7 Easy DIY Cake Toppers for Special (or Any) Occasions

By Hallmark staff on June 23rd, 2022
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Where there’s a cake, there’s a party—that’s just truth. And while you’re in a festive mood, you might as well add one of these easy DIY cake toppers to make the celebration official. Birthday? Anniversary? Holiday? Cakes were on sale? Craving frosting and needed an excuse to eat some? Doesn’t matter. You know your reasons.

Here are some of our favourite DIY cake toppers, starting with the very easiest—and including some free printable designs!

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Festive Milestone Birthday Cake Topper

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What you’ll need:

  • Milestone birthday card with great big numbers
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Two toothpicks (or skewers)
  • Optional: Whipped cream or extra frosting and sprinkles

Start with a Hallmark Signature milestone birthday card—the kind with a great big number on it.

Open up the card and hot-glue two toothpicks so they’re sticking out the bottom on each side: They should be about half in and half out of the card. Put a thin line or some dots of glue around the open edges to keep it together. Close the card and let the glue set—all finished!

Because we’re a little extra, we piped on some whipped cream and added sprinkles to hide the toothpicks.


Fruit and Flowers Cake Topper

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What you’ll need:

  • Mixed berries or fruits
  • Flowers or herbs (edible or decorative, but nonpoisonous and not treated with pesticides)
  • Optional: Sugar and water
  • Optional: Citrus fruits

For the minimalist, a “naked cake”—the kind with just a skim coat of frosting—with natural toppers seems just right. That said, if you’re against a mostly frosting-free cake because honestly what’s the point, spread it on thick instead.

Start with berries in different sizes—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are a classic combo—and scatter them over the top and onto the platter. Poke in a few handpicked flowers from your garden and you’re done.

Alternatives and add-ons

  • Use seasonal fruits, like figs or cherries, or dried fruits.
  • Herbs like lavender or mint can sub in for flowers, too.
  • Try edible flowers like pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, marigolds, bee balm or chamomile. (Be sure they’re pesticide free!)
  • Candy your flowers, petals and mint leaves by brushing them with powdered egg white mixed with a little water, sprinkling them with superfine sugar and letting them dry ’til crispy on parchment paper overnight.
  • Make candied citrus slices. Slice seedless lemons, limes, oranges or small grapefruit suuuuuuuuper thin. Make simple syrup in a wide saucepan: Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and add the citrus slices in one layer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the piths are mostly translucent, then let cool on a rack or parchment paper.

Pineapple Cake and Cupcake Topper

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We love a pineapple cake in the summer. (Honestly, any season.)

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There are a million ways to frost a cake to look pineapple-y, but we wanted an easy out when it came to the leafy top.

What you’ll need:

So this one’s extra simple: Print. Cut out. Tape to a skewer or toothpick. Stick in cake. Perhaps you noticed we included printable toppers for two cakes and a half-dozen cupcakes. This is no time for restraint.


Mini Tassel Garland Cake Topper

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Tassels are like tiny pom-poms. And depending on the colours and materials you use, they can be peppy, elegant or boho-chic.

What you’ll need:

  • Pre-made tassels (search for “mini tassels with jump rings”)
  • Two wooden skewers
  • Gold cord
  • Optional: Edible gold paint

To make the Mini Tassel Garland Cake Topper in the photo, just:

  • Cut a piece of gold cord a little wider than your cake.
  • Evenly space the tassels and tie them to the cord. The easiest way to do this is to start with the one in the centre and work your way out.
  • Tie the ends of the cord to the tops of the skewers and stick them in the cake.
  • If the cake is extra wide—like a sheet cake—you might want to use three or four skewers.
  • If you want your skewers to shine, paint them with edible gold paint before you get started.

Want to make your own tassels? This video will show you how.


Love in Bloom Cake Topper

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For bonus fancy, add flowers to the top of the cake to hide the bottom of the straw.

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This one takes a steady hand…be careful!

What you’ll need:

  • LOVE printable (downloaded and printed)
  • Decorated or colour card stock (you can decorate it yourself or buy it that way—or you could start with plain card stock and glue wrapping paper to it)
  • Vellum or tissue paper in a coordinating colour
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper straw
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Flowers
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Our artist started her design by doing a simple watercolour wash on a sheet of Bristol paper—a great, easy way to match the colours of your party theme.

The most important thing is that the front and back of your LOVE topper are made of card stock heavy enough to stand up straight.

