I made a very large gumpaste/fondant clam-like seashell for the first time with my Mermaiden’s project. So this time around, when I was getting ready to do it again for an upcoming under-the-sea topper, I decided to make a tutorial. It really is relatively easy to create if you have the one essential item which is a real McCoy seashell. If you don’t have one hanging around you can find them online by Googling: “Large Natural Baking Scallop Shells 5-inch”. I would suggest you make sure it is at least 5” inches across or it will not give your shell that impressive-looking “giant” effect.
What You Need
5” Natural Baking Scallop Shell
Gumpaste mixture (50% gumpaste/50% fondant)(not shown)
Printable Scallop Shell Pattern (Here is the link to my PDF file: My Shell Pattern Template) (not shown)
Piece of cardboard or a plastic lid to make a pattern template
Straight Edge Wheel Cutter
Pieces of Foam (optional)
Shell Shaped Dish (optional) or a Shaping/Drying Device
How to Make It
Before you begin make sure you have your template ready using the one from my PDF file. You can use a piece of cardboard or a plastic lid as your template’s material.
Roll out a piece of gumpaste/fondant mixture to about a 3mm thickness. (#1)
Use a straight cutting wheel (or an Xacto knife) to cut out the gumpaste/fondant template. (#2)
Dust the outside of the shell really well with a cornstarch puff or the gumpaste/fondant will stick. (#3)
Take the shell-shaped piece of gumpaste/fondant and press it down “firmly” onto the outside of the shell with your index finger. This will transfer the shell’s fan-shaped ribs onto your gumpaste/fondant shell. FYI: I like to press the scalloped edges slightly thinner to help give them the appearance of a real shell. (#4)
Take the shell-cutout piece off and carefully flip it over, placing it back onto a shaping device. I was fortunate because I had the perfect porcelain shell-shaped dish for this project. However, you can use the shell itself, but I think it produces a rather shallow concave shape. So, if you can find something else that gives you some more height around the edges, that would be great. If you really want to go all out then curl in a few of the scalloped edges to give it even more depth (see below photo). I do this by placing little pieces of foam to hold it in place as it dries. Let it dry thoroughly. (#5)
Now the fun part…coloring the shell with petal and/or luster dust(s). (You have several options here. You can either go semi-realistic, fantasy or somewhere in-between. So, let your imagination be your guide.) (#6)
How I Colored My Shell
For smaller shells I usually only use petal dust to color them. But for these larger ones I like a little more pizzazz i.e. I wanted to give them the allusion of being shiny. So I rolled out my good old luster dusts.
For my coloring I first applied some Sugar Art’s Diamond Colours Taupe and a touch of Baby Pink petal dust onto the very outer edges of both the inner and outer portions of the shell. Then I lightly dusted the taupe down in-between each of the lower rib indentations. Next, I dusted the whole bottom portion with Sugarflair Blush Pink luster dust. I chose a coral-pink color for the shell because I think it gives it a nice feminine appearance. I then applied this color over the upper taupe edges in order to soften the coloring on the inner edges of the shell. Finally, I completely over-dusted the whole shell with Squires Kitchen Designer Snowflake to give it the lovely pearlescent shimmer I had originally envisioned.