How to Create a Shaker Cake Topper

How to Create a Shaker Cake Topper main article image
Posted on November 12, 2021 by Joan Magcalas
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Have you been looking for a cake topper that could make a simple cake look beautiful? Then look no further. For this project, we are scrapping the ordinary one-layer cake topper and opting for a 3D layer design. In addition, we will add embellishments as a filler to create a shaker cake topper, an upgraded version of the regular cake topper!

Materials:

  • Cardstocks – Get 1 white cardstock and 4 colored cardstocks that complement each other. To make it easier for color combinations, buy a pad or pack of cardstock in assorted shades of the color you want to use. For example, I am using Rose and Coral cardstocks from CraftSmart, which you can buy at Michael’s in the US.
  • Acetate Sheet – Use any clear acetate that is not too flimsy.
  • Shaker Fillers – Use any small crafting embellishments for fillers. I am using foam beads (tiny foam balls) in pink and white, pink sequins, pink and gold tube confetti, and chunky heart-shaped glitter for this project. You can also add small buttons, glass beads, glitters, and polymer clays. These items can be found at Dollar Tree, Michael’s, Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, or any craft store.
  • Lollipop Stick – Use either a white or clear lollipop stick. A firm stick will hold the filled-cake topper than paper straw. You can find these at the baking aisle of stores or order them at Amazon.

You will also need these:

  • Cutting machine – Use any cutting machine you have, like the Silhouette or Cricut. I am using my Cricut Maker for this project.
  • Design Software – Use any software that your cutting machine uses. Since I am using a Cricut machine, I am using Design Space.
  • Cutting Mat – Since we only use cardstocks, the regular mat (blue cutting mat for Cricut) is acceptable.
  • Foam Tape, Double-Sided – Use this to create a space between the two layers of cardstocks so the fillers can move around when the cake topper shakes.  
  • Tape, Double-Sided – Use tape the acetate to the cardstock as a barrier to keep the filler from coming out of the cake topper.
  • Glue Gun and Glue Stick – To glue the lollipop stick on the back of the topper.
  • Glue – Put the white and colored background cardstock together to make the back thicker and sturdier. You can use any crafting paper glue, but I use BearlyArts glue for cake toppers that I make.
  • Scissor – Use this to cut the tapes if needed.

Where to find these items in the US:

You can find all these items at any craft stores in the US like Michael’s, Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, the Dollar Tree stores, or Amazon. Lollipop sticks can also be found in the baking aisle of a store.

Instructions:

1. Clean and Prep

  • Clean the area or table you will use to make space for your items for this project.
  • Get the cutting machine ready and gather all the materials and tools needed.  

2. Download and Cut

We are making a shaker cake topper for this project, so we are using 3D birthday designs instead. The layered components of the 3D design are a great way to create the shaker.

  • Download Birthday Love 3D Layered by Slim Studio. Make sure to unzip the file and save layers 4, 2, and 1 only. Note: Design Space does not accept files in a zip folder.

  • Open Cricut Design Space and upload the files.
  • Resize and cut to heart shape

The 3D layered design is set up to be put in a frame, hence, the squared background. To make it a cake topper, we need to cut the image so that only the heart shape and border are left.

A. Open Layer 1 and click on contour.

B. Hide all contours except the two images that make the heart shape. Your image should look like the one below.

C. To fill the white space for easy offset, click the shape button on the left side of the Cricut Design Space to create a circle. Then, carefully fill in the area, especially the edges, clicking weld each time you fill the space with a shape.

D. Click the offset feature, slide the bar to the right, or type in .5 and click apply.

E. Separate the offset you created and hide the image we used to make it.

F. Change the color of the offset to a light color to make it easy to see it once we use this to trim all the files.

G. Make five duplicates, one is to hide for future use, and the rest are to use for the layers.

H. Open Layer 1 and size it to 7 inches.

I. Place the offset image to the back of Layer 1. You can use the grid to guide you on placement to make sure it is centered.

J. Once you have the correct placement, select the offset and Layer 1 and click the slice button.

K. Delete all files from the slice, except the layer that has the color you chose for the offset.

I. Repeat the previous two instructions for Layers 2 and 4, and change the colors to make it easier to know which color cardstock goes to which image.

M. For the other two offset images, change the colors and use different colors than Layers 1, 2, and 4.

N. Click on save or save as if you have not done so. Send it to the machine to be cut.

3. Put Together and Fill

You should have six pieces total; five are different colored cardstocks and one acetate. Three are each layer, and the other three are the heart shapes.

  • Glue the white heart-shaped cardstock and the cake topper’s background. Doing this makes the back thick and sturdy. Put it on the side for now.

  • Place the Layer 2 backside up, and then put the acetate on top. We will use Layer 2 as our guide when placing the double-sided tape to ensure that it is covered when we put all layers together.

  • Apply double-sided tape on the edges, ensuring there is no space for the filler to sneak out.
  • Once all the edges are covered with tape, grab Layer 4 and place it face-up on the table. Then put the acetate on top of the layer.

  • Flip the piece, acetate at the bottom, and apply double-sided foam tape. Make two stacks to have more space for the fillers to move around.

  • Do not take out the protective sheet when you are done with the second stack, so the sticky part is not exposed.
  • Grab all the filler you will use and carefully pour them. Ensure that you are leaving space and not overstocking it.

  • When you are done filling it, pull the protective sheet of the foam board and grab the backside you put on the side earlier.
  • Carefully place the colored cardstock on top of Layer 4, ensuring you are not pressing too hard and flattening the foam.
  • Flip the topper, so the acetate is on top.
  • Grab Layer 2, apply some double-sided foam tape cut pieces, and stick it on top of the acetate.
  • Grab Layer 1, apply some cut pieces of double-sided foam tape, and stick it on top of Layer 2.

  • Grab your glue stick and turn it on.
  • Flip the shaker cake topper, white back facing up.
  • Grab the lollipop stick and apply glue to 2.5 inches of the stick, starting from the top.
  • Quickly place the stick, making sure it is 1 to 1.5 inches away from the top, and the stick is straight and centered.

4. Now you are ready to use the cake topper!

The shaker cake topper is fun to make and a great way to customize a cake topper more. You can add embellishments and use colors that match the theme of the party. It is definitely an upgrade from the regular cake toppers!

Have you tried to do this project? How was it? Let me know in the comments below!  


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