Mermaid Sugarpaste Model

Hone your sugarpaste modelling skills with this fabulous colourful mermaid - the perfect cake decoration for your under the sea cake projects!

by Marie McGrath 

This project originally featured in the August 2021 edition of Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft! 

Need to create a cake to home your mermaid? Why not make this coordinating Under the sea mermaid cake! 

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You will need

Edibles

  • White sugarpaste coloured with white, black, various shades of grey, lilac, peach, light blue, lemon, pink, orange
  • Tylo powder or CMC powder
  • Edible glue

Equipment

  • Large ball tool
  • Dresden tool
  • Mouth tool
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rolling pin
  • Cocktail sticks/bamboo kebab stick
  • Blossom plunger cutter
  • Knife

Instructions

1
Firstly, mix the sugarpaste with some Tylo or CMC powder so the weight of the model doesn’t sink as it is drying, and it keeps its shape. Colour the paste you need. Roll thin sausages of white, black and the various shades of grey.

Make the rocks

1
Twist them together and roll them into a sausage.
2
Twist, fold and repeat until the colours start to marble together. Take care not to take it too far as the colours will blend too much.
3
Break off pieces of the sugarpaste and roll into balls. Use your fingers or a large ball tool to push them into different shapes so they are not completely round. Cluster them together to form a base for the mermaid to rest on and stick them together.

Make the tail

1
Roll a fat sausage of lilac sugarpaste and use the edge of your little finger to roll an indent in the paste about 2/3 of the way along.
2
Flatten the shorter end and cut a slit in the middle of the flattened end with a sharp knife. Shape each side of the cut shape so it looks like a fish tail.
3
Use a Dresden tool to mark lines down each side of the fish tail and then use a mouth tool to mark a scale pattern along and around the larger side of the lilac piece of sugarpaste. Stagger the scale pattern so the indents are not immediately below one another.
4
Using the end of a rolling pin, your fingers or a ball tool to make a hollow in the end of the tail. Sit the tail on the rocks in the position shown in the picture. Secure it in place with edible glue and a cocktail or bamboo stick. This will help it stay upright and provide some support whilst it is drying. If you have pressed the pattern you made whilst positioning it you can remake them at this point, and make sure the pattern goes all the way around the back of the tail.

Make the body

1
For the mermaid’s body, roll a sausage of peach paste. Roll one end so it is thinner as this will fit inside the tail and make the other end shaped into shoulders and a neck.
2
Add glue inside the hollow of the tail and fit the body onto the cocktail or bamboo stick, making sure the body fits inside the hollow of the tail. Gently bring the tail around the body so there are no gaps.
3
To make the shell bra, roll two teardrop shapes on blue sugarpaste and flatten them slightly. Draw line details on each flattened teardrop with a Dresden tool, then use the tool to indent into the edge of the shell where the lines end.
4
Stick them onto the front of the body. Make extras of these shells for later on (I made one in blue and two in yellow).

Make the arms

1
Roll two thin sausages of peach sugarpaste. Check the length you need against the body to make sure they are not too short or too long. Roll them slightly in the middle using the edge of your little finger to mark the elbow. Bend them at this point and gently pinch the outer edge of the elbow. Mark two lines on the inside of the elbow with the Dresden tool for creases. Flatten the hand end slightly and cut in a thumb, remembering to make the mark on opposing sides for each hand. Use your finger and thumb to very gently roll the thumb to smooth off any sharp edges and pat round the edge of the ‘fingers’ with the pad of your finger to smooth this off too.
2
Stick the arms to the body of the mermaid using edible glue.

Make the head

1
Roll a smooth ball of peach sugarpaste. Rock one side of the ball back and forth to create a pear shape. Stick this on the neck with the larger side of the head at the bottom. If you are using a bamboo stick this might already be in place to use as support - if it is, make sure you cut it down to an appropriate size so the stick does not come out of the top of her head! If you are not using a bamboo stick you can use a second cocktail stick to hold the head on to the body to support the model as it is drying and keep the head in place. To make the ears roll two small balls of peach sugarpaste and paint some glue to the sides of the head. Using the wrong end of a paintbrush or a small ball tool stick this into the ball at one side and stick this on to the side of the head, pushing the brush/ball tool gently into the side of the head to adhere the ear to the head. Roll a small ball to make a nose and stick this on to the face. Use a mouth tool (I use a silicone clay tool) to make a mouth for the mermaid.
2
To make the eyes, roll two tiny balls of white sugarpaste and roll them slightly into fat sausages. Stick them into place for the eyes. Roll two smaller balls of black sugarpaste and stick these onto the bottom of the white pieces of sugarpaste. Then roll two really tiny balls of white sugarpaste and stick these to the top right-hand side of the mermaid as you look at her. Keep them at the edge of the black to look like this is where the light is catching rather than in the middle, as this can make your model look startled.

Make the hair

1
Using lemon sugarpaste, roll two tiny sausages that are tapered at one end. Curve these and stick them over the top of the eyes for eyebrows, with the tapered edge towards the outside of the face. Roll long sausages for the hair. Stick one row of hair about half way up the back of the head, then a second row towards the top of the back of the head making sure you fill in any gaps, then style the rest of the hair around the top and front of the head.

Finishing touches

1
Roll the pink sugarpaste with the rolling pin and cut three flowers with the blossom plunger cutter. Roll three tiny balls of yellow sugarpaste and stick them in the centre of each flower with edible glue. Stick the flowers to the mermaid’s hair.
2
For the first shell, roll a sausage of pink sugarpaste, tapering each end. Fold the sausage in half and gently twist the sugarpaste together. Roll the new shape gently to make the shell shape and use a small ball tool or the end of the paintbrush to indent a hole in the fatter end. Make three of these.
3
For the second shell, roll a ball of orange sugarpaste and use a star tool to indent lines of dots up the edge of the ball, and one deeper indent in the centre at the top. Make two of these.
4
For the seaweed, roll several thin tapered sausages in green sugarpaste and pinch them together at one end. You can also make these by rolling a longer sausage and folding it in half. Make 3-4 sets.
5
Arrange the shells and the seaweed around the rocks and the mermaid’s tail. Stick them into place with edible glue. Your mermaid is complete! Why not try making the mermaid lying down on the rocks, or you could even make more of the shells and use these for cupcake toppers to coordinate with the model on your cake.
Last updated one month ago

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