3D Character Making Made Easy!

April 13th, 2013 by Traci Chapple

Can you roll a ball? Can you roll a log? Then you can build amazing characters to top your cakes!!! Anyone can make fun creatures to adorn any sweet treat, and have a lot of fun while doing it!

I’ll start here: I am not a sculptor. I have never created a character before I began designing the user experience for Wilton 3D Characters. After many hours of watching our professional decorators break down the process, I realized it was pretty basic. Roll a ball. Squish the ball. Form the squished ball into an oval. Oh, wow! I just made the owl’s wing!

After months of developing and testing illustrations to show you exactly how to create these characters, Wilton has come up with a system that you are bound to enjoy!

To explain how fun and easy this really is, I decided to make a pair of owls to help illustrate what I’m talking about. The owl’s head? Roll a ball.

Roll a Ball

Roll the ball into a slight log. Pinch the log at the ends to create ears. Oh, wow! I just made the owl’s head!

Create the Owl Head

Keep following the Wilton Method instructions and you will end up with two amazing little owls! With each step your character evolves and comes alive. Each addition to the character adds a little something extra.

Create the Owl Body

I love that each and every character has its own charm, and that no two characters are exactly alike! Look at my two owls, they are not twins, but are definitely related! Go ahead and mix up the colors to coordinate with your theme. I think it came out pretty cute, don’t you?

Complete 3D Owl

I promise, Wilton will walk you through every step of the process – leaving you with confidence that you can do this! What characters will you top your cakes with?

To learn more about Shape-N-Amaze™ The Wilton Method® of 3D Character Making, please visit our 3D Characters section of our website or start with our Intro to 3D Modeling video. Please visit our online store to see the complete line of 3D Character Making tools.

Traci Chapple Traci is a User Experience Designer. Traci researches decorators' needs to help make the experience even better. By studying how decorators use our tools, she works to improve our current products and introduce new items that can help you get to the fun of decorating faster! Her favorite part of the job is design research and Cakestorming™ (Wilton’s version of a brainstorm). She loves to answer the question of “What COULD it be?” and to push our development teams outside their comfort zones. When she’s not at Wilton, you can find Traci running marathons or practicing yoga.

65 Replies

  1. Yes learn more, and more every day. Love the work you do, wish I could do the same. Need more practice…Love the way you teach….

    Thank You.

    Cristina Pomales

    • Traci Chapple says:

      We are so glad you enjoy our educational opportunities! Make sure you check out the new illustrative instructions for all of our 3D characters!

  2. These are really cute but are they edible in case a child should get a hold of one and start eating it?

    • Traci Chapple says:

      Yes, Alanna, if you use the Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating dough with gum paste support sticks, your character is fully edible! Have fun making your characters!

  3. julie says:

    Yes, they are edible – IF you make them out of something edible! I suggest modeling chocolate, but you can probably use fondant as well.

    • Traci Chapple says:

      Try our new Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating dough! It’s specifically formulated to make character modeling super easy. It’s stronger so it holds its shape better than fondant, but doesn’t dry out as fast as other mediums. Enjoy!

  4. Faith Robinson says:

    I wish that the Wilton range was more readily and easily available in Australia!! I am a massive fan, but it is way too expensive over here compared to USA prices.
    Is it possible to get pieces other than wholesale?

  5. mary says:

    is there a book or a class that will be available?

    • Traci Chapple says:

      Hi Mary!
      ALL of our new 3D characters have step by step instructions to help you make your characters!!! For example, Giggles is a great character to start with: http://www.wilton.com/3d-model/Monkey-1
      Click on the purple bar below that reads “Create Giggles the Monkey in our Decorate Mode” to lead you to our instructions. We even have educational videos to help you along if you get stuck. Have fun!

