Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alstroemeria Tutorial By Sandy Swart, AKA Sewsweet2 - and how sweet they are!

It's Spring! time for blossom, blooms and all things bright and beautiful. The next DTCPUG project is a wonderfully detailed tutorial by Sandy Swart (be sure to scroll all the way down to see the final bunch of flowers, they are amazing!) -- Thank you SO MUCH Sandy for this project!  and your contributions to DTCPUG and for being a great friend!


Sandy Swart aka sewsweet2

Gumpaste alstroemerias are wonderful as a filler flower but will also stand alone with ivy for a gumpaste arrangement. In 2006 I had the wonderful opportunity to take my first gumpaste class from Jennifer Dontz. Our gracious hostess was Melissa Dotson (owner of DTC). She has been a true sugar friend of mine ever since.

For any questions on the tutorial you can contact me @ sewsweet2@hotmail.com

A special thanks to my photographer: Furbee's mom and BFF- (aka Cheryl)

NOTE: Alstroemeria, also know as Peruvian Lilies, have long been a favorite of florists, coveted for their intricately patterned flowers, remarkably long vase life and wide range of luscious shades.

Some gumpaste flowers are constructed by making each petal separately on a wire, formed, dried and then taped together. I use a method used for platinum paste where the flower petals are cut, veined, dusted and assembled before the petals are completely dried. I like this method for alstroemeria because it allows me to move and play with the petals when I am taping without them shattering into pieces.

Equipment needed: florist foam or something to stand petals and stamens in, pointed wire cutters, soft brushes (one for gumglue and others for dusting), gumpaste rolling pin, small cup or bowl to cover gumpaste, alstroemeia cutters (2 set), 4 piece double alstroemeria veiners from DTC, cell board for rolling gumpaste, plastic page protector, scissors (not shown).

Supplies needed: various petal dusts (green, pink and yellow used for this tutorial), gumglue (I use a small amount of tylose in water, mix and allow to set overnight), gumpaste, green floral tape, white covered #33 wires cut into approximately 3 1/2" lengths (6 per flower), green taped (can be white) #33 wires (I have used heavier but don't know the size because they were given to be to a florist) cut into 3 1/2" lengths (6 per flower), small amount of shortening, fine tip red non-toxic child's marking pen (not shown).

1. Use point of wire cutters to bend a flat hook at end of white wire
2. Use pliers to squeeze the hook together
3. Wire with hook on left and finished wire on right with hook closed.
4. Lightly dust wires with petal dust to match the color of flower you are making.

1. Dip end of stamen in gumglue and dip in petal dust to mimic the pollen. I like to use a luster dust for a little extra sparkle but that is personal preference.

2. Place the stamens in the florist foam to dry.

3. When stamens are dry, tape 6 together so that they are 3/4 the length of a petal. Notice that all the stamens are different lengths. This adds to the realism

Take a sheet protector and cut along one side and the bottom. Take a small amount of shortening and place it along three edges so that when the protector is closed it makes a sealed envelope. This will help prevent your gumpaste petals from drying as you work them. You may also put them in a zip lock bag but since I have the protectors anyway, this works well for me.

Knead your gumpaste to condition it and roll it out on your board thin enough that you can read through it. Allow it to set while you do the next step. Do not allow this to set for very long. I would say maybe 3-4 minutes. Otherwise cover it up.

We are now going to "tweedle" the gumpaste on the wire to allow us to connect the petals we will be making to the wire. I am no good at inserting wires into petals so this is an alternative.

1. Take a small ball of gumpaste and place it on the #33 wire the distance that is equal to the length of the petal cutters.

2. Take your thumb and finer and roll it back and forth as the gumpaste moves along the wire.

3. If the gumpaste is too sticky, try using a small amount of shortening on your fingers. I use my thumb and pointer finger but thumb and middle finger work fine too.

4. Continue process to the end of the wire

1. Keep your extra gumpaste under your cup or bowl to keep from drying out when you aren't working with it. You can wrap it up in plastic wrap or put it in zip lock bag but under the cup method is the fastest and easiest for me. 2. Place your "tweedled" wires in the page protector to keep from drying out as you cut out your petals.

A. Flip the rolled gumpaste over and cut out 3 petals of each size. The slightly dried side being down helps get a cleaner cut. B. Place the cut petals into the page protector until you need them. Knead the gumpaste scraps together and place under cup to use for another flower.

