Looking for baby shower decorating ideas I knew I just had to try these adorable gumpaste baby shoes for my daughter’s baby shower. I found the converse baby shoe template online at cakecentral.com along with a tutorial. I followed the cake central tutorial but also discovered some tips along the way that I will pass on to you. This was my first attempt at making gumpaste converse baby shoes, therefore they may not have come out entirely perfect, but they are certainly adorable and my daughter loved them!
The baby shower theme colors were pink and gold. Pink is a fairly easy color to achieve in gumpaste, but I was doubtful about obtaining a nice gold color. So I settled on making yellow gumpaste and then brushing the cutout pieces with gold luster dust, along with an extra shoe decoration brushed with edible gold glitter, and they turned out wonderful.
To make the quilting pattern along the shoe edges I bought a quilt-stencil wheel at Joann Fabrics. I also used a small flower rose stick (normally used to make buttercream roses) that had the perfect circumference to make the shoelace holes. I think you could also use a small straw to make the holes. I used gumpaste instead of fondant, since gumpaste has a firmer texture and dries to a harder consistency.
General Gumpaste Tips:
- Gumpaste dries out quickly; always keep unused pieces covered in plastic or in a plastic bag. After rolling and cutting out a template piece, immediately place the gumpaste scraps in the plastic to keep them from drying out and so that you can re-roll the scraps.
- Use a very light coating of cornstarch on your rolling surface to keep the gumpaste from sticking.
- Before rolling gumpaste, knead until soft and pliable, roll into a ball, then roll out on a smooth hard surface that won’t be damaged from cutting such as a marble pastry board.
- After cutting each gumpaste shoe piece, lightly smooth the edges with your finger.
Gumpaste Baby Shoes
Before starting the shoes I completed the following:
- Template: I printed the templates and then traced the template pieces onto heavy plastic that I had leftover from making quilting templates, and then cut out the template pieces. I increased the size of the template pieces to 125% of the original size. A copy of the template is provided below.
- Gumpaste: I made my own gumpaste using Wilton GumTex, following the recipe shown on the Gum Tex can. I made both pink and yellow shoes, therefore I tinted about 1/3 of the gumpaste pink, 1/3 yellow, and left the remaining 1/3 white.
- Gumpaste Glue: I made gumpaste glue by mixing 1 tablespoon meringue powder with 1 tablespoon water.
Supplies I used:
cut-out template pieces
marble pastry board
small artist paintbrush
sharp x-acto knife
Fondant Rolling Pin
rose stick (for making buttercream roses)
Small quilting ruler
- Roll a piece of white gumpaste about 1/8th inch thick. Cut out the soles using template piece #3. Cut an equal number of left and right soles. Tip: I used white gumpaste for the soles as I preferred a white sole instead of using the tinted gumpaste. I also cut the soles a bit thicker than the rest of the pieces, approximately 1/8th inch thick, to provide a stronger base for the shoe. I pre-cut the number of soles for the number of shoes I was planning on making and let these sit about 1 hour to harden.
- Make a small ball from the white or tinted gumpaste and place in the “toe” area to support the next piece.
- Roll a small piece of tinted gumpaste slightly thicker than 1/16th inch thick, and cut out template piece #2. Tip: I found cutting this piece a bit thicker, a little over 1/16th inch worked well and helped the piece stand up on its own.
- Lightly brush around the outside edge on top of the sole in the toe area with gumpaste glue, and then attach piece #2 over the ball of gumpaste, pushing the corners in a bit to leave room for the next piece.
- Roll a small piece of tinted gumpaste about 1/16th inch thick, and cut out template piece #1. Make a stitched pattern around the outside edge of piece #1 using a quilting wheel (or toothpick). Create 6 holes, 3 on each side, on the edge for the shoelace holes. Tip: I used a rose stick to make the holes.
- Lightly brush around the outside edge on top of the sole in the heel and sides area with gumpaste glue.
- Attach piece #1 to the back part of the shoe, it should just slightly overlap piece #2 on both sides.
- Roll a small piece of white gumpaste just slightly thinner than 1/16th inch thick, and cut out template piece #4.
- Lightly brush the front of the shoe with gumpaste glue, and attach piece #4. Trim off any excess around the bottom edge with a sharp knife.
- Roll a small piece of white gumpaste about 1/16th inch thick, and cut out template pieces #5 and #6. Make a stitched pattern around the outside edge of piece #5 using a quilting wheel (or toothpick). Make a ribbed pattern along piece #6. Tip: I used the dull edge of a knife to make the ribbing.
- Lightly brush the bottom outside edge of the shoe all the way around, and attach piece #6 around the bottom edge of the shoe, bringing the ends together at the back of the shoe.
- Lightly brush the inside and outside of the back of the shoe, and attach piece #5 to create the back strap.
- Follow steps 2-12 again for the other shoe using the opposite #3 template so that you end up with a right and left shoe.
- Shoelaces: To make the shoelaces, roll a piece of white gumpaste thin, less than 1/16th inch thick and cut into narrow strips. Place the shoelaces on the shoe as desired, using the rose stick to gently “push” the shoelaces into the shoelace holes. Tip: I found it was easiest to add the shoelaces after the shoes had a chance to dry and harden. Loosely cover the shoes with a paper towel and let set overnight before adding the shoelaces.
- Optional: there are many embellishments you could add to the shoes. I “painted” luster dust onto the tinted pieces before attaching to the shoes for a pretty and sparkly look. I also used small cookie cutters to cut a circle and heart to place as an extra decoration. I brushed the heart with edible glitter.
- When the shoes are completely finished, cover loosely with a paper towel and let set overnight or until ready to use.
- Storing: When completely dry, the shoes will keep almost indefinitely as long as they don’t come into contact with moisture. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature. Tip: set the shoes on paper toweling inside the container to absorb any moisture that may occur.