A Romantic Keepsake

Joelle Mahoney created a gorgeous Valentine’s Day box inspired sugar-keepsake tutorial, inspired by a box she won at an auction a few years ago. Recreate this romantic sugar-keepsake and give the perfect gift to your loved ones.

Difficulty: Intermediate


  • 2lb pastillage
  • 1lb royal icing
  • Cardboard patterns from supplied design
  • (40) 1-1/4” white roses, pre-made and fully dry

For Design and Assembly:

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
  • Seamstress tape for measuring
  • Pizza cutter
  • Wooden cutting board
  • Confectioners adhesive
  • 12” disposable pastry bag
  • 12” rolling pin
  • Coupler
  • Tip #3-7 and 7, as needed
  • Paper towels
  • Medium-sized, blunt end brushes
  • Small Palette Knife
  • Parchment paper
  • 10 straight pins
  • Small palette knife
  • Offset spatula

  1. Dust the wooden board with a small amount of confectioner’s sugar
  2. Roll out the pastillage dough onto the dusted board to 1/8th-inch thickness. (Joelle notes: The pastillage will dry extremely quickly once exposed to the air- only use as much of the dough as you need and store the remaining tightly sealed. Lay a damp cloth over the exposed surface to prevent air drying.)

  1. Cut out two heart-shaped pieced for the lid, using the supplied pattern. Cut another piece for the box bottom, and cut two narrow and long strips (cover the strips to prevent drying.)

  1. Once heart-shaped pieces are cut out on the board, do not move, allow to dry completely before handling.
  2.  For the sides of the box and lid, use the two long strips of the patterns and the two cardboard forms. For the box: Begin by cutting two strips of parchment paper, each 2 1/2 ” wide and 24/12” long, and wrap one of them around the heart-shaped box form. This will prevent the pastillage from sticking to the form when drying. Next wrap the pre-cut pastillage strip of the same size, around the outside of the box form and pin it into place. Take the remaining strip of parchment paper and wrap it along the outside of the pastillage strip for support. Tape in place and allow to dry for five days.

  1. Repeat the process as above for the lid, using the longer strips and cardboard lid forms. Allow to dry for five days.
  2. Once the heart box and lid pieces are dry, remove them from their respective forms and peel away parchment paper. Inspect all the pieces for any rough edges or imperfections. Use a fine grain sandpaper to gently file away any you may see.
  3. Assemble pastry bag with couples with the necessary tip. Working on a piece of parchment paper, place heart-shaped pastillage box around the small heart-shaped base. With a bead of royal icing, neatly join the bear of the box to the base of the box. If, when you go to assemble, the pieces fit together a bit too tightly, carefully sand off the edges causing resistance, then join. Clear any excess royal icing with a clean, damp brush. Do not move the box, but allow to thoroughly dry in place.

  1. For the lid, take the remaining large heart piece and again, as above, place it in the center of the lid shape. However, before you attach anything into place, be mindful that you need to allow space for the 40 roses to be placed into it as well. The lid should measure 1 3/4 ” in height and the roses should be no more than 1 1/4 inch tall.

  1. Now join the seams and the lid base as described in step 8. Allow everything to dry for a few hours. Once dry, set the roses, one by one, in a bed of royal icing. To achieve the desired effect, the roses must be placed closely together.
  2. Should you have any cracks in your work during this process, you can easily repair them by using a confectioner’s adhesive as a glue or some royal icing. Once dry, gently sand away any residue and the imperfections will vanish.

This keepsake box can now be used to offer to your Valentine; fill with chocolates for an extra special surprise.

Gift a Subscription!


A handpicked selection of the best cakes, recipes and news, delivered to your inbox.


Thank you for your submission. Please check your email.