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  Home :: techniques & tips :: Beginners Guide to Modelling Tools

Beginners Guide to Modelling Tools

Modelling tools can be bought singly or in kits (such as the PME Modelling Tool Set of 8) and are used to shape, frill or soften surfaces such as sugarpaste, flower paste, modelling paste and marzipan. They can be used for modelling leaves, petals and various other figures. With so many tools on the market it can be daunting for a novice cake decorator to know where they should invest their money. This guide will explain the uses and benefits of essential modelling tools.

Ball Tool

A ball tool is one of the most essential pieces for any cake decorator’s kit. It is a long plastic stick with rounded ends. It looks like a bone and is used to soften and shape sugarpaste petals. A ball tool works best used in conjunction with a foam pad.  Roll out the sugarpaste or flower paste and place it on to the foam pad and then use the ball tool to soften the edges. This will prevent your sugarpaste/flower paste from tearing.

Dresden Tool

The Dresden tool (also referred to as the Flower/Leaf Shaper Tool) is used to shape sugarpaste/ flower paste flowers and leafs. Use the back of the tool to smooth and flute the paste. This tool also creates wide shaped veining on leaves and flowers.

Shell and Blade Tool

The shell and blade tool creates embossed shell patterns on sugarpaste, marzipan and flower paste. The shell part of the tool is also useful when making feet of sugarpaste animals. The tool also has a blade at one end which is useful for cutting and trimming sugarpaste and prevents marks to your work surface.

Scallop and Comb Tool

This tool is essential for any budding cake decorator looking to make model animals or people. This tool creates features such as smiling or frowning mouths, eyebrows and ears. The comb end is great for marking and embossing and can create small details such as stitching on clothing or markings for hair.

Serrated and Tapered Modelling Tool

If making fruits or tubular flowers, the serrated and tapered modelling tool will be a welcome addition to your cake decorating kit. This modelling tool features a tapered cone on one end and a serrated cone on the other. The serrated end can be used to model fruits and indent and emboss sugarpaste or marzipan to create a cone (such as an apple).  The serrated cone can be used to emboss star patterns or to mark divisions in tubular flowers.

Bulbulous Cone Tool

An extremely versatile tool that can be used with sugarpaste, marzipan and flower paste. This tool can be used to hollow a variety of shapes, such as marzipan figures. It can also be used as a frilling tool and can create Garrett frills for special occasion cakes. Simply place the side of the cone onto the edge of the paste gently and roll the tool backwards and forwards to shape and frill.

Taper Cones 5/6 star Modelling Tool

This modelling tool can be used as a simple star embosser or be used to create both 5 and 6 section tapered cones - great for creating petal dividers for centres of sugar flowers.  It ensures even petals every time. This tool can also be used for creating texture and detail on sugarpaste and marzipan models.