      • Denise says:

        I tried the instructions and they are of no help. I bought your products and wanted to try the ideas and there are no amounts for each of the pieces (head, arms etc) Do I have to guess at what size i need? The instructions are helpful ONLY if you already know how to make these kinds of things. Can you please give better directions and videos of step by step? We are not all as talented as some of you. I need help! It’s kinda like when you post a recipe – you give the amounts so we don’t have to guess at the amounts. Please make the directions for the 3D characters easier. I am not finding this easy. LOVE your products though – great job with that!

  6. Karen says:

    I have seen the packages of the 3D character pkg. but I need to see detailed instructions on how to make different characters. I would like to know if there is a book on 3D.

    • Traci Chapple says:

      Hi Karen!
      We do not currently have a book with instructions on 3D, but even better, you can get all of the information you need for FREE, ONLINE!
      Here are some great educational videos to get you started: http://www.wilton.com/3D/overview/
      Here are some methods to make 3D modeling super easy: http://www.wilton.com/3D/methods/
      And for detailed instructions on each 3D character, click on the purple bar below the picture that reads, “Create Giggles the Monkey in our Decorate Mode”:
      Every character comes with instructions, so have fun choosing which one you’ll start with. They are all a lot of fun!

      • Denise says:

        The directions are NOT helpful. I think that most of us are having a problem with that. It would be helpful if you have amounts or sizes to use. The directions only tell you what tools to use and the pictures only give a general idea as to how to do it. The 3D mold (Measure and shape) has printed numbers inside – but that doesn’t help with which one I need to use. What was the point of you putting the number inside if I don’t know which one to use?
        I am sorry if I sound a little harsh – but I bought the New Wilton Products to make it easier for me to make these characters – not to make it more complicated.
        The products are great, but the directions – not-so-much!

  7. Jean says:

    I have just bought some shape and amaze modeling dough. I can’t wait to start using it but I do have one question. How do you adhere all of the parts? Do you use water or something else? It did not give that in any of the instructions. Thank you

  8. Jean says:

    How do you adhere the parts for the amazing modeling dough?

  9. Angela says:

    I would like to try the shoes but I don’t see a printable patern.

  10. Kristen says:

    I have taken all of the wilton cake decorating classes and i enjoyed them very much as well as learning tons!!! I have seen the step by step instructions for the 3D characters and they seem fairly easy but i still believe that a class with an instructer would be extremely helpful. If wilton will be offering this as a class I would love to take it. Just to get the face to face instruction would be great!!!! If it is going to be offered as a class can i be notified so i can sign up?

  11. Carol Jefferson says:

    Is there anyway that 3D Characters can be made into one of the classes that Wilton have. I have taken them all I would love to have more classes. I live in Canada and I just love the classes that Michael’s have. Do you think it could be made into a class.
    Thanks again love the new cover.

  12. Megan says:

    How far in advance can the edible 3-D characters be made? What’s the best way to store them? Thanks. 🙂

    • Renee says:

      I made my characters one week ahead of time and just left them sit out on a table. They were absolutely fine and looked the exact same the day I put them on the cake as the day I made them.

      • Megan says:

        Thank you, Renee, for your input. I’ve been through all four Wilton courses, but I feel like a newborn foal. 🙂

        • Megan says:

          I just completed the Straight A’s girl graduate figure. She turned out really cute. I made some minor changes such as hair and gown color. I also made the hair curly instead of straight. The step by step instructions were fairly clear, however, I felt like some of the recommended measurements were slightly off. Not a huge deal. I tried a homemade gum paste stick for the head support, but it wasn’t dry enough and promptly broke. A toothpick did the trick. Nobody is going to eat the figure anyway so it’s not a concern. I’d like to post a picture here, but I’m not sure how.

  13. Renee says:

    I LOVE the 3D characters and have made the pig, cow, horse and sheep with NO PROBLEM at all. Instructions are clear and easy to follow and I am a beginner! I am, however, in need for the instructions for the little girl in the red dress for a cake I’m making this weekend. The instructions were originally online, but now she’s gone and there are some new ones. Can anybody PLEASE help me with the instructions to make this little girl. Thanks! 🙂

  14. Kaye says:

    I made Giggles the Monkey for my nephews birthday cake. The weight of the monkey just sank into the cake. I used box cake mix and butter cream frosting from a can. How can I keep the animal / figurine from sinking into my cake!? any suggestions? Thanks

  15. Wanda says:

    Will the 3D Characters turn into the 5th class. I am enjoying the wilton method classes and would love to see this become one.

