For all those budding cake decorators like me scouring the net, here is a little ‘How to do a handbag’ my way….or at least how I did it. Hope it will be helpful or at least give you the confidence to try it or something similar :-).
This tutorial can also be found on my Blog:
1) Decide and Design
This is the most important bit, After deciding on the bag I was going to make, printed out pictures of it and used Parchment paper/baking paper to draw the side and top views, the joins and the handle so that I can use it to carve the cake and cut out the Fondant pieces
2) Materials Used
Rolling pin, and Board, Textured sheet
Ball and Dresden, pin Tool, ridged wheel
Square and Rectangle Cutters
Water and paint brush
Flower wire (I used #20 for the handle)
Colour Paste, Luster Dust, Petal Dust
Home-made Handle Dryer (Tissue Roll + Rectangular box + Cling Wrap)
Parchment / baking paper
Buckles , Lock, and Logo : used pastillage for the buckles and gumpaste for the logo and Lock. Square and Rectangle cutters and craft knife were used to cut out the shapes then dresden, ball, pin tools to carve out the letters. Painted with gold luster dust + copper colour paste
Handles: Always.. always make extra. I was short of time and I made only two and I was very lucky to get away with it. Word of warning with the handle… be very careful but do it quite quickly since the gumpaste /fondant will dry fast and cracks might appear
Roll out 50/50 fondant and gumpaste , emboss or texture using texture sheet or rolling pin and cut two straight pieces (Top & bottom) using the already cut parchment/baking paper as a guide for length and width. Get the bottom piece of the handle and work out where the buckle is going to sit.
Now push the wire through the fondant strip just above where the buckle will sit ( as shown in the 2nd pic, make sure you don’t bend the wire) . Do the same thing for the other side so the end bits of the wire can be seen( This is what is going to go into the cake). Now stick the already cut top piece to the bottom piece with the ends of the flower wire visible as shown using tiny amount of water. Stamp out two holes on each side below where the buckle should be.
You can thread though the buckles now or after the wire is bent and put on the home-made handle holder to get the conical shape that I wanted. Be very careful when doing this otherwise the ends might come off in your hands. To bend the wire, hold the end of the wire and bend ( don’t press on the fondant/gumpaste) also bend the wire near where the buckles will be slightly so that exposed wire is partially vertical when going into the cake. ( if there is an easier way please let me know)
4) Baking , Carving and the final bits and pieces
Carved out the shape using the already cut parchment/ baking paper (also checked the handles against the cake to make sure that they can be put on easily and also made allowance for the cake to be slightly larger with the fondant on). Layered it and crumb coated it using buttercream. Sorry I didn’t get enough pictures for this stage of the cake.
Then covered it with one piece of fondant ( Pink) so that it is easier to work with when I am sticking on the smaller pieces ( I know it is too much fondant, maybe when I am more confident, I will use just one layer).
After this I used mint green fondant and rolled it out and embossed and used the already cut parchment/ baking paper to cut out the shapes to stick it on ( Cut out slightly larger pieces to fold and crease it to make it look like a bag). Used the Ridged wheel to create the stitching effect.
Pushed through two straws on each side where the handle flower wire would go and cut it to size. Carefully put the handle on and made sure that it will not be moving around much. Put the rest of the accents on. If the wire shows through used the dresden tool and water to stick on small embossed pieces to cover it.
5) Finally My First hand Bag!!!( I didn’t have enough time to tint it to create the used and glossy effect). Hopefully my tutorial was helpful and descriptive enough for everybody to follow.