1. Take one of the larger petals out of the page protector and place on the larger petal veiner. I found that if I place the little point of the petal into the veiner where the point is, it veined better. 2. With the double veiner from Decoratethecake.com, I found that if I gently tapped the other side of the petal veiner on top of the petal on the veiner, the petal would stay in place better for me for the next step.

1. Remove one of the "tweedled" wires and apply a small amount of gumglue to one side of the gumpaste. Do not use a heavy hand with the gumglue but do make sure that there is glue all along one side.
2. Place glue side down on the gumpaste petal so that the wire is almost to the end of the petal where the point is. 3. Carefully place the bottom veiner on top and press to vein.

1. Remove from the veiner. This showed the back side where the "tweedled" part is attached to the petal. 2. Gently roll the bottom of the gumpaste along the wire to finish up the base of the petal. If the "tweedled" gumpaste extends below the petal, remove it so it won't be in the way when taping. Set petal in florist foam while you work the other two big petals.

1. Place smaller petal on top part of smaller petal veiner. 2. Glue a "tweedled" wire as you did for the larger petal and place glued side to petal so that the wire extends just short of the end of the petal. 3. Place bottom of small petal veiner on top and press gently to vein. 4. Remove from veiner and gently roll the gumpaste round the botton of the petal. If the "tweedled" gumpaste extends below the petal, remove it so it won't be in the way when taping. Place wire and petal in floral foam. Repeat two more times.

Check out all the different colorations of alstroemeria by typing in alstoemeria in Google images. There are so many different color variations. I chose a vibrant pink with yellow for this tutorial. Having a picture printed out beside you when dusting helps you see where color needs to be applied.

 1. Using a soft brush, I dip the brush into the petal dust then tap it in the lid. This helps prevent getting too much color on at once. Less is more, and you can add it easier than taking it off.

 2. Dust the middle sections of two of the smaller petals with yellow.

 3. Using green, I dusted the little point on all three of the larger petals. Also lightly dust the bottom of each of the six petals where the gumpaste and the wire meet. These little touches seem to make a lot of difference in the appearance of your flower even if they seem like trivial things.

4. Next I dusted the centers of the three larger petals. The smaller petals, I dusted the ends above the yellow on the two and the third small petal with just pink. NOTE: When not working with the petal, I had it stuck in florist foam so that it wasn't laying flat on a surface.

I can't handle regular floral tape. It's too wide for me so I cut my floral tape in half before I begin to tape my flowers together.

1. Take the two small narrow petals that have the yellow highlight and tape to a group of stamens matching the bottom of the petals with the bottom of the stamens. Remember the stamens were 3/4 of the length of a petal.

2. Tape a large petal behind the two narrow ones that are side by side. Tape the last narrow petal opposite the large petal.

3. Last, tape the last two large petals on each side of the plain pink narrow petal. Tape on down the wires to finish it off.

A. Notice that the narrow petals form a "Y" shape.

B. Consequently, the large petals form a "Y" in the opposite direction. Curve the stamens in random angles with your finger tips or tweezers.
NOTE: Petal dust may be "fixed" by holding the dusted completed flower in steam from a boiling pot of water .

A. The flower is assembled but still needs some little dashes to finish it off. You may use a fine liner brush and use powdered color mixed with iso-propyl alcohol to paint the little dashes that are found on most alstroemerias. I have not yet mastered the art of painting small dashes so I opt to using a fine pointed non-toxic children's marker for my flower. I used red for this tutorial but burgundy and sometimes brown is appropriate to use depending upon the coloration of the flower you are making.

 B. Looking at pictures or a reference, draw or paint the litle dashes on the two smaller petals onto the two adjoining petals that you taped together first.

Here are three examples of the coloration you can use in making your gumpaste alstroemeria.

Sandy Swart (KS) sewsweet2@hotmail.com

DTC Products Used:
Alstroemeria Veiner


  1. Great tutorial. I wish I had the patience for making these. Maybe someday. ;) I will suggest one thing - use Wilton or another brand of edible ink markers. You can buy them in fine tip. Even though the ink in children's markers is "nontoxic", that's not the same thing as safe for eating. Not that most people would gobble down the flowers, but in case. :) Also, did you buy stamens, or did you make them from another mold?

  2. Wow! How beautiful! You did a great job. I will have to try these one day.

  3. Hi Sandy,
    I have had Jennifers cutters and veiner for a long time and have never tried these. Yours are just lovely, so delicate. I love this tutorial, thanks for sharing and I will definitely give these a try soon.