Make Exciting 3-D Decorations With Our New Decorative Press Set

August 17th, 2011 by Mary Gavenda

Have you seen the new Decorative Press Set? It’s one of Wilton’s new tools for the Fondant/Gum Paste Assortment. It will come in handy for various trims to accent your cakes and various projects, especially those thin ropes which are hard to roll smooth for some of us. (OK me! When I try to roll thin ropes and then get a weak spots and it breaks and I start over again. It can be frustrating.)

Decorative Press Set BIG HINT – Before you start using the press, you need to soften your fondant or gum paste with solid vegetable shortening.

Start by kneading in one teaspoon to 4 ounces of fondant or gum paste. Additional might be needed depending on how firm your fondant is to start.

You want the fondant to be soft and easy to stretch, almost like taffy. This will make pushing it through the press a lot easier.

When you’re ready to start, insert one of the shape inserts into the chamber. The backside will rest against the top opening of the chamber.

Fill the chamber with the softened fondant/gum paste and then just squeeze the two handles together – just like using a garlic press.

Depending on the insert you use, the length of the design will vary from about 9 to 12” long. If it’s a small opening, it will press out a longer piece. If it’s a larger opening, such as the basketweave/ribbon insert – it will be shorter. I also overfill the chamber to give it a little extra length.

The excess paste will squeeze out the sides, but that’s OK. It has to go somewhere! When your design is being pressed out the top, make sure it’s clear of the purple pin tab and doesn’t lean against it and get distorted a little.

The more you use the set, the more familiar you’ll be and learn what works best for you, such as what angle is easier for you to press. Work over a table so that as the trim is released, it can rest on the table and not just hang from the tool.

Wreaths of Romance We used the decorative press to accent a few projects in the 2012 Yearbook. On page 69, “Spot-On Mom” was accented with the 3 hole insert for the stitching lines and the “to be” message. With the thin ropes, you are able to shape letters and messages very easy.

We used the 3 hole insert again for the thin ropes that are wound together to form the bottom border on the “Wreaths of Romance” (on page 82 of the 2012 yearbook). The press made it a breeze to create this border in a very short time. The diameter of each opening is 3/32” – very thin rope!

Lofty Lilies Cake Border Also from the 2012 Yearbook, the “Lofty Lilies” cake (shown on page 88) uses the scrolls and bottom rope borders used the circle insert to form the rope trims. The press made it a lot easier than rolling out 1/4” thin ropes by hand. This insert was also used on the “Once Upon a Vine Cake” in the 2012 Yearbook. The circle diameter is 7/32”, you can almost say 1/4” rope.

The four additional design inserts are used for various trims.

    • The star insert is easily twisted into a rope garland or trim. It really looks like licorice! I can see it being used on a fun birthday cake from a candy trim cake to a western lasso and more! This one is difficult to give an exact measurement, but I would say it’s just a little larger than 1/4”. It really depends on how you line up the star points to measure it.


    • The teardrop shape insert can be used to edge the basketweave/ribbon strip to give it a rounded edge if you like. The tapered side will tuck right under the ribbon edge. You could also use it to trim a bottom border on a cake, setting the tapered edge into the gap (if there is any) by the cake board bottom. The size of teardrop is 6/16” if you measure the widest portion from the full rounded end to the tapered end and 3/16” on the width or height depending on how it’s used.


    • The basketweave insert can be used for ribbons around a cake or making bow loops and streamers too! You can use the plain side or the ribbed side of the ribbon. If you want, you can weave several lengths into a basket weave design. The basketweave ribbon width is 9/16”, just over a 1/2” and the height of the ribbon is 1/8”.


  • The semicircle insert gives you a half rope shape. It will fit snug against your cake, laying flat, rather than raised up like the circle shape. The diameter is a fraction larger than the circle – about 9/32”.

Decorative Press Inserts

How do you clean those tiny crevices? It’s easy! All you have to do is release the purple tab off the holding pin and pull out the pin. This releases the two press sections and makes it so much easier to clean. I use the large tip brush to get in the small areas and around the hinges.

When you’re ready to put it back together, close the two press sections and slide the pin in place and recap the end with the purple tab. Then it’s ready when you want to be creative again with the Decorative Press.

I’m sure you’ll come up with many uses for the different inserts, creating your own designs. Have fun with it and always remember to add shortening to your paste to soften it before putting it in the press. Make it easier on yourself!

Mary Gavenda Mary is a Senior Cake Decorator at Wilton. She started her cake decorating career as one of the first Wilton Method teachers in the Chicago area, teaching at various Sears, Montgomery Wards and JCPenney stores and earned her place in the Wilton Hall of Fame. As a cake decorator in the Decorating Room, she creates the cakes for photography used on new labels and packaging and in all Wilton publications. Mary also teaches the Introduction to Gum Paste Class at The Wilton School. Mary is a member of The International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES), an organization promoting the art of food and cake decorating throughout the world. She has served as Illinois State Representative, Past ICES Vice President and Corresponding Secretary during her 3-year term on the ICES Board of Directors. She is still active in the organization.

17 Replies

  1. Deonie Lloyd says:

    Will it be sold in South Africa?

  2. Susan J. Sias, WMI says:

    Thank you so much Ms. Gavenda for such a thorough description of the new Decorative Press Set and for listing the length of the design given from the chamber! I am making my purchase on Monday!

  3. Rose Saucedo says:

    I have a question not a comment.
    How do you use the Wilton dust to color the flowers? you can use my Email.
    Thank you

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      To use Wilton’s Color Dust or Pearl Dust, you can brush it on your dried flowers, whether you make them in Gum Paste, Fondant or even Royal Icing. If you want suttle colors, just brush the dust with a dry brush. If you prefer a brighter, deeper color, then painting with Pearl or Color dust might be what you want to do. If you paint with it, you add a small portion to a small portion of Clear Vanilla or Lemon Extract (maybe one teaspoon of the liquid). Add the dust until you achieve the desired shade. Then paint your flowers quickly, as the alcohol in the extracts evaporate quickly.
      Hope that helps you.

  4. Patti says:

    I can not wait to try out this New “Wilton Cake (toy) Tool!!

  5. Sylvia says:

    Thank you for the update on the decorative press set. This looks like a must have.

  6. Linda says:

    I bought this also thinking how much time it would save. I dont know what I did wrong but I hurt my wrist trying to make it work. Could not squeese with one hand. and the longest piece I did get was about 1 inch. Somebody help please!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Sorry your first experience wasn’t a pleasant one.
      You do have to knead your fondant or gum paste first.
      Did you soften your fondant or gum paste and get it soft like taffy?
      That will make a huge difference.
      I think just by softening your paste, you’ll solve this issue. Good luck.

  7. MeMyselfandI says:

    You definitely need to use the tip about adding shortening to your fondant. I had the same problem initially but after finding that tip it worked great!

  8. char-lee says:

    I have been using this tool since it came out. It is great for quick borders and designs. It cleans up easy and takes little space to store. I like it very much. Thx Wilton!

  9. Seston says:

    Clear, ifnortmiave, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

  10. jaidy says:

    lamentablemente lo más grande que sale la forma es de 1 me parece un exito..gasto menos tiempo realizando una firgura con mis manos

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