Remember the guitar cake we did a few months ago? Sometimes the best ideas hit you when you're in the weeds. We were SO running out of time to finish this cake and I was going to do something that would not have been so pretty. I'll give you the short version, which is still kinda long! Chad came up with a great idea to use bamboo skewers to hold the strings. Read on for a mini tutorial on how we did this.
We drilled the tiniest of holes in the skewer and tied fishing line in a double knot so it wouldn't slip through. We measured all the skewers to just fit above the fondant after it was tapped into the gator board/drum below. Next time I would do a better job of cutting these more uniformly.
Once you have all the skewers cut and your fishing line attached (leave it long on the "neck" end) start hammering them into place at the bottom of the guitar. If you do them once at a time they'll be easier to manage. An assistant will help hold the loose strings off the cake.
I did my best to hide the skewers, but I was on a tight timeline but I would conceal them better next time. probably using fondant or food markers.
On the neck end, each of your skewers will be a different height, so you'll need to hammer in and measure each skewer individually. This will also be the time you measure your fishing line and cut it just a bit longer than you need. Go ahead and drill your skewer hole and tie your fishing line in a knot on the skewer.
Here's where the magic all comes together. Start pushing the skewer back into it's hole. If you notice the string is going to be too long, give the skewer a turn or two to tighten the string. As it goes into the cake, the string will tighten. You won't be able to tune it to the correct key, but it will hold tight enough to look really good. Using a thick modeling chocolate bar at the base of the neck will give the strings something to bite into and help keep them in place. We then put some fondant tuning pegs over the holes to hide the skewers.
We used real guitar string on the banjo, but know that we have figured this out, it will be our go to method. I will say that when we moved the cake the strings got looser because the flex of the very long cake board but then got tight again as soon as we laid it on the display table. I'm lucky the saggy, traveling strings didn't mess up my paint.
Hope this helps - if you have any questions, feel free to lave us a comment.