  16. Gray says:

    This is a fun, easy way to develop 3D characters for any animation project. It is a challenging task to come up with interesting characters and outline the intricate details of characters using animation software. The method that you have demonstrated will come in handy in the process of creating animation.

  17. Suzanne Osman says:

    I love that you have finally come up with these projects and products but as a former Wilton Instructor I have a couple of questions.

    I went through and looked at your instructions for these projects.

    The steps do not indicate what size the finished project will be.

    Also, when making the gumpaste sticks how long should they be? Surely they are not all the same size for each project? So if you are planning on making one of thse 3D Characters and using the gum paste sticks for support how far in advance should you make them in order for them to be completely dry to use?

    Also, I tried print out some of the patterns but this feature apparently is not available. How are people suppose to make the some of the pieces without a pattern such as for the shoe?

    Thanks for any replies.

  18. Wilna says:

    Hi, I need to do a cake on sea diving. I need to make a diver with goggels and a watch, for ontop of the cake, as well as different sea carecters, shells,octopuss, fishes ect.

  19. Elizabeth Schwarte says:

    How long is opened/sealed shape n amaze good? I used some last month but when I opened it today it appeared moldy.

  20. thomas says:

    very nice big big idea

  21. jmfleming says:

    Shape-N-Amaze, how long will this characters last and should I keep them in plastic if I make them 3 weeks a head of time? Thank you!

    • Ree says:

      Jmfleming, how did you store your characters, and did you make them three weeks ahead of time? If so, how did they hold up? Thank you!

  22. louis says:

    How long in advance can you make a fondant character?

  23. Erica says:

    Can you use this as you would fondant to just add details on your cake? Like flat characters? Or eyes and goggles say for a minion cake?

  24. Ahmed Murad says:

    how long will this characters last and should I keep them in plastic if I make them 4 weeks a head of time? Thank you!

    • Carmen Sotomayor says:

      I would like to know how to store the characters if done three weeks ahead of time. Thank you!

  25. Sevana says:

    I would like to know about making a simple barbie topper with fondant for cupcakes.
    I am waiting for your help.
    Thank you for your kindness.

  26. joyce cerami says:

    What is the lemon extract for with the blushing bride directions, for 3d modeling? Also when is pattern put on skirt All of your videos are kneading the dough, and rowing it out.

    • joyce cerami says:

      Here i am again what are the measurements for the blushing bride hair pieces? Wish you would give measurements for all pieces instead of just a few. It would help a lot. does wilton answer our questions?

  27. Ann Kwilinski says:

    I really liked using the Shape and Amaze. Kneading it into a ball was a little difficult at first but it really is sturdy and adhering the pieces was very easy with water. I used some thick spaghetti were I was attaching legs the heads and holding up just fine after one day. I was wondering if I can refrigerate the product without it cracking or drying out? I would like to store my cake with my pieces attached. Thanks!

  28. Liza says:

    Where can I find the instructions on how to make the little girl in the red dress?

  29. Monica says:

    The videos are useless. There were step by step tutorials in the beginning but now they are nowhere to be found. What a waste.

  30. Amber says:

    Trying to find how to make certain characters, but the links all take me to the same generic instructions. The only characters I can find are blocks. Please help. I bought the sizing tray, but there is nothing showing how to use it to make these figures it advertises.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Amber,

      I do apologize about the instructions going missing. We made some updates to our website and unfortunately, the instructions did not transfer over! We have located the files and are in the process of repairing this area of the website. I would be happy to email you a link to the PDF instructions, if you would like.

