helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

I told you all my wedding was going to be DIY heavy!  And rightfully so because I watched my little budget explode over the past week, so I have very little room to spare.  Next on our planning agenda is to start looking for bakeries to make the cake.  I went into wedding planning dead set on using our local grocery store, but my idea was quickly crushed when I talked to the bakery manager and learned how much a simple cake was going to cost.  After I heard this price, I sort of put my cake planning on hold.

I did not stop the search for a cake topper though.  Y’all, cake toppers can be really pricey!  I, of course, started looking at the cake topper with my DIY goggles on.  “Oh, I could SO make that for a fraction of the price.”

And that is what I did.  I personalized a cake topper for a fraction of the price.  I wont lie, I was worried it wouldn’t fit our theme or maybe look too homemade, but I think everyday I am loving it more.  Lets get crafting, friends!

I found some cake topper inspiration and tutorials online that I sort of mixed together and made my own DIY cake topper.

BSB_materials

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Wooden Doll bodies – My craft store only had the smaller sized doll body.  They may have had another size, but they were out.
Large beads – I used the larger sized beads with only one hole
3/16in dowel rods – You can use any type you want, I went cheap.  And you will need to cut these down
7 inch circular plaque - They had multiple sizes and shapes
wooden hearts
Power Drill
Hand saw

BSB_directions

My first step was to paint the bottom plaque.  I used basic white acrylic paint and lined the edge with a thin blue ribbon.  I honestly have no idea what my cake is going to look like, so I wanted to keep this part as simple looking as possible.

While the paint was drying on the base, I had to Marie Antoinnette my doll bodies (totally a verb!).  The following images may frighten you or cause your lunch to sit funny.

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Before: the innocent bodies
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OH THE HORROR!

I used a simple hand saw to remove the smaller head which took a little elbow grease, but I wanted to go for a more proportional look with our bodies.  Insert the large wooden beads.  Those will now become our new heads (Dr. Frankenstein much?).  Fear not friends, the little head will be used shortly.  We must be resourceful with our crafting!

The next step is to drill a few shallow holes into the bottom of your bodies.  This is quick and easy and will make attaching your legs so much easier!

IMAG0231Once drilled, I painted on the top half of my dress and M’s shirt and tie onto the bodies.  I wanted the top of my body to match the top of my dress and also needed an excuse to bring in some glitter.

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I then took the large beads and designed our faces and hairstyles with a pencil first.  AFTER the fact I realized it would be been a little cleaner to draw my eyes on with a thin tipped Sharpie instead of paint.  Live and learn.  My hair was the hardest to match because it was either too orange, too yellow, or too red.  She went through a few different dye jobs to get it close.

Remember our decapitated head?  I painted that the same color as my hair and attached it to the back of the larger bead which created the look of a bun.

IMAG0232Once all of my paint dried, I took the dowels and first glued them into the girl.  I took the boy’s dowels and painted them black because I was not planning on actually creating pants.  Once the hot glue dried, put little black dots of paint on the bottom of each leg to mark where I was going to drill into the base.  Remember, shallow holes.  I first placed the girl into the base because I needed to build the skirt of her dress.  I had some left over ruffled tulle from a previous project that I cut and glued to the bottom of the body for some extra poof.  I cut a piece of white fabric I had laying in my pile and glued that over the tulle.

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I had some scrap black fabric that I cut into a long strip and wrapped it around the boy to use as his jacket.  Here is where I decided to nix the arms.  I saw a few cake toppers using different types of arms, but I just wasnt thrilled with making arms.

I added more tulle to the back of the head for a veil and added our initials to one of the wooden hearts.  Make sure everyone is glued in and you have yourself a homemade cake topper for $10.54 and about an hour of your day!

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What do you think?  I seriously contemplated NOT using this, but I think I need to use it.

What are you planning on using for your cake topper?
Have you chosen your cake?

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About Heather

I'm Heather, a 28 year old Tradeshow Account Executive living in Atlanta, GA. Matt and I have been together 8 years and plan to be married May 25, 2013 at our rustic wedding in Atlanta.

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  • Michelle

    I definitely want to do this! Great idea.

  • Sara

    I think these are adorable! And I’m not very crafty but I might give it a try…I’m just not interested in paying $40+ for the cute bride/groom toppers I’ve seen nor paying as low as $10 for the ones that look poorly made and painted. Thanks for the idea!

  • Jacqueline

    Too cute!!

  • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/denise Denise

    My brother is making our peg doll cake toppers because I just don’t have the painting skills to do it myself! Cost of materials was just under $6. If we were to buy one from somebody? Easily in the $50 range.

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