Decorating Tools Demystified – Lily Nail Set

May 12th, 2010 by Giulia Taraszkiewicz

After more than two years at Wilton, there are still products that puzzle me. Here is an example. I found this set of plastic lily nails that are used to create icing flowers. But how do these really work? For those who are not familiar with this product, it’s a mystery unsolved, an intriguing object that looks very difficult to use. To find out more about it I headed to the decorating room and enlisted the help of Diane, one of our professional decorators to find enlightenment.

Lily Nail SetThe first thing Diane explained to me is that there are two pieces for each size provided in the set. The one that she uses the most is the 1 5/8” in. You can make several types of flowers and you must use royal icing. The greatest advantage of these nails is that they aid the creation of 3D flowers in advance, so that you can place them on your cake at a later time, even after doing a test layout.

Start by lining the bottom nail with a square of foil. Press the upper nail piece to shape the foil in the bottom bell. Use your fingers to wrap the rest of the foil all around the bottom bell. You can use different pressure to create different foil depths, which will ultimately change the depth of your flower.

Preparing the Lily Nail

To make a lily, use tip #68 to pipe three petals, starting from the center of the bell and pulling up only to the top of the nail. Then start again by layering an additional three icing petals in alternating positions.

How to Use Lily Nail

Now switch your icing color to a light green, and use tip #14 to create the center of the flower. Finish off by adding three stamen pieces. Gently remove the square of foil from the nail by opening the corners that were folded under the bell. Set the flower aside and let dry on the foil for 24 hours. When set, you will be able to peel away the foil and reveal your beautiful dry icing flower!

Yellow Lily

Here is an example of a white lily that Diane had pre-made. As you can see it is completely dry and you can place it directly on a cake or on cupcakes.

Thanks Diane for showing us how easy it can be!

White Lily

Other examples of flowers that you can create with the Lily Nail Set:

Giulia Taraszkiewicz Giulia is the Associate Product Manager for Gingerbread. Born a crafter, Giulia moved from Italy to the U.S. where she enthusiastically joined Wilton. She LOVES baking, decorating, crafting, cooking, family and friend gatherings, shopping, and pretty things.

25 Replies

  1. Dana Calhoon says:

    This is so interesting!!!! The Wilton product line is so extensive that even the employees can’t keep up with it. I doubt that I could ever make such lovely flowers, but your expert, Diane, made it seem possible. Kudos to Diane for her expertise and to Giulia for asking the question and passing the info on to us!!! What a team!!!

  2. Nicole says:

    Wow! Beautiful work Giulia. Can I ask what type of icing you used?

  3. Connibug says:

    I took Wilton’s Classes and LOVED LOVED LOVED them BUT I still had a hard time with the Lily THIS is easier to understand! I guess Im a visual person. Your Flowers are GORGEOUS!

  4. Patrick John Duggan says:

    these are really good Ive taken all of the Wilton classes but i had trouble on these flowers just how do you peel away the foil without breaking the flower? is there a trick? or is it just from practice?

    • Giulia Taraszkiewicz says:

      Good morning Patrick!
      Here is what the decorating room recommends:

      These flowers take longer than most to dry as they are deeper and thicker at the base….so make sure you are doing a few days in advance of when needing to peel away the foil. When totally dry there should not be a problem.

  5. arenita says:

    Really beautiful!!! I think I need practice, I like this, Your explanation is understandable, and the flowers are beutifull, thanks, greetings from Mexico.

    p.d. Sorry, for the bad orthography.


  6. Doreen says:

    What do you use the smallest lily nail for? It’s teeny tiny.

    • Giulia Taraszkiewicz says:

      Hello Doreen, here is what the decorating room is suggesting:

      “You would use a number 1 or 2 tip and make a tiny lily or spike flower….any flower that you can do with the larger one can be done with the small one just using the small tip ….all the steps are the same”

  7. budi trisnawati says:

    your explaination is very royal.May god always bless you…forever

  8. Brenda Pruzinsky says:

    Could you use bc icing?

    • Giulia Taraszkiewicz says:

      This tool is designed so that the flower can dry on it, and then be easily removed. Buttercream icing would not dry hard enough.

  9. Vendra Elliot says:

    this Lily nail is very handy. i have foiled the opposite side and made some roses. this avoids using the icing for the middle of the rose. i left the rose to dry and then removed the foil.

  10. NASEEMA says:

    Hi Diane,
    Iam from Maldives.
    Your flowers are very beautiful. could u pls. send me how I can do royal icing.

    Thank you,

  11. Marie M. says:

    that is totally cool . thanks for the info.. go wilton….

  12. christie says:

    I understand abut the nail with just a cup. But what about the other nail that has the stem in the middle of the cup? What do you do with that?

  13. jez ticar says:


    I love your flowers. I tried using the lily nail but I have a hard time peeling it off from the foil. Even when I dried it for a few days it still cracks. Do you have any tip so this doesn’t happen (especially the lily flower). I read somewhere that you should use new icing. Do you have any other tips? Thanks.

    P.S. I tried no#67 tip for the lily bec. I don’t have the #68 but when I use the icing it seperates so it seems that the middle part gets blocked. Is there something wrong with the icing?

  14. samantha says:

    i just bought the Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set yesterday and these came in it and i couldn’t figure out what the heck they were. this really helped….now i can start making flowers 🙂 thanks Giulia and Diane

  15. JP Babineau says:

    Please HELP! My lily petals broke when I peeled down the foil!!! Is it my icing? Should I spray the foil to make release easier? I then tried dusting the foil with the dust pouch and that didn’t work either…:(

    I recived two sets- Flower Tip Set and Writing TipSet, but Idon´t know how to use the tips because there isn´t instructions of use. They are- 3- 301 – 13- 46 and 102-104-224-352 –

    I´m waiting for your answer

    Thank you


  17. Sherell giacchina says:

    The lily nail set 403-9444 what size leaf tip do I use for each size lily nail (4)? Thank you for your help

  18. Bobbi Beglau says:

    In the 1993 Wilton Yearbook. In the directions for using the Wilton Lily Nail set it states to spray the foil with vegetable oil before piping to help reduce breakage.
    My tips. When preparing the foil use the back of a spoon to flatten any wrinkles in the foil. These will stick to your flower and make them fall apart when you try to remove the foil. Pipe petals only to the edge of the cone. Anything more and it will be more difficult to remove the foil from the nail. To make your flower sturdy pipe a petal half way up the cone and then pipe over it again. This will make it thicker at the bottom half. In most cases it will still look wonderful and the edges that are the most visible will still be thin. Make lots of extras for breakage. Don’t have enough time for these to dry? Try making flowers with melting chocolate. Melt per directions, pour onto wax paper. Let set until workable. Cut petal shapes with sharp knife; move chocolate over edge of flat table or thick cutting board while slowly pulling way paper downward. Don’t let chocolate extend past table edge with wax paper still attached. The pull of the wax paper is what should move the chocolate. Bend petals carefully over finger into shape to fit lily nail. Drip melted chocolate into center using a pastry bag and add stamens. Set in a cool place till set. Then remove foil. So much easier since only the bottom will be adhered.

  19. Pam says:

    Can I use this flower nail with gum paste as well?

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