Ron Ben-Israel, owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York, and adjunct professor at the French Culinary Institute, shared some of his techniques for creating outstanding designs during a demonstration at the Atlantic Bakery Expo.
Refrigerate all cakes at least overnight to firm and preserve the cakes.
All tools have specific functions and you should only use them for that function. For example, use box cutters on boxes, not your scissors.
Use only Masonite boards.
Use colored fondant.
Traditionally, all tier heights are the same. Try changing the sizes and shapes of the tiers.
Cut all ribbons on a diagonal bias. Keep a separate pair of scissors just for ribbon. Overlap the ribbon when putting it on the cake board and use non-toxic glue to attach it.
Make your own silicone moulds from items you find or from your own piped designs. Use gumpaste in the moulds, then freeze it to make the unmoulding easier.
Attach decorations to cakes using glue made from sugar paste and water that is cooked to paste consistency or use piping gel. Piping gel keeps colors from running onto the rest of the cake.
Start with the simple design elements then move to more complicated components.