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Make-a-Cake Series: Borders
September 28, 2010 - By Ashley Johnston 27 Comments
I have had a few of you ask me about how to go about putting a border on the bottom of you cake.
I thought it might be fun to go over the most popular boarders and how you can do then yourself.
This is the last thing I do on a cake but it’s an opportunity to add detail and charm.
I have three different medias I use for borders:
The fastest and easiest border to use is ribbon.
It’s not an edible border but it’s pretty and very clean looking.
Wrap the ribbon around the bottom of the cake and attach in the back with a little bit of water on the fondant.
That’s it. You can use many widths, styles, and colors of ribbon to really add some great detail.
The border that I would call my “go to” border is this first one.
I pipe buttercream dots around the cake for a border.
I use a larger round tip to do this. Usually a #5 or #6 tip. The only trick is getting the color to match when you need it to. But then again it doesn’t need to match…it can contrast or compliment the colors too.
I hold my piping tip straight onto the cake while piping.
When I have a more delicate or elegant cake, like a wedding cake, I use this same concept but cleaned up.
I use a smaller tip, #3 or #4. Then while piping, I tilt my hand 45 degrees to the right and pipe.
(or to the left if you’re let handed.)
This will take the tip from being perpendicular to the cake to being more parallel.
The only other border I pipe with buttercream is grass.
When I want a literal grass look, I use tip #233.
When I just want a grassy or thicker foliage feel, I use the triple star tip
Fondant borders are a great way to finish your cake and use up some of your left over fondant.
Roll out your extra fondant and using a ruler, make long strips of fondant.
Attach then to the base of the cake with a little water.
**This cake is an example of when the border was not the last thing i put on the cake….the border was second to last.**
This is one of my favorite borders because it can add color and variety, as well as a little whimsy.
It is done pretty much how it looks. Roll up fondant balls, all the same size, and attach with water.
This wedding had pearls in the theme, so we took the balls after they were formed but not attached, and rolled then in white luster dust to give them a pearl sheen. (Look for luster dust at Michael’s or online.)
**I actually use an extruder to produce nice even ropes for my borders.
It keeps things clean and consistent.**
Fondant rope has lots of options.
It can stand alone…
Or you can use a small cookie cutter to add detail before you attach it.
This one was a small flower that I just lightly pressed into the rolled fondant.
Make sure to not press too hard, losing the shape of the rolled fondant border.
I used several of my gumpaste tools to make these details.
Changing up the imprints for each tier added some great detail.
I used my pink tool for the top tier, my yellow for the middle and a small circle cutter for the bottom tier.
Just twist two ropes together to add more color.
While using my extruder to produce ropes, I realized that if my fondant was too cold while pushing it through the extruder, it cracked a bit.
That was the perfect effect for this cake.
The cracked ropes of fondant rope produced a rope-like effect that I loved.
Any shape repeated, can make a great border.
I made these buttons by cutting out circles with a small circle cutter. Then I took a small piping tip (#2 or #3) and made two button holes in the center. Nice and easy……with such a cute look.
One final technique…
I have one more to show you that didn’t fit into any of the categories above. But I really like this one!
So many edible medias can look like sand or dirt. This one works for me.
2 parts crushed honey graham crackers
1 part crushed cinnamon graham crackers
1/2 part crushed chocolate graham crackers.
Mix them all together.
I love the dirt look it gives.
Just spread a thin layer of buttercream where you want the dirt to go and then sprinkle your mixture over the wet buttercream so it will stick. That’s it.
Borders are a choice.
Sometimes your fondant looks so perfect you don’t want to cover it up with anything!
Ha Ha…..But that’s not me, I still need borders!
And I enjoy what they add to my cakes.
Let me know if you have any questions…….and go have fun with it. (And then send a picture, or add a photo to the flickr group here. I love seeing what you’re making.)