Step One: Inspiration
Every beautiful custom cake starts with a little inspiration and a little imagination. Cake design inspiration can be found anywhere! Once you begin decorating cakes you'll start looking at the world in a different way - what would normally be just a magazine advertisement for perfume, has now become the color palate for your next cake! And the modern floral pattern on your dinner plate would add just the right touch to a sweet 16 birthday cake. Yes, cake inspiration is everywhere! I'm going to share with you my most favorite places to find inspiration.
The first one (my very favorite) may surprise you! No, it's not Pinterest... although Pinterest is on the list. It's the paint section of my local home improvement store! If you have trouble pairing up colors that compliment each other, this is the place to go!
Isn't it beautiful?! Here you'll find every color you can imagine! And the best part about this section is it's all free! Also, see those larger square booklets at the beginning of each color section? These booklets contain color combinations already laid out for you! And sometimes they include a picture of a room painted in these colors - which helps with pattern and texture ideas as well!
Here is a little peek inside two of the booklets I've collected. The color combinations are so beautiful and each one sparks several design ideas. And the pictures of the rooms often contain small decorative pieces that have a pop of color (and sometimes texture) not seen in the color layout that can help you add just the right touch. These little booklets are my very favorite source of inspiration for modern cake designs.
A few other places I love to look for inspiration are magazines, catalogs, and picture books! Since I started cake decorating I have yet to pick up a magazine or catalog that didn't contain some sort of inspiration for a cake. And whenever I come across a picture or advertisement that gives me an idea for a future cake, I cut the picture out and paste it into a binder that I have that is specifically for inspiration ideas. It's kind of like the old school form of Pinterest. Ha ha!
Source: Pinterest search
And now that I've brought Pinterest up, it is such an amazing source for inspiration! There are millions upon millions of gorgeous cakes to browse through. Or if you're looking for something specific, type what you're searching for and I'm sure something close to what you need is there! I've used Pinterest many times when looking for great ideas! Or to even get an idea of how to translate my design idea to cake. If you have a great design idea, but aren't sure how to lay out that design on a cake, take time to browse Pinterest and I'm sure something on there will spark an idea!
Now on to my last source: nature, and other everyday things! Animals, plants, houses, cars, Christmas trees, shoes, dresses, etc., are absolutely perfect for 3D sculpted cakes! Anything and everything can be made out of cake! All you need is imagination, a good design, a sturdy structure (if doing a large cake), and some good recipes.
I've only mentioned just a few of the places you can find inspiration. Don't limit yourself to just a couple of sources - take a look all around you! You'll be amazed!