Do-it-yourself cake toppers are a fun and creative way to personalise any event. Even if you're not crafty, you can make your own cake topper with a little creativity and planning. Cake toppers are relatively simple to make using a variety of techniques. They are also versatile and are appropriate for any event, giving you a chance to experiment with ideas. Do-it-yourself cake toppers also give you some control over your cake budget.
Things You Will Need
- Craft supplies: paint, brushes, craft glue, beads, ribbons, etc.
- pre-made fondant
- cookie cutters
- clean and dry clay and/or soap moulds
- gel icing pens
- food colouring
- toothpicks or straws
- various types of small candy and/or chocolate pieces
Design the kind of cake topper you'd like to use with the fondant. Keep in mind the special occasion for which you are making the cake. Using your pre-made fondant, use your food colouring to dye the fondant into the colours you'll be using. Its a good idea to experiment with small pieces of fondant first, especially if you aren't used to its texture and the way it absorbs dyes. Fondant isn't just an alternative to icing, its claylike texture can be moulded into just about any shape you want to use for a cake topper. Three dimensional shapes can be created by hand, with cookie cutters, or even with clean clay or soap moulds.
Shape the fondant into the shape of the cake topper you designed, using your preferred shaping method. Remember that fondant is like an edible canvas that you can mould and change like clay. If you make a mistake in shaping or dyeing your fondant, you can start over by rolling out the fondant and trying again.
Dry the fondant in a clean dry place at room temperature, once you are satisfied with the shape of your cake toppers. Direct sunlight will fade the colouring and destroy the fondant's integrity. Place the fondant in an area that won't be disturbed or snacked on by household animals or children.
Design a cake for your special occasion with the kind of figurine cake toppers you have in mind. Figurine cake toppers are often used as keepsakes for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. Sketch your ideas on paper, and gather ideas from cake cookbooks and online sites for ideas and inspiration.
Collect your craft supplies. Craft stores and cake design websites offer blank figurines that you can paint yourself in the colours and designs you want to use for your cake. Blank figures can range from bride and groom figures for a wedding cake topper to animals or hobby-related figurines that represent the person or event you are creating the topper for. You can decorate these blank figurines with paint, beads, ribbons, etc.
Paint or construct your figurines using the colours and styles you've decided on. Painting your own toppers not only adds a personal touch to the cake topper, but lets you create a keepsake for the event the cake is being made for. You can also buy or make additional toppers like flowers, grass, trees, clouds, stars, etc., that create a unique scene for the top of your cake.
Let your painted figurines dry in a safe dry place out of direct sunlight where the paint won't be disturbed or faded by sunlight. Once dry, the figurines should be ready to use by placing them directly on top of the finished cake, or held securely by toothpicks or straws.
Plan the kind of cake you would like to use for your candy cake toppers. Candy cake toppers are used often for children's birthday cakes, but are versatile enough to be used for any occasion. Button candy, jelly beans, life savers, chocolate pieces, Gummi bears, and other small candy pieces are easy to piece together.
Gather your candy building supplies to construct the style or design for your cake topper. Coloured edible gels as well as icing can be used as a kind of "glue" to hold your design together, especially if you plan on making your design edible. Toothpicks are excellent ways to keep the shape of your design and secure your candy cake topper to the cake. If you are not planning to make the topper edible, you can use regular craft glue to keep your candy cake topper together.
Keep your finished candy cake topper in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This will both solidify and "set" any glue or gel parts you might be using, It's also a good idea to make the candy cake topper about a day or so ahead of the event you are planning for. Candy cake toppers are perishable, and if you make your candy topper too far in advance, your candy could go stale. If you are using chocolate pieces, the topper may melt if it is left in sunlight or near heat.
If you are planning a smaller event, or you are using cupcakes, the cake toppers you construct can also be used as party or wedding favours.
If you are using glue, paint, or beads, be careful they aren't incorporated into the actual cake batter or icing. Beads and other small pieces can be a choking hazard.