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Stack the decorated paper on top, face up, and the plain card stock underneath it, then tape them together for stability. Tape the Love printable over that, carefully cut around the circle with a craft knife, making sure to cut through all three layers.

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Then cut out the letters the same way.

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Cut a piece of vellum or tissue paper big enough to cover all the word LOVE—there should be space around the words, but it shouldn’t stick out of the circle. Use the glue stick to adhere the vellum or tissue paper to the reverse of the decorated paper, then apply glue all over the back, line up the blank cutout and stick it on.

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Use the craft knife to cut two slits in the top of the paper straw. Slide the LOVE circle in to be sure it fits and looks centred, then remove it and add some hot glue inside the straw. Re-insert the circle and allow to dry.

Insert it far enough into the cake for the LOVE topper to feel stable.


Summer Sun Cake Topper

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Happy up any celebration with this bright, sunny cake topper!

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It’s super easy and perfect for a summer birthday party.

What you’ll need:

  • Crayola model magic
  • Rolling pin
  • Smallish bowl (or another circle-shaped thing to trace)
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Craft knife
  • Paint brush or foam brush
  • Acrylic craft paint in the party palette
  • About 13 4″ treat sticks (like for cake pops)
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Cake
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First, roll out a piece of Model Magic to about 1/4″ thick. Pop a bowl (or plate or any other circle-shaped thing) on top and trace around it with a craft knife.

Pull away the extra clay, then use a ruler or straight edge to cut a half circle. Let the Model Magic dry for 12-24 hours so it’s hard enough to stand up without sagging.

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Paint the sun with bright yellow acrylic paint.

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Create the rays by either rolling, dipping or painting the treat sticks in a variety of colours. Paint some solid colours and some half-and-half to make the rays extra colourful.

When the sun and the rays are completely dry, hot-glue the rays to one side of the sun. Make it easy on yourself by gluing the top-centre and side rays first, then filling in between.

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Hot-glue the two unpainted treat sticks to the bottom edge. When everything is cooled and set, gently press it into the top of the cake.


Daisy Cake Topper

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This cute cake topper can go super retro or sweet and springy…your call!

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Get different colours of tissue paper for the petals to create a “crazy daisy” effect.

We love daisy cake toppers as much as we love real daisies. They’re simple and iconic enough to stand alone on a simple white cake or cupcake or top a retro ’70s cake with marbled or ombre multi-colour frosting.

What you’ll need:

  • White tissue paper (or get all fancy and do lots of different colours)
  • 1″ Styrofoam balls (1 for each daisy)
  • Round toothpicks (8–10 for each daisy)
  • Wooden skewers (1 for each daisy)
  • Yellow, green and white acrylic paint
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Mod podge
  • Craft glue (optional)
  • Paint palette or paper plate
  • Foam block or Styrofoam egg carton
  • Scrap paper

Start by painting the skewers green, leaving a few inches of the pointed ends unpainted for food safety. (Vary that up if you want your daisies to be different heights.)

Once the skewers are dry, stick the blunt ends into the Styrofoam balls. Paint the balls yellow and poke the skewers into an egg carton while they dry.

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Next, draw your own petal shape—basically a teardrop with the pointy tip cut off. You can make it long and lean or short and squatty or mix it up.

To get more bang for your cut, fold your tissue paper a few times and trace the petals before you cut them out. You’ll want 8–10 petals per flower, and you’ll need two pieces of tissue paper for each petal.

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To make each petal:

Put a tissue petal on a piece of scrap paper and paint it with Mod Podge.

Centre a toothpick on the petal with a little bit of one of the pointed ends sticking out.

Smooth another tissue petal over the top.

Stick the petals in the foam block or egg carton or lay them flat to dry.

Editor’s note: You can paint the toothpicks white, so the wood doesn’t show through the tissue paper in the next step. This is an admittedly fussy step, but that’s who we are.
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Poke the petals into the yellow balls. If anything feels wobbly, you can always add a dot of craft glue.

If you want the petals evenly spaced, start by putting two directly across from each other. Then centre two more at the top and bottom. Then fill in, placing the new petals a little behind the others to add dimension.

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To make a big impact, scatter three or five daisies on top of your cake. And a single flower on a cupcake is JUST. THE. CUTEST. (You’ll notice we coordinated the cupcake liners with the stems and petals.)