Thursday, February 5, 2009

how to make a tape measure cake

Well I was looking through my photos today and found these. I had forgotten that I had taken some progression photos of how I made my dad's tape measure cake. It's not a complete step-by-step progress, but I thought it might be helpful if anyone wanted to try making one.

I started out with a 1/4 sheet (this is the 9x13 magic line) that I torted and then cut in half.

I then filled and layered it. (this is my dads favorite, white cake with chocolate frosting :).

I needed it to be square so I measured the short side and then cut the long side so they were equal.

Then I rounded the top two edges and took a chunk out of the bottom right hand corner. At this point I took out a ruler and made a 1" mark all the way around the top of the cake and that was my guide for the beveling.

You then need to do a crumb coat, being careful to keep the bevel as much as you can. This is where I put it in the fridge to firm up a bit and settle.

For some reason here is where I forgot to take pictures :(. After it finished chilling I covered the cake in grey fondant. I ended up making a seam in the lower right hand inner corner and just cut away excess. Then I painted water on just the front side panel and front bevel and put a piece of black fondant on and trimmed off at the side bevel and wrapped it around the side and trimmed the excess.

For the face plate I made a template with a piece of paper just by cutting out a square and then cutting away until it was the shape i wanted. Then i cut it out of black fondant. For the lettering I looked up the craftsman logo and magnified it until it was the size i needed. Then just traced the letters I needed and the ones that weren't in the logo, I just used similar ones to make the ones i needed. For the numbers I just found a font that was similar and did the same thing. Then I used those as templates and cut them out of fondant with an exacto knife. For the red lines I just used a fondant rope. The thin writing is royal icing that I piped using a parchment piping bag (I personally think this is a must for piping very tiny), and the "made in the USA" logo is just traced onto paper and cut out of fondant. I painted the gray part of the cake with the silver luster dust being carful not to get any on the black (if I do this cake again I will put the bottom black piece on after this step) then I put the finished face plate on.

For the tape part of the measuring tape I used gumpaste. I started out with a 2" rectangle and then about 1/2 of the way in i cut the triangle. then i put the notch in the top and the hole. I used saran wrap over the pudding box so it wouldn't stick and let it dry like that for a couple days.

For the tape i just cut a 2" x6" piece of the yellow and let it dry for a couple of days.
Then I took my food safe markers and drew the inch and centimeter marks on it. I used silver luster dust mixed with alcohol to make the end piece look metallic, and then using gumpaste glue I attatched the two pieces together.

To attatch the tape measure to the cake (after i've placed the cake on the cake board) I cut a 2" slit in the fondant where I wanted it to go and just pushed it in.

and here is the finished cake!


  1. The first picture on the top seemed to me a real tape measure! if you didn't give the explanations I wouldn't have guessed!
    love your blog I just discovered it from flikr!

  2. Really nice tutorial, I love the drying box, that's a great tip! ;D