Pliable fondant works well to make a custom brush decoration for a cake, such as a makeup brush for a budding fashionista’s birthday cake or an paintbrush to honor the fine artist in your life. The two types of brushes are made basically the same way with slight variation in the shape of the bristles, just as there is bristle variation among the different types of artist brushes and makeup brushes. You can make a fine-tipped brush, brushes with tapered tips, a flat fan brush or a round brush with fanned-out bristles.

Things You'll Need

Divide white fondant into three portions and knead food coloring gels into the fondant to change the color. You’ll need brown or black for the bristles, gray fondant for the metal ferrule that joins the handle and bristles, and any color of your choice for the handle.

Hold a ball of the colored fondant for the handle in your hands with palms flat and facing together. Rub your hands back and forth to shape the ball into a long cylinder. Taper the cylinder slightly so it gets gradually narrower from the ferrule end to the tip end.

Roll a ball of the bristle fondant in your hands to create a small egg shape, then elongate the egg and twist the tip slightly to give it the look of a tapered paintbrush. Alternatively, you can roll out a piece of fondant to about 1/4 inch thick and use a craft knife to cut out a fan shape, U-shape or other desired shape for the brush tip. Shape the bristle piece with your fingers to achieve the perfect shape.

Dab a bit of water on the base end of the bristles and the ferrule end of the handle. Push the two together to make them stick.

Roll out the gray fondant for the ferrule and cut out a small rectangular strip. Brush one side lightly with water to make the fondant tacky. Wrap this gray piece around the point where the base of the brush and the handle meet.

Carve faint lines all over the fondant bristles with a craft knife to give a look of separation typical of real bristles. Snip the tips of the bristles with a pair of tiny scissors to mimic clumping groups of bristles. These subtle actions make the brush look realistic.

Press the back side of a craft knife blade against the metal ferrule fondant piece. Run the knife around the ferrule to make a light depression in the fondant. Make a total of three ring depressions along the length of the ferrule to imitate the crimped look of a real ferrule.

Brush silver frosting paint to completely cover the gray ferrule, giving it the shiny appearance of real metal. Silver luster dust also works, but requires brushing it with a damp brush to make the surface tacky.


  • It might be difficult to keep large brush bristles to stay attached to the handle. If you have this problem, insert a toothpick or wire into the handle and bristles to help hold them together. People don’t usually eat decorations made entirely from fondant, so this shouldn’t present a choking hazard.

  • Several basic crafting tools come in handy when working with fondant, but you should purchase separate tools and reserve them for cake decorating.