Gumpaste Shoe How-To: Tips and Template

(Update July 17/2013: Sugar Delites now sells a high heel shoe kit, which includes a heel mold, cutter, drying form/ramp, etc. Click here and scroll down for an excellent gumpaste shoe tutorial by Iris Rezoagli on the Sugar Delites Newsletter, using this kit.

I also suggest the Pink Cake Box gumpaste shoe video tutorial. More gumpaste shoe tutorials are available at Cake Fu.

Below are tips to create a shoe without the kit.)

I recently got a great email question regarding how to make the Manolo Sedarby D’orsay gumpaste shoe:

  • To make the template, I found a real shoe at home that had the same shape used it to make the template. I exaggerated the shape to look curvier. Here are photos of the actual shoe templates made (click for full size):

Gumpaste Shoe Template

Gumpaste Shoe Template

  • To make the form that the shoe sits on, I hand-sculpted a form out of modeling clay and covered it in saran wrap. This way, I got a nice exaggerated curve.  I was particular about the curve of the form… if you look closely, you can see how it gradually curves out at the bottom. You can use anything for a form, but this is just what I had on hand. (Update Oct 17/2011: I’ve made a better shoe form out of foam core. See my new gumpaste shoe form here.)

  • To make the stitching, the Wilton Gumpaste tool kit has a great stitching tool.
  • To shape the top of the shoe, I used a ball of saran wrap lightly pressed into the shape that I needed. Similar to the shape of that wad of tissue you sometimes get in a pair of new shoes.
  • For the the brooch, I used circle cutters to make a flat wheel shape out of grey coloured gumpaste. I bent the wheel shape a bit to make an oval, brushed on some clear piping gel and stuck small silver beads on. It was hard to get the beads to look even, and had to use tweezers in some spots.
  • For the silver colour, I airbrushed it using edible silver food colouring. You can get the same effect by painting in thin layers using a mixture of edible silver lustre powder and alcohol.
  • The heel is done using the method shown in the video. See the 4:45 mark for details.

32 thoughts on “Gumpaste Shoe How-To: Tips and Template

  1. Your shoe is awesome! How did u get the pleating effect on the front part? Did u just make an indentation or did u pleat it? Thanks!

    • Roochyroo – Thanks for the comment! The pleated look is created using indentations. In this case, I used a gum paste knife tool to press the indentations in.

      • Oh, it’s beautiful! I would allso like to know how you made the heel and if it’s flat at the top?

  2. Hi,
    Your shoe is fabulous! The details are amazing. My sister thinks its a real Manolo!
    Could you please tell me how you did the heel in that shape.

  3. your work look so nice !i love love love it! thank you for sharing. i will have to make a pair today. will use your template to make it.

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    • Clicking on the image should produce the full size image. If that doesn’t work for you for printing purposes, try changing the settings on your printing preferences to enlarge the image. Hope that helps! -Rose

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  6. Hi Rose,
    I’m new at these kind of cakes. When I saw your wonderful Manolo Blahnik I decided to make one too.
    I read all your tips, took one million looks into your pictures, saw some tutorials … and I made it. And, incredible, I did succeed!
    Thanks so much for sharing your work and knowledge.
    Thanks to you I got into this new world of cakes 🙂

  7. Incredible I cannot believe how real it looks.The best I have seen. How did you do the amazing lettering on the box? Such detail !!!

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  9. Hi Rose My question is If I wanted a full toe shoe would you combine the shoe top and toe lining or just extend the top to the shape you wanted to achieve? I love your shoe its perfect!

    • Hello Favour,

      Thank you for your questions. The heel is formed using the same method in the video link – it is sculpted in modelling chocolate, then covered in gumpaste.

      Hope that helps,

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  11. Hi, wow that’s amazing, great job.
    please can you help me as I have made my own one to look like this but unfortunately now its dried- where the top part of the shoe levels out to join the heel, it has cracked badly all the way across and now I have to start all over again. Please can you tell me what I may have done wrong? and how can I avoid it happening again?? I used gum trag in my fondant to create gumpaste, did I not use enough?? I would greatly appreciate any advice as im making this for my mum’s birthday which is now rapidly approaching.

    • Hello Jamie,

      Thank you for your question. One possible reason cracking can happen is if you try to move the shoe before it is completely dry. The second possible reason is like you say- from the fondant/gum trag mix. Not enough gum tragacanth will result in weakness. I prefer to use a gumpaste recipe, which usually contains less fat and moisture than fondant.

      To fix the crack, you may be able to take things apart carefully and attach it back together using white coating chocolate(candy melts), which sets immediately. I also like to use a skewer inside the heel for additional support.

      Hope that helps!

      • Hi Rose, Thank you for getting back to me and thanks for your help. How long do you think I would need for the shoe to dry completely before I remove the supports for it??

      • Hi Jamie, I usually let the shoe dry for about a week or two weeks before removing the support. It depends on how humid your climate is, and if you or using straight gumpaste or not.

        Hope that helps,

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