20 Non-Decorating Tools For Cake Decorating

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on specialty cake tools, there are a lot of everyday items that you can use for specific decorating tasks.

These are some things that I used for cake decorating that cost nothing, or a lot less than the cake-decorating branded versions.

tools for cake decorating you can't get in the baking aisle

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Pulp Trays

When I go to the store my cart will occasionally look like this:

pulp trays for gumpaste flowers

When I’m lucky enough to score some pulp trays from the produce section, I do the superior dance out of the store.

gumpaste daylily petals drying

The reason why is that they’re great for drying gumpaste with a slight curve, and they’re pretty impossible to buy.

Unless you like storing 100,000 of them, since that was the smallest order I could find of them online.

There are a lot of things that you can use for random decorating that are also cheap or free.

Go to the dollar store for a lot of them and load up.

rough gumpaste edges

Emery boards

 These can be used to smooth out rough edges on gumpaste flowers that have dried. You probably have a bunch of these in a junk drawer somewhere.

Poultry lacers

These are intended to be used to truss up a turkey before roasting it, but I use them to get food coloring out of little pots, nudge semi-set isomalt into the corner of molds, and to remove dried gumpaste from the crevices of cutters. You could also use them to decorate cookies or poke holes in fondant to prevent cake tumors from developing. I like them because they’re cheap, food-safe, and washable.

drink stir hook for vines

Coffee stirs

You can use them to attach gumpaste vines to the side of cakes, or to poke small pieces of gumpaste out of cutters.

Flexible plastic cutting boards

I use these to ice individual cake tiers on so that I can move them in and out of the fridge easily. You can also cut piece out of them to make buttercream smoothers or stencils if  you can find them in the right thickness. You can usually find these at the dollar store.

gumpaste succulents

Egg cartons

Styrofoam egg cartons are great for forming gumpaste flowers or storing small flowers or pearls.

You can also use paper ones if you put them in a 200-degree oven for half an hour or so to kill any bacteria, but styrofoam can be put in the dishwasher or washed by hand, so you won’t mess it up if it gets sticky and needs to be cleaned.

Pizza cutter

A rolling pizza cutter wheel is great for cutting strips of fondant or gumpaste.

Rotary quilting cutters

Closely related to the pizza cutter are rotary quilt cutters.

They come in straight blades but they also come in wavy and “v” shapes on the blades, so you’ll roll the cutter and the cut edge will have a shape.

red gumpaste roses

Wire shelf from the kitchen storage shop

Get one of those little wire racks from the office supply store or kitchen organizing store that you use to put inside on a shelf to expand your storage space.

Use it for hanging wired flowers on while they dry, either upside down or right-side up in tinfoil to keep their shape.

Drywall scrapers and putty knives

Get the plastic ones and use them to smooth your buttercream. They’re dishwasher-safe, too!

Plastic combs

Use these to make a wavy pattern with food coloring or buttercream. You can use them to press a texture into strips of fondant to make a grosgrain ribbon pattern, too.

cake tools

Cable cutter

Cable cutters are meant to cut wires and cables for electricians, but they cut through wooden dowels with ease.

They’re much easier than trying to cut dowels with a knife.

Pasta or clay roller

A pasta roller machine or clay roller machine is a hand-cranked (or you can get one with a motor) machine that will roll out your gumpaste thinly and evenly without you having to wreck your hands rolling it out.

I had a Kitchenaid attachment that fit onto my mixer and was motorized that way, and I also used a hand-cranked pasta machine to roll out my gumpaste.

Polymer clay tools

There are a ton of clay tools that are similar to cake gumpaste tools, but they’re usually better-made.

I buy the metal ball tools to use for my gumpaste because I put so much pressure on the plastic cake tools I break them all the time!

black fringe cake

Herb scissors

These scissors are meant for cutting herbs into strips or small pieces, but they’re also good for creating thin strips of gumpaste or wafer paper. It makes easy fringe for creating tassels of fringe on a fondant cake.

gumpaste succulents drying

Egg crate mattress foam

Very useful for drying gumpaste flowers and leaves to keep them in a cupped position.

I would buy an entire roll to fit a twin-sized mattress, then cut it into pieces that fit into large square cake pans so that I could move them around with the drying flowers on them.

You can throw out the pieces as they get old and cut a new piece off of the roll.

You can get different “bump heights” on Amazon (click here) but I found that the lower ones were better for gumpaste since they didn’t bend the flowers too drastically.

If the bumps are too high, you can cut them off to be shorter since it’s just made from foam, though.

Baby bottle brushes

If you can’t get your piping tips clean, get some bottle nipple brushes from the baby section at the grocery store.

You can pick them up pretty easily and you don’t have to worry about going to search for them at the craft store.

Rubber stamps

I’ve seen some clear rubber stamps being sold for cake decorating recently, but they’ve been using these for years for scrapbooking.

I did a project with my daughter’s art class when she was in middle school using them on cookies.

Dig around in your craft stash for all the ones that you bought and never used (I know you have some), or keep your eye on the scrapbooking aisle sales, and get some cheap.

pink gumpaste roses


Use these to build gumpaste roses so that you can insert them into a cake and not have to worry about wires.

Toothpicks are food-safe so they don’t need any special treatment to put into a cake, and it makes it easy to insert them into styrofoam to dry them upright.

Carpet non-skid mat

That rubber mat that you get to put under carpets to keep them from sliding around is great for putting under cakes when you’re delivering them in your car.

I would cut a piece to put in the cake box under the wedding cake, then put another piece under the box itself in the back of my car.

The cakes didn’t slide around in the box or in the car at all.

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