Hello all! Today, I want to share with you how I make my custom cake toppers using the Cricut Explore Air 2. I am so happy that I bought a cutting machine. I also have no bias towards brand - I'm sure Silhouettes work fantastic as well. I just bought a Cricut because it was available at my local arts and crafts store, Michaels. And let me tell you, this was one of the best investments I have ever made! I know it's hard to justify big purchases. There will always be excuses like "I have to pay rent" or "I have to pay my tuition". Trust me, I know! I didn't grow up with much, so once I started working, I would save all my money out of fear. Now, I am beginning to realize that you have to spend money to make money.
The Cricut is a small example. I bought it for about $275 if I remember correctly. To a new business owner, it was a big expense. I had a bunch of excuses in my mind too, but I put them to the side. You have to think big picture. You will make the money back. I've made at the very least $1,500 on custom cake toppers since I bought my Cricut, and I only bought it a year ago. So there you have it, I made the money back and four times more (of course minus the cost of craft paper and such) in a year. Don't be afraid to spend money if it's an investment! It is 100% worth it. It might be hard to see it now, but trust me, this mindset will set you further in life. I'm still trying to grasp it myself. I find myself taking steps back sometimes, reverting to my old, "poor" attitude. Fight those thoughts! There's only room for hot girl shit here.
Step 1: Open Cricut Design Space and Design the Topper
Start with a pretty font, but make sure it's thick. It's important that it's thick or has a bold option so that your cake topper is not super flimsy and susceptible to tearing. Also, make sure your font is free for use if you're planning to sell the toppers rather than for personal use (respect yenno). I am going with the font Lavanderia. It's one of my absolute favourites.
Step 2: Connect all the Letters as Best as Possible
You want all the letters to be connected so that none are detached when cutting. You want the cake topper as one consecutive piece. However, more than often, the dot on top of the letter "i" will be detached. I have seen some people photoshop this dot on, or glue it back on after the topper is cut. I am terrible at photoshop, so I simply leave the dot out. It's still legible and none of my clients have complained thus far. However, I was lucky enough to get the dot on the "i" to attach to a letter above in this instance. I wish this kind of luck for everyone, haha! So in this step, I am basically decreasing the spacing between the letters and making sure the second row connects to the top row as best as I can. You may have to type the letters of certain words separately and connect them manually so that it looks more natural.
Step 3: Hit Weld to Attach all the Letters
This merges all the letters together so that the Cricut does not cut them all out separately. That would be a disaster. After this, you can adjust the size of the topper to how you want. There are measurement bars above and to the side to help you with this. In this case, I am putting this topper on a 6 inch cake, so I am adjusting the size of the letters to fit within the 6 inch mark. I don't like my cake toppers sticking out of the cake, but I also don't like them too small, so I make sure it's just a tad bit less than the diameter of the cake.
Step 4: Cut it!
Hit "Make It". You will be taken to another page and provided with instructions on how to proceed with the cut. Make sure your device is connected to the Cricut and that the Cricut is connected to a power outlet. Then, you can attach any craft paper of your choice to a Light Grip cutting mat. Make sure the craft paper is thick enough to hold up by itself. Here, I am using this reflective gold paper that I got off Amazon (don't mind my previous cuts). Before you let it cut, make sure you have the dial on "Poster Board". That is the setting I like to use for thick craft paper. Now you can let it cut! It's fun to watch :) Once it's done, don't click the double sided arrow to push it out!!! Click the Cricut icon again to let it run through one more time. This makes sure that your topper is cut all the way through. If you let the paper out before allowing it to cut for the second time, it's hard to place the mat back exactly how it was before, so the cuts may not be in the exact same places. So that is very important to remember!
Step 5: Complete the Topper
Now that it's cut twice, you can let the mat out. Remove the topper very carefully so that no letters rip off. Cricut also sells this tool that looks like tweezers to help you with this step, but I don't have one and just use my hands. Now, you can hot glue gun it onto a stick. I bought these clear ones off Amazon. The trick is to place the stick in the middle where the most support is. Also keep in mind that you want to place it where it can be best hidden. For larger toppers, I usually place two sticks - one near the beginning and one at the end, so that the topper doesn't become all droopy.
And there you have it! Cake toppers are a great way to insert a message onto a cake. It looks super pretty and is versatile. You can do so many different fonts and colours. You can even do shapes and figures instead of words. Pro tip: I usually bag the cake topper separately when boxing the cake. Since the cake topper adds so much height to the cake, sometimes it doesn't fit into the box, so I just put it in a bag with my business card and place it on top of the box. More tutorials to come, so stay tuned!