How to make a gum paste bow

gum paste bow

Gum paste bows are essential when making gift box cakes, but they look also pretty as a top or side decoration on other types of cakes. By using textured rolling pins, embossing tools, shimmer or lustre dusts. Can you make different looks for your gum paste bows. The bow can be made out of gum paste only, but I like to use equal parts (50/50) of rolled fondant icing and gum paste mixed together. This gives in my opinion a better paste to work with.

To prevent the “fondant gum paste” from cracking when making the bow, you need to roll it out rather thinly. A pasta machine is great help if you have one. I dont have any specific measures on how large or small the bow loops should be, when I make my bows. But you can make a paper template for the bow loops if you like. Here is my way, on how to make a gum paste bow.

This is what I use:
Equal parts of rolled fondant and gum paste, mixed well together
Food gel paste color
Rolling pin
Small knife
Tylo glue
Small brush
Polyester fiber
Kitchen paper
Cornstarch for dusting
1 Plastic bag
A pair of scissors
A ruler (not showing on the photo)

Shimmer or lustre dust
Soft brush
Textured rolling pins
Embossing tools
Paper template for the bow loops
Pasta machine

Step 1:
Take the plastic bag and cut down one of the sides with the scissors.

Step 2:
Take some of the polyester fiber and wrap it in a piece of kitchen paper. Adjust the amount of polyester fiber to the size of your bow loops. Remember to make two of them.

Step 3:
Color your paste with food gel color and roll out the paste thinly with a rolling pin (or a pasta machine). Take the knife and a ruler (or your paper template) and cut two (long) pieces for the bow loops. If you want to use a textured rolling pin, then use it when you have rolled out your paste thinly, but before cutting out the bow loop pieces. You could also use embossing tools or brush the two pieces with shimmer or lustre dust, before placing them in the plastic bag.

Step 4:
Take one of the bow loop pieces and brush a little tylo glue at one of the ends. Place one of the polyester fiber rolls in the middle.

Step 5:
Fold the bow loop around the polyester fiber roll.

Step 6:
Take the end of the loop and start in the middle by going back and forth to make pleats.

Step 7:
Secure the pleats with a little tylo glue. Repeat steps 4-5-6-7 with the other bow loop.
TIP! If you want the bow to stand up, instead of laying down. Then place the bow loops in a standing position before continuing.

Step 8:
Trim the ends and brush ends with a little tylo glue.

Step 9:
Place the two bow loops together and let them dry a bit before you continue with the next step.

Step 10:
Roll out some paste thinly and cut a small piece for the middle of the bow and make some pleats.

Step 11:
Brush a little tylo glue on the back of the piece and wrap it around the bow. Trim with the knife if necessary. Let the bow dry completely, if you are not planning to make tails for the bow.
Note: Remove the polyester fiber rolls when the bow are dry.

Step 12:
If you want tails on your bow? Then roll out some more paste. Cut the tails in the same width as the bow loops. Pleat the ends and attach the tails with a little glue to the bow.
Note: I often wait with the bow tails, until the bow is to be placed on the cake. This makes it more easy to place the tails in the right position.

Please visit my tutorial page if you want to learn how to make other gum paste decorations.

You can also see my article about a beautiful gift box cake to get inspiration on how to use the bow.

Happy Caking!



  1. I’m new to decorating with fondant, and my fondant ribbons seem to crack at the edge. Actually, all of my fondant creations do. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?Β 

  2. This is such an amazing website, and the bow is just too beautiful to be true:) , but I have one concern, I’m in tlove with this bow, but I wonder if you can make one from regular marshmallow fondant, becouse I live here in Armenia, and we do not have any gumpase over here! and also the special type of glue you use, what can I use instead of that for my fondant ! Thank u in advance !

  3. This was incredible and so precise. Your pictures are gorgeous. Even if I didn’t want to learn how to make a bow, it would have been a pleasure looking at these beautiful pictures. I am glad you mentioned doing half fondant and half gum paste, that makes such sense. Thanks, I know how time consuming tutorials can be!

  4. Hi Louise,

    Thanks for your tutorial… I will try it as soon as possible. I’m sure I will learn a lot from you, specially making gum paste flowers.


  5. Thank you so much! I just finished my first fondant class today and have about 3 lbs. of leftovers to practice with! This will definitely be one of my projects with it!

  6. Thank you Louise. I have to make a gift bow this weekend so will put your tutorials to work. Very instructive – thank you.

  7. I love how these bows have all the folds that make it look so much more like real fabric than what I’ve usually seen out there. Thanks so much Louise!

  8. Thanks for posting… I have just made my first bow for an order this weekend and still need to do the tails….
    So, I need to print this and file for future reference.

  9. Great Tutorial Louise – as always!
    Think I will try it soon – since one of my co-wokers has asked me to to a cake for her birthday πŸ™‚
    Hugs Anja

  10. Thanks for the great tutorial – I made 2 bows for my daughters cake this weekend, they both came out great, and I only had to start over once! I forgot to stand the first one up while it was drying, so I had a laying down bow, but the second one stood up great. This was surprisingly easy – thanks for being so clear!

  11. Renata McKay: Do it tear in the end where you pinch or more out towards the wide side of the bow. Is your paste to dry maybe? Try and make it with only fondant/sugar paste icing and see if that makes a different. Please write back how that goes. Thx.

  12. Hi Louise. I tried making the bow 100 times. Every time I do step 5, the bow tears slightly on the edges. Do you have any idea why this happens ?

  13. Hello there,

    Great site, I have one quick question for you. What is tylo glue? I am not familar with the product.


  14. Taryn: If you want to let the bow stand up a good thing is to let it dry in that position. I have made a “standing” bow using this tutorial only I let it dry standing up with the supporting filling inside the bow loops for a day or two. You can see that cake in the cake gallery/whimsical cakes.

    Sharon Zambito showed in her latest dvd that she use melted chocolate in the came color to glue bows on cakes with.

    Kendra: It is always good to let the bow air dry for 1-2 days before you carefully pack it in a container. I would let the filling support stay in the bow loops so that you are sure they wont collaps. Just make sure that you can remove the filling easily afterwards.

  15. Hi Louise!~This looks great! How can I store the bow to keep it looking good and what is the time frame on that? I am making my mother a birthday cake for her birthday and I want to make something special but I dont have A LOT of time to spend on it!

  16. Will this be able to stand up on the side of a cake? I want to “tie a ribbon” around a 10 in round cake but worry about it falling down or drooping? Any wisdom?

  17. MoDog: yes you use rolled fondant for this. But you can also mix 50/50 of rolled fondant and gum paste mixed together.

    Denise: Well as you will need this to dry to get this look I am not sure that it would be that nice to chew on. I remove my bows from the cakes before it is cut into portions.

  18. your amazing! I have two questions. The first it kind of stupid but.. can you eat these? And my second question is how can you create such a beautiful cake and have the heart to eat it? I don’t think I could sit and watch people eat my creation. πŸ™ I love your site.. very inspiring

  19. Your website is fantastic! I am an amatuer cake decorator, but I love to learn new techniques.

    Can I make this bow using rolled fondant?

  20. Hi Louise

    Thanks so much for posting how to make it !

    I will try it myself one of these days.


    andrea kopp


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