gum-paste bow to decorate your shoe.
Once you've got the hang of making the shoes, don't be surprised if you can't stop — and end up making gum paste handbags and dresses to go with them!