Well, you have to work with what you got, right? In that spirit I came up with my final project for the May Arts Design Team, a cake topper that (fortunately) doesn't involve any cake decorating tools. Oh no: this, my friends, is a ribbon cake topper.
Rainbow style! Because basic white frosting is really the only thing I can manage, so I needed something bold and colorful to
cover enhance my decorating.
This is a fun addition that really makes a statement in a room (trust me, the photos don't do it justice.) Here's what you'll need for the project:
A medium sized bowl, scissors, wax paper to keep your work space clean, glue, tape, a paint brush, fabric stiffener, and "mini skewers" (a snazzier way of saying toothpicks.) For the ribbon I used May Art's 3/8" wide satin ribbon, about a half yard for each color. If you had a giant cake you could probably go with their wider version, but this rainbow came out plenty big for my cake.
First, lay out a piece of wax paper to work on. Place your red ribbon down and make sure it's flat, then carefully spread a thin strip of glue all along one edge of it and affix the orange ribbon on top. Keep adding the layers, gluing the next color to the previous one with just a slight overlap. You only want to glue about three-fourths of it down; leave the last 5 or 6 inches free to curl later. When you're done it should look like this:
Don't worry if it looks a little splotchy now, once you apply the stiffener the color will even out.
Here's where the Snazzy Skewers come into play. Take two toothpicks and glue them to the two ends of the yellow (or green) ribbon, and cut two inch-long strips of the same color to glue on top so it's hidden.
Here is one end:
Remember on the end you will curl to attach the toothpick at the point you stopped gluing, so the ribbon curls can flow freely off the cake later.
Now wait about 15 minutes for this to set but not dry completely; you still need it to be malleable to bend it. I used my 15 minute break to
work out! snack on frosting, who am I kidding.
Grab your bowl and drape the rainbow over the edge, taping down both ends to keep it in place, then paint a thin layer of fabric stiffener over it. This will give your rainbow its curved shape.
Now you'll want to grab something round to wrap your ribbon ends around so they curl. I found straws work well, but really you can use anything you find lying around your house, from pens to paintbrushes. Wrap each color around its own straw, and again paint it with a thin layer of stiffener to set. And now you've found yourself with...
A hot mess. But, my friends, I remind you of how attractive you feel with a head full of granny curlers. The process isn't so alluring but the end result is what matters!
Give this about an hour, or overnight, to dry completely.
When you come back to it, just unstick the rainbow from the bowl and pull the ribbon ends from your straws and voila! A super adorable rainbow cake topper.
Simply stick the two toothpicks wherever you'd like your rainbow to start and finish, and drape the curls over the side. (I should also note here that my stiffener is non-toxic, so while I certainly wouldn't eat the rainbow unless I was ravenously hungry, the frosting is perfectly safe.) You could pipe much prettier clouds than mine and cover with blue or silver sprinkles, or add little chocolate coins for the "pot of gold."
Now for the best part: cake time!