      Thank you,

  31. Aleta says:

    I took the Wilton Modeling 101 class to make a puppy figurine. The lady who taught the class said the instructions were online, but I can’t find them. I clicked on the link that you provided in the blog, but there aren’t any instructions. Please help.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Aleta,

      I do apologize about the instructions going missing. We made some updates to our website and unfortunately, the instructions did not transfer over! We have located the files and are in the process of repairing this area of the website. I would be happy to email you a link to the PDF instructions, if you would like.

      Thank you,

  32. Kim says:

    The Measure-N-Shape Sizing Tray – $14.99, along with the 8 Piece Modeling Tool Set – $39.99 are an expensive gimmick Wilton has come up with, luring customers into thinking they will have on-line instructions, when in fact, over 30 on-line instructions have been taken off of the website entirely. I have only found one how-to in “1940s Decade Cake: Strike Up The Band”. There you will find instructions outlining the cavity number and color needed for each component on the cake. Unfortunately, that is the only set of directions still given for Wilton’s customers.

    Over a year ago, I called Wilton and asked where to find the other instructions to make 3D characters and was told the Wilton website was currently “under construction” and to “check back in about a month”. Tell the customer what they want to hear, right? The following characters are listed as links for cakes still featured on Wilton’s website. Each will redirect you to the same four videos perpetrating the gimmick, to encourage you to buy $55 worth of products without instructions.

    ball player cake topper
    golfer cake topper
    long neck dino
    T-Rex dino
    bear cake topper
    giraffe cake topper

    I couldn’t be more disappointed in a company I once held in the highest regard! WILTON – SHAME ON YOU!

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Kim,

      I do apologize about the instructions going missing. We made some updates to our website and unfortunately, the instructions did not transfer over! We have located the files and are in the process of repairing this area of the website. I would be happy to email you a link to the PDF instructions, if you would like.

      Thank you,

      • Beth Kemp says:

        I, too, bought all the shape and amaze dough and tray and found no instructions on the Wilton website to make the characters. I would like the link to the pdf instructions. I did find instructions for the whimsical unicorn and it came out great.

      • where are the instructions for the 3d characters – i have purchased loads of stuff to make them, but cannot find instructions anywhere on your site wth is going on??

  33. Kimmy says:

    Hi. This message is for Desiree Smith, the one that responds who I assume works for Wilton? Could you please email the link to the PDF instructions for the Monkey? I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your help.


    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Kimmy,

      I sent you an email, please let me know if you receive it.


      • Monica says:

        Can you pls send me the pdfs with the steps/ instructions for the 3D characters? I’ve bought all the materials and used the videos back then when Wilton had them available… those videos were really good.
        Are you planning to make the videos available any time soon?

  34. Sandra says:

    I too would like the instructions for the 3D characters please. Why is the site taking so long to repair or replace the instructions??

  35. Mandi says:

    Desiree Smith could you please email me the pdf instructions. I just bought the shape and amaze dough and was disappointed that the instructions are no longer on the website.

    Thank you


  36. where ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS All these links lead nowhere, except the three videos about color blending and basic techniques??

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Lynette,

      I am sorry for the trouble with the 3D character instructions. I can email you PDF’s of the instructions. I’m trying to find where they are located in our system; my point of contact who has them is currently on vacation. I will follow up with you as soon as I am able.

      Thank you,

  37. Demaree Johnson says:

    I too would like a copy of the 3D instructions. They are still not on the website.

  38. Denise Smithart says:

    Does anyone know how to make a 3D 18 wheeler with trailer the whole thing the truck I’ve been trying for two years my grandson wants one so bad and I needs sure could use your help
    You so much Denise

  39. Denise Smithart says:

    I am hoping that wanted new talented ladies to put me in the right direction how I could make a 3D 18-wheeler cab trailer the whole thing from my grandson I have been trying for three years I have not gotten it right yet anybody out there could give me a hand I sure would appreciate it thank you all

Leave a Reply

To prevent spam please solve the math problem below :