A Very Handy Modeling Hand Tutorial

It’s said that hands are one of the hardest things to draw because they are so familiar to us. We know them, well, like the backs of our hands, so can easily spot when they’re wrong.

Colorful Toy Story Character Molded from Fondant
Photo via The Royal Bakery

Modeling hands from fondant or gum paste can be just as problematic, but with this detailed tutorial, you should soon be creating realistic hands ready to pose into any gesture.

Creating realistic hands involves a gentle touch and just a little bit of know-how. Take a look at your own hands and wrists — a little observation goes a long way!

Piece of Gum Paste and Pot of Fondant on Mat

Step 1:

Color some fondant or gum paste to a flesh tone. (I prefer to use Wilton fondant without tylose added and color with Wilton Copper.) Roll the required amount into a smooth ball.

Hand Molding the Fondant Between Fingers

Step 2:

Roll one half of the ball between thumb and forefinger to create a wrist. The length of the wrist doesn’t matter as you can cut off any excess later, but it’s best to make it long enough to insert into the clothes on your figure.

Hand Holding Tip of Fondant Between Fingers

Step 3:

Flatten the other end.

Hand Flatting Fondant Between Fingers

Step 4:

Flatten the shape a little more toward the edges.

We’re making a left hand, so hold your own left hand up, palm facing you. Notice how the pinky side of your hand is a pretty straight line from your wrist, but the thumb side has a very definite angle?

Piece of Fondant Laying on Mat

Step 5:

Place the shape on its side on your work mat to create the flat pinky side of the hand. Continue to gently smooth and flatten the hand toward the edges.

Hand Holding Molded Pice of Fondant

Step 6:

Spend a little time creating the angle on the thumb side of the hand. You’re aiming for a very soft triangle shape, with the top of the triangle being the future tip of the thumb.

Blue Knife Slicing into Piece of Fondant

Step 7:

Make a cut parallel to the angle of the thumb and about half the length of that side of the “triangle.”

Hand Slicing a Triangle Shape from Piece of Fondant

Step 8:

Make a second cut parallel to the bottom of the triangle.

Fondant Taking on Shape of Hand, Lying on Mat

Step 9:

Remove that section of fondant.

Close Up on Hand Holding Piece of Fondant Taking Shape of Hand

Step 10:

Roll the thumb very gently between your thumb and forefinger to round it slightly. Rub the other cut edge to smooth and thin it slightly.

Once again, have a look at your own hand. You will notice that your fingers join your hand at about the point where your thumb ends.

Close Up on Hand Holding Same Piece of Fondant, Sliced in Middle

Step 11:

In order to cut four equal-sized fingers, make the first cut in the center of the hand. The cut should end level with the tip of the thumb.

Close Up on Hand Holding Same Piece of Fondant, Now with Fingers

Step 12:

Make two more cuts to create four equal-sized fingers.

Handing Making Indent with Tiny Ball in Fondant Hand

Step 13:

Place your hand on a foam pad and use a ball tool to create an indentation for the palm. This will bring your hand to life.

Close Up on Decorator's Fingers Molding Fondant Fingers

Step 14:

Gently roll each finger to create a rounder shape and smooth the cut edges.

Hand Using Piping Tip to Create Fingernails

Step 15:

You can add details like fingernails using small piping tips, and make knuckle indentations with a toothpick.

If you need to form the hand into a fist, there are a couple of extra steps that will help create the right shape.

Boning Tool Making Indentation in Fondant Hand

Step 16:

Make a light indentation in the palm of the hand with a boning tool or knife. The indentation should be just behind the fingers. Refer to your own hand to see where it creases.

Decorator's Fingers Forming Shape of Hand

Step 17:

Flip the hand over and gently pinch the fondant where it bends to create the knuckle. Repeat Steps 16 and 17 to create the finger knuckles.

Decorator's Fingers Holding Up Completed Fondant Hand

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One Response to “A Very Handy Modeling Hand Tutorial”
  1. Colleen Joy Renner
    Colleen Joy Renner

    What a great tutorial! So easy to follow, definitely recommendable to all! Please keep them coming!!