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

Cakes and cupcakes decorated to look like pineapples with our pineapple top printout.

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 favorite DIY cake toppers, starting with the very easiest—and including some free printable designs!

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @HallmarkStores.

Festive Milestone Birthday Cake Topper  

A milestone cake topper made from a 30th birthday card, sitting on top of a white cake with blue sprinkles.

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  

A cake with white icing topped with a variety of summer berries and white flowers.

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. 

Pineapple Cake and Cupcake Topper  

Cakes and cupcakes decorated to look like pineapples with our pineapple top printout.

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

Printed pineapple topper downloads printed and sitting on a work surface with a pair of scissors; a few of the smaller cupcake toppers are affixed to toothpicks.

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  

A multi-colored tassel garland cake topper sticking up out of a white and gold frosted cake.

Tassels are like tiny pom-poms. And depending on the colors 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 center 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  

A round cake topper that says

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

The supplies needed to make the

This one takes a steady hand…be careful!

What you’ll need:

  • LOVE printable (downloaded and printed)
  • Decorated or color 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 color
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper straw
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Flowers
A blur of fuchsia and pink paint lines on a white piece of paper.

Our artist started her design by doing a simple watercolor wash on a sheet of Bristol paper—a great, easy way to match the colors 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.

Hands cutting out the LOVE cake topper with a craft knife, on a crafting mat.

Stack the decorated paper on top, face up, and the plain cardstock 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.

The back and front of the LOVE cake topper cut out and sitting on a crafting mat with a craft knife.

Then cut out the letters the same way.

Hands applying glue to the outside of the LOVE cake topper.

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.

Hands adhering a straw to the LOVE cake topper.

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 centered, 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  

A sunshine cake topper with colorful rays on top of a white and yellow cake sitting on a light blue cake stand.

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

Materials needed to make a sunshine cake topper, including modeling clay, treat sticks, paint, a rolling pin, and hot glue gun.

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
Hands tracing a half circle out of sculpting clay using a bowl an a craft knife.

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.

Hands painting a half circle yellow with a sponge brush.

Paint the sun with bright yellow acrylic paint.

Hands applying hot glue to the bottom of a colored treat stick before gluing it to the half sun of the cake topper.

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

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-center and side rays first, then filling in between.

Hands inserting treat sticks into the bottom of a finished Sunshine Cake Topper.

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  

Daisy cake toppers sticking out of a cake swirled with white icing set against a bright yellow background.

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

Supplies needed to create the daisy cake topper, including paint, tissue paper, Mod Podge, toothpicks, foam balls, treat sticks and scissors.

Get different colors 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 multicolor frosting.

What you’ll need:

  • White tissue paper (or get all fancy and do lots of different colors)
  • 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. 

Hands cutting petals out of white tissue paper with a pair of scissors.

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.

Hands applying Mod Podge to the back of a petal-shaped piece of tissue paper.

To make each petal:

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

Hands pushing a prepared daisy petal pick into a yellow flower center.

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 center two more at the top and bottom. Then fill in, placing the new petals a little behind the others to add dimension.

Prepared daisy cake toppers laying on a pink surface.

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.)

Looking for more DIY cake toppers?