What is essential to every wedding, is only needed in a very small quantity, and would be a lot more fun when personalized? A bride & groom cake topper! The best DIY wedding gift and/or project of all. It won’t take very long (4-6 hours tops), and you won’t have to make one for every guest in attendance (phew!).
The hand-painted wooden bride & groom toppers outlined in Chronicle Book’s Handmade Weddings take the cake for us! You’ll need:
Two 3 1/2″ wooden dolls (available at craft stores or on Etsy)
Acrylic paints (keep the palette & the paint job simple with less colors if its a first-time kind of a project)
20-25 seed beads (for the bride’s necklace)
Small piece of tulle for the veil
Decorative button for the veil
Decorative button/cabochon for the bouquet
6×1 inch Styrofoam disc (available at craft & floral supply shops)
One 8 1/2×11-inch sheet patterned or solid text-weight paper
1 yard 1-inch ribbon
Small square brush
Small pointed brush
Cup of water
Beading needle, or “sharp”
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
A) Decide beforehand how much your topper people ought to resemble the happy couple. Details—like his glasses or a bow she always wears—will be more fun to paint, but could also prove more difficult. Make sure you lightly pencil your design on the dolls to start.
B) Use your paper plate as a palate for the paint. Wet your brush in the cup, do a test stroke with paint on the plate, then go ahead & work on the figurines. Any time you switch paint colors be sure to thoroughly rinse the brush out. Let them dry before continuing.
C) Thread the beads until the string is long enough to just go around the bride’s neck. Secure & voila, a necklace!
D) Take the tulle and cut a 1×2-inch section, fold accordion-style, and hot glue under the button or cabochon on the bride’s head.
E) Use the Styrofoam disk to trace and cut out two circles on the paper. Cut out circles. Cut a strip of paper the same width as the height of your disk and a length the circumference of your circle (diameter x 3.14 = circumference). Align the strip of paper and glue in place on Styrofoam. Do the same for the circles you’ve cut out. Glue the ribbon length over the circumference of the Styrofoam on top of the paper, aligning seams of ribbon with paper.
F) Hot glue the bride & groom down, too, facing away from the seam in the ribbon.
This project is great for creative liberties! Use wooden clothespins & make them fabric clothes, or cover the whole top circle in fabric, found paper, or text.
Center the finished topper on the cake (or amidst the cupcakes or between the pies), and enjoy a custom, made-with-love detail all ready for the cameras and some wedding bells!