I found a fabulous way to cover dummy cakes while surfing. I can’t give credit, I don’t know who said it but I’ve seen it before. I went to the hardware store and bought a bucket of Dap Fast ‘n Final® Lightweight Spackling (RTU). It has the same consistency of fluffy frosting. It goes on just like icing and you can wait a few minutes and smooth it just like you do a regular cake. That doesn’t take care of the fondant practice, but it will cover a cake for a lot cheaper. I bought a gallon bucket for $17 or so and it is enough to cover about 10 8" cakes. It doesn’t yellow like royal icing and will keep indefinitely. Just make sure you wash your spatula outside or wipe it clean before you wash it in the house. You might even consider buying another spatula just for spackle if you’re going to be using it a lot. As for practicing fondant, you can ice the cake with the spackle (and also use it to “glue” your fondant decorations on with) and save the fondant for the decorations. I’d just buy a package of fondant and make decorations then after critiquing yourself, smash it back up and use it over and over. It’s tough to re-use fondant on a dummy cake since you’ll have little pieces of styrofoam or whatever it’s made of all in your fondant, but you could always cover a cake pan for practice and re-use the fondant. Granted it’s not exactly the same as a cake, but it will give you an idea what you need to work on as far as thickness of coverage, wrinkling and buckling and smoothing the edges near the bottom. VCustomCakes had a good idea when she said make some MMF for practice. Good luck :)
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