Gum Paste Mistletoe

A Christmas cake staple - learn how to make gum paste mistletoe with Ashley Barbey!

By Ashley Barbey
The Little Vintage Baking Company

  • Satin Ice Gum Paste - Ivory
  • Gum Paste - colored dark moss green
  • 26-gauge floral wire (24-28 pieces)
  • 28-gauge floral wire (10-15 pieces)
  • Mistletoe leaf cutter
  • Cel pin or small rolling pin
  • Dense foam mat
  • Gum Paste storage mat
  • Cel board/groove board
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Gum glue
  • Cornstarch
  • White floral tape (1/4" wide)
  • Petal dusts - hunter green and champagne & for a lighter mistletoe color use moss green
  • Bumpy foam
  • Petal/leaf veiner
  • Mini pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Dusting brushes
  • Foam dummy
  • Optional: craft tweezers, dresden tool

Let's Get Started:

  • Make the mistletoe berries. Condition a small piece of white gum paste by kneading a small amount of vegetable shortening into it until smooth. Roll a little ball (between 4-5mm) between your palms, rolling firmly to make a smooth ball. Dip a piece of 28-gauge wire in gum glue, wiping off the excess. Insert the wire into the ball with the tip of the wire just poking out of the top of the ball. Set aside to dry completely. Repeat with remaining 28-gauge wire, making a variety of berry sizes.


  • Make the mistletoe leaves. Condition a small piece of green gum paste by kneading a small amount of vegetable shortening into it until smooth. Roll out over a groove board, thinly but not see through. Remove paste from the board, groove side up. Center mistletoe cutter over the groove and cut out. Dip 26-gauge wire into gum glue and wipe off excess. Insert wire into the groove about half way up the leaf.
  • Transfer leaf to a foam mat. If using a veiner, lightly vein the leaf. If not using a veiner, gently smooth out the groove on the back of the leaf with the cel pin. If you don’t have a veiner, you can also just use a Dresden tool by lightly creating 3-5 lines down the length of the leaf. Soften the edges of the leaf by gently smoothing with the cel pin.


  • Set aside to dry completely on bumpy foam, letting the tips of the leaves bend slightly. Repeat with remaining 26-gauge wire, making a variety of sizes.
  • Dust berries. Using a soft dusting brush, dust the tips of the berries with the champagne petal dust. If you chose to make some super small berries, dust them with a little bit of green, as the smaller, ripening berries are green in color. Mistletoe berries have a bit of a translucent look. The champagne (or ivory) colored petal dust helps contribute to that look.


  • Dust the mistletoe leaves. Using a soft dusting brush, dust the mistletoe leaves, front and back, with the hunter green petal dust. My mistletoe leaves are a darker green color but using a moss green also works here and will give the mistletoe more realism. 


  • Using a kettle or a steamer, steam the berries and mistletoe leaves to set the color and set aside to dry completely in a foam dummy. You can use confectioner's glaze for the berries, if you would like, but I don't recommend it for the leaves.
  • Working with 6-10 leaves and 3-6 berries, create a leaf sprig by wrapping two leaves together and working your way down adding on a cluster of berries, a couple more sets of leaves and more berries. Make two more additional sprigs, making each different with a different numbers and sizes of leaves and berries. Add more leaves and sprigs to make it larger. Tape the leaves closer together to make more of a cluster arrangement or tape them further apart to give it more realism. I also chose to use white floral tape here to color my own stems to match my flowers and leaves. You can use green tape if you have it but be sure to use similar leaf and tape colors.


  • Combine the sprigs. You want the longest sprig to be your center. Using craft pliers, carefully bend the two outer sprigs so they will fit better against the middle sprig. Starting with the longest sprig, add a shorter sprig on each side. Before wrapping, adjust leaves accordingly to avoid breakage. Starting at the base of the arrangement, wrap sprigs together tightly and continue down the length of the wires. 


  • Carefully adjust the leaves to fill out your arrangement. Dust the stem using hunter green petal dust. You can choose to dust sprigs before assembly if you wish. Just go back over the main part of the “stem” and white tape with the hunter green petal dust after assembly.


  • Tie a ribbon into a bow for decoration or use on a tree with other edibles such as gingerbread people and stained-glass cookies or place on a winter or holiday themed cake or traditional yule log cake.

To learn more about Ashley Barbey and her tutorials - click here!

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