FREE Fondant Tutorial: John Deere Tractor

I put together a FREE step-by-step tutorial, quite in-depth, on how to make this little John Deere cake topper.  It’s posted here; check it out!

cover photo tagged

So here’s what we’re making. Can you tell this little toy has been LOVED?

step 00

Start with a basic shape of the body of the tractor:

step 01

Roll out 4 black balls for the tires and 4 yellow balls for the centers of the tires:

step 02

I have a habit of using my fondant smoother to press balls into circles:

step 03 step 04

Use an Exacto knife (or whatever you have handy) and make treads:

step 05

Use the end of your small rolling pin (or whatever you have handy) to round the inside of the tires:

step 06 step 07 step 08

Time for the 4 yellow balls.  Break each ball into 2 parts; a big part and a small part, now you have 8 of them:

step 9

The big yellow ball gets flattened and becomes the center of the tire:

step 10

The small yellow ball remains somewhat rounded (press it down just a bit) and becomes the hub of the tire.  Use a toothpick (or whatever you have handy) to make lug marks:

step 11 step 12

The body has to be off the ground, so put a piece of fondant underneath.  I used black so it wouldn’t be too obvious when it was finished:

step 13

Make sure it’s about the right height:

step 14

Glue on the wheels with a bit of water:

step 15

Roll 6 green balls:  4 for the mudflaps over the tires, and 2 for the hitch (one of the hitch balls should be notably smaller than the other):

step 16

Using a toothpick (or whatever you have handy) make an indentation for the hitch.  Roll the bigger of the two small balls into a teardrop shape, add a touch of water to the pointed end and insert into hole for hitch.  Add a tiny dot of water on the “hitch” and rest the small ball on top. When I’m modeling a toy, I like to stop and compare sizes and shapes to be sure I’m on track.  You don’t have to be perfect; as long as the general shape and size are what you want, you’re good to move on.

step 17 step 18 step 19

Now go ahead and shape the 4 bigger balls into your mudflaps.  Roll them into teardrop shapes and then lay them down and flatten them.  We’ll let them sit and firm up a few minutes while we put on our windows.

step 20 step 22 step 23

Roll out black fondant very thin.  This is a great time to use left over pieces, as we’ll be cutting it down very small:

step 24 step 25

Use an Exacto knife (or whatever cutting tool you use) and cut the pieces for the window. Watch your edges and keep them neat. Use a bit of water to adhere the windows to the tractor using a flat tipped paint brush to hold them and lay them into place.

step 26 step 27

Now do the other side.  Don’t get caught up in making it perfect.  If it resembles the toy, it’s probably good enough.

step 28

Our mudflaps are probably firm enough now to glue them into place. Use a bit of water for glue and glue on the front fender.

step 29 step 30

Now the back ones:

step 31

Use your ball tool (or whatever you have handy) to make pockets for the eyes:

step 36 step 37

Roll out white circles for the eyes and adhere with a tiny drop of water:

step 38

Roll out blue balls for the eyes and adhere with a tiny drop of water:

step 39 step 40 step 41

Roll out black balls for pupils and adhere with a tiny drop of water:

step 42 step 43 step 46 step 47

Roll out a tiny white ball for the “twinkle” in the eye.  Cut it in half to be sure they’re the same size and glue on with a tiny drop of water:

step 48 step 49 step 50

Roll a piece of thin fondant for the grill and adhere with a bit of water:

step 52 step 53

Roll a snake of red fondant for the smile, press to flatten and adhere with a bit of water:

step 54 step 55

Roll a piece of thin white fondant and cut 4 teeth.  After I cut my teeth, I straightened them up.  It’s easier to get them right before you apply them, though.  Next I added a small upside triangle shape to match the teeny John Deere symbol. Adhere with a bit of water:

step 56 step 57 revised twice
 From that same white fondant that you used for the teeth, cut 2 rectangles for “chome-look” eyebrows and use the dull side of your Exacto knife to make impressions to divide them.  Then bust out the silver airbrush paint (or silver luster dust, etc.) and paint they eyebrows (full strength with a paint brush is fine) so they look shiny and metallic.  Straighten them up if they’ve flopped a bit (like mine did):

step 58  step 57 revised further step 58 with metallic

Finish up by rolling a tiny yellow snake of fondant for the stripe down the front fenders. Make a tear drop shape out of one end of the snake and adhere to front fenders using a tiny drop of water:

step 59 step 60

Finished view from the front:

step 61 revised

Tsk Tsk, at the end I realized I had missed a yellow bit under the “smile” – so i went back and added it.  Now he’s DONE!

step 62


4 thoughts on “FREE Fondant Tutorial: John Deere Tractor

  1. I love the tutorial! You make it very easy to be able to reproduce this at home! Thank you!
    P.s you are sooo very talented 🙂

  2. Hi Peggy, you really made a great tutorial with fantastic photos!
    I really love how you make such a tractor out of fondant. I’ve been baking quite a few cakes and using fondant to make my cake decorations.
    I’ll try to make something similar next time, maybe even a farm themed cake. That would be cool.
    Anyway, enjoy the baking, Julie. -> my website 🙂

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