Originally Posted by Kila5459
I am recently getting into cake decorating as well. Usually I offer to make the cake as my gift for the birthday/wedding/ect. If they ask me to make the cake, I make sure they know that I am still very amateur, and not licensed, so I won't "sell" my cakes because I do plan to do this professionally someday. For now, I am doing this for practice, a picture of the cake to build my portfolio, and reimbursement for the groceris + $5 to cover the things I used out of my pantry, salt/baking powder/flavors/colors. Some of my friends & family will give me some extra as a tip, which is appreciated, but not mandatory.
I'm also a newbie and sometimes things turn out well and sometimes...well they bite the big one. So I never charge anyone, tell them upfront what I hope they're going to get, and see each cake as an opportunity to learn, take pictures, and practice. I don't even let them cover groceries. I'm also super freaked out by the local health department so I've become even more firm about not taking payment. I also tell them I'm not licensed and that's the reason I won't risk taking any form of payment from them. They usually get it at that point.
I have had a few friends balk about this (especially co-workers) but I just tell them they can either have it for free or not at all. That said, it's not unusual to have a gift card to the local coffee shop show up randomly on my desk though. I couldn't tell you who dropped it off and they wouldn't dare tell me they did it either.