I had more attention on the ruffle pom poms but almost as much for the painting on the sides of the cake. So with the encouragement of Nina from Make Pretty Cakes who is not only a cake genius but also a tutorial genius, I have made this for you all.
I tried this effect with a paintbrush but I didn’t like the lines it left and although the make up sponges leave lines too, it is much softer and more subtle than the harsh effect I had with brushes. Of course you can go ahead and do the same with a brush if that’s your preference, i’m just letting you know exaaaaactly how I did it.
As usual, with anything I do, there are no right or wrong rules, just a general idea to achieve the effect so don’t be scared that you’re “doing it wrong” – this is art, creativity has no rules and no limits.
LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!
- My make up sponges came from the $2 shop.
- If you are using more than one colour, start with your lightest colour first and lightly airbrush it on, layer on more colour till you reach the intensity YOU want.
- When airbrushing on colour, I like to keep the colour within 1/4 – 1/2 way up the sides of the cake to allow room to drag the colour upwards with your sponge.
- Vary the height you spray up the cake so when you drag the colour with your sponge, it allows for the random pattern to happen naturally.
- Some make up sponges come in a more rectangular shape, if that is the case with yours, cut them on an angle (as seen in row 2), by doing this, your sponge will do all the work and you just hold it at the same position and drag to achieve this effect (as seen in row 3).
- The side of the sponge you will be using on the cake needs to be lightly dipped in clear alcohol or extract. Squeeze out as much as you can, you only need it to be slightly damp, this helps you blend out the colour instead of ‘rip off’ the colour. It also helps if your colour has dried before you have time to blend it as the alcohol works into the colours. Too much liquid in your sponge can result in a dull effect, the whole point of this is for an array of colour to be seen.
- Use similar colours or shades. Red and Green may look cool for Christmas but blend them together and you’ll have poop!
- After you have blended out your colours, finish off the bottom with a colour of your choice (within the theme) airbrushed on. As you can see in row 4, we finished it off with a regal purple.
- If you want to soften the intensity of colour, you can airbrush on a light coating of pearl metallic food paint like we did in the last picture of the last row of the ‘fire’ cake, the Rainbow Dust products work really well for us.
- If you’re new to airbrushing and you don’t want to spend a fortune on specialised paint, you can just use supermarket food colours, they work well too.
- LIGHT HANDS!!!! Light everything, less IS more, don’t buff the cake with the sponge, don’t soak the cake in colour, don’t soak the sponge – if you’re not sure, practice on a scrap of fondant first.
- I’m left handed, most of you will have a cake with the effect going the opposite way to what I’ve got in the photos.
- If you don’t have an airbrush, you can lightly sponge on your colours then use a clean sponge or the clean side lightly dipped in clear alcohol and squeeze out the excess then wipe away.
Again, I hope I’ve covered everything, I hope I make sense and I really, really hope this inspires a million other designs for you. It is so quick and easy no one will believe it’s this simple. I had a few people message me on facebook asking how I did it and I said “Lightly airbrush a colour or two, some shimmer if you like and wipe away with a makeup sponge” – I never got a reply from any of them, they must think I’m an a$$hole…hahaha!
If you have any questions or concerns, leave us a comment or email us. We would LOVE to see what you come up with so either email us a photo or slap it up on our Facebook wall.
P.S. I’m not an a$$hole, it really is that simple.