Top tip! Ski-sticks are made from a thicker gauge wire and used to support flat flower centres, acorn cups, caps or larger buds and berries.
How to make acorn and oak leaves
In this tutorial Hannah Collison shows you how to make acorns and oak leaves, which will look stunning on any autumn spray.
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You will need
- flower paste (Squires Kitchen)
- Autumn leaf paste colour (Sugarflair)
- Airbrush Food Colours: jungle green, fiesta yellow, carnival red and dynamic black (Squires Kitchen)
- 24, 26, and 28 gauge florist wire: white (Sunrise)
- oak leaf cutter set of 4 (Orchard Products)
- rose leaf veiner: large (DPM)
- bone modelling
- tool tweezers
- ball tool
- tea light
- no.2 piping nozzle (PME)
- florist tape: nile green (Hamilworth)
- large sewing/darning needle.
Ski-stick: use tweezers/long nose pliers to bend the end of a 24g wire into a circle that wraps around 1 1/2 times. Bring the straight stem across the circle dividing it in half, it should lay flat. With tweezers, clamp the straight stem, just off centre of the circle and bend ninety degree angle so the wire resembles a ski stick. Make three.
Acorn cup (make three): roll a pea sized piece of autumn leaf coloured paste into a crack free ball. Lightly dust a ball tool with cornflour and press into the paste to form a cup. Turnover the cup over and use tweezers to pinch in a scaly texture.
Feed the prepared ski-stick centrally through the inside of the acorn cup and stop 3cm (1in) from the end. Hold the ski-stick end at a right angle to a lit candle and heat it until it glows.
Immediately push the acorn cup onto the heated end of the wire and allow it to burn into the sugar.
Acorn nut (make three): Using autumn leaf flower paste roll a 1.5cm diameter ball into an oval. Using finger and thumb, pinch out a peak/pimple at one end. Place a no.2 piping nozzle centrally over the peak and depress to form an outer ring marking.
Place pimple end of acorn nut into a flower pick until it reaches half way. Press visible end to flatten so it expands out onto cut edge of the pick. This will form the cup shape. Whilst the nut is still in the pick, texture using tweezers (see step 9) and glue a hooked 26g wire into textured end. Remove from pick and tape stem down by 3cm using olive green florist tape.
Make five oak leaves using flower paste, oak leaf cutter and rose leaf veiner; on a non-stick board roll out a piece of flower paste with a thick central ridge for the wire. Cut out the leaf shape and insert a 28g wire into the ridge to support 2/3 of the leaf length. Vein then place onto a foam pad to thin the edges using a bone modelling tool. Shape each leaf and tape the stems down by 3cm (1in). Allow to dry.
Using airbrush, colour the oak leaves, acorn nuts and acorn cups with a lime green shade (a few drops of jungle green and fiesta yellow). Once dry, create interest by adding touches of light brown (a drop of carnival red mixed with the lime green colour already in the reservoir). To make dark brown, mix carnival red, jungle green and dynamic black.
Divide the acorns, acorn cups and oak leaves into two separate bundles. Using olive green florist tape, bind each bundle together with the leaves spaced evenly around the outside. Ensure oak leaves are taped in at no flatter than a 45 degree angle, if they are too horizontal they will not fit naturally into a main spray.
For final touches, To make the leaves look more realistic imperfections can be added. Using long nosed pliers clamp a large sewing / darning needle. Hold the blunt end of the needle into a flame until it begins to glow, use the heated needle to burn little holes into random leaves to represent those made by tiny creatures and caterpillars.
Last updated 10 months ago