Top This {DIY Birthday Topper}


There are lots of traditions to make birthdays special. I’ve seen funny hats, personalized shirts, monogrammed plates and bedazzled sashes for the birthday person. There are drive-bye parades, yard signs, Facebook reminders and funny birthday songs.

Lots of ways to celebrate our birthday stars.


Something special our family has created as a tradition is a homemade cake topper. What started as a doodle in store-bought icing has morphed into an annual art project. 

First, someone is designated as the artist. Sometimes that’s a parent or sibling. Then, the drawing is made on paper, usually using colored pencils with some sharpie details. Lastly, to help it survive on top of the icing, I encase the completed work in packing tape. I run strips of tape on both the top and back of the drawing and cut it out, a little like a poor man’s laminator. 

Ta-da! Cake decoration and future bookmark in one! 

We usually let the kids pick out their cake from the case of our local bakery and whatever fru-fru design already on the cake works fine. We gently lay the drawing on top of the cake, not pressing down, add candles and we’re cooking with gas!

We enjoy the activity of creating this special part of our birthday celebrations. For my kids, I’ve created Grogu, Nahal and other designs. My kids have made for each other Pokémon, Garfield and Beanie Boos. And for my birthday this year, I asked my kids, partner and best friend to each contribute a small flower for my cake top.

Creating together and for each other is a wonderful way to celebrate. I hope you feel encouraged to make something for someone special to you.