I was making some wafer paper roses this week and I took some photos...The process is pretty simple.
First, you can use round paper punches to make the roses, but I had a punch from Fiskars with two petal shapes:
And one punch for a large circle:
By using those you can make a decent-sized rose. There are also larger punches but those would be seriously huge petals.
Start by punching out a bunch of all three shapes. If you don't have the punch, no big deal, just cut the shapes out with scissors. They don't need to be perfectly matched, just approximately the same size.
I make these on toothpicks so that I can insert them directly into the cake but you can use wire if you prefer. Using a small styrofoam ball or an egg-shaped styrofoam form, start building the wafer paper petals on top to make the cone. The first row will be the most difficult because it won't want to stick to the styrofoam.
I was using vodka to stick the wafer paper onto the form, but you could use gum glue or water. Vodka evaporates quickly and dries faster than water, so I was using that.
(On a side note, when you go to the liquor store to buy the vodka, don't just ask them where they keep the biggest, cheapest bottles of vodka. They won't believe that you need it for cake decorating when you present it that way.)
Use the smallest petals and wet the pointed end slightly, then wrap it around the ball. You'll need to wrestle with it a bit and they might be hard to adhere at first, but once you get a few wrapped around the ball they'll stick together. Keep the paper damp, not wet. You don't need much moisture for that stuff to turn into glue, so go light at first until you see what's working.
Keep wrapping the petals around the ball, overlapping the edges and making a spiral that opens up as you go out.
Start working on the outer rows, using the larger petal shape. Brush the base of the ball with the vodka and attach the petals to the inner rows at the base of the last row. Keep the top of the petals slightly lower than the previous row. When roses open up the petals start to fall away from the center and they end up lower than the center petals, so keep that in mind.
Switch to using the bigger circles when you want to get the rose to start opening up. For these petals you can brush a little more of the edges and pinch the petals to curve the outer edges down a little. You don't want to get them wet, just slightly damp so that they're flexible, not melting.
And there you have it, a simple wafer paper rose. There are also other methods of making these with more curving petals. If you want to add some extra-large petals you can dry some over spoons to give them a serious curve. Or you can wire them, which takes an extra step but allows you to make a petal that can be loosely curved around the flower.
More on wiring petals next week.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com