Garden Variety: Fluffy Carnation Frills
A four-tier cake covered in pink fondant celebrates the beauty of carnations. Hundreds of them blanket the simple wooden box it rests on, an idea that works well with carnations because they are so affordable. A collar of variegated blooms set in a Styrofoam disk sits under the top tier. The cake is finished with ruffled trim fashioned from gum paste, which is brushed with color, pleated, and set in place while still soft.
Tools and Materials
1,000 to 1,200 carnations (Buy them two days ahead so they'll open fully; change water daily, and keep in a cool spot, out of direct light.)
Fluffy Carnation Frills How-To
1. From 3/4-inch plywood, construct an open-bottom box (20 by 20 inches, 22 inches high) and a platform (24 inches square, 6 inches high). Attach box to platform; paint white.
2. Cut 1/2-inch foam board into panels to cover sides and top of box. Using a serrated knife, cut 12 blocks of ivory floral foam into thirds (Thirty-six 9-by-4-by-1-inch layers). Hot-glue all but 4 layers to side panels. Cut remaining layers into strips; glue to edges of top panel. Attach panels to box with carpet tape.
3. Trim flower stems to 2 inches; spray floral foam with water until it's wet but not dripping. Insert blooms across top and down one side; continue in columns to fill.
4. Insert flowers into floral foam on top. You can store table in a very cool place up to one day.