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Advent DIY Day 21: ‘Be Merry’ Festive Cake Topper by Oh No Rachio!

Dec 21, 2013

by Jo Casley handmade and vintage goods

Every day between December 1st and December 25th, we bring you a new festive ‘how to’ as part of our DIY Advent series.

Rachel is a blogger, illustrator and maker of pretty things. She created OH NO RACHIO! in 2011, an online shop where she sells hand illustrated ceramics, notebooks and other handmade goodness. She also runs the ONR blog where she shares recipes, craft projects, inspiration and insights into the world of running a small business.


What do you like about shopping on Etsy?

There are too many reasons to mention why I like shopping on Etsy… I think for me, the biggest attraction is that you are often buying directly from the person who has poured their heart and soul into the creation of those lovely products you’re browsing. Knowing that you’re purchasing something made on a small scale, with a whole lot of care and in doing so supporting individual designers and small business owners gives me that warm fuzzy feeling – and that’s what gift giving is all about, right?

What is your favourite handmade present you’ve ever received?

My favourite handmade present that I’ve ever received, and actually my most prized possession, is a solid silver ring that my father designed and made whilst he was an apprentice silversmith many years before I was born. It’s completely unique and irreplaceable – the fact that it fits my finger perfectly, all those years later has an air of magic to it. I wear it everyday and cherish it greatly.

Do you have a Christmas ritual?

This year is the first year myself and my wonderful boyfriend will be spending Christmas in our very own home – its incredibly exciting, and actually spells the beginning of building our own Christmas rituals and traditions. The first thing we did as soon as December hit was getting our real Christmas tree – which we decorated with the usual baubles and a little white clay ornament of a house that I made to celebrate the occasion {we only just completed on our purchase!}. I hope popping that little house on the tree each year will become a little ritual, along with many more as time passes!

Here’s a little DIY project that will make your Christmas cake look incredible, even if you (like me… shhh) didn’t bake it yourself!


  • A Christmas cake

  • Two 30cm long bamboo skewers

  • Bakers twine

  • A selection of small baubles

  • Pretty ribbon

  • Glitter card

  • A print out of ‘Be Merry’ or your chosen phrase

  • Glue

  • Scissors, pencil, ruler

  • Hot glue gun

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1. Measure the diameter and depth of your cake, then take your two skewers and place them in front of the cake to judge how high you want them to sit above your iced masterpiece! If necessary trim the skewers to desired length.

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2. Take your ruler and place your skewers the cake diameter apart – this will allow you to cut yourself two lengths of bakers twine that will hang nicely between your skewers. Once you’ve cut your pieces of twine, giving yourself a generous amount extra at either end for knot tying, take your pencil and make two marks in each to show where your skewers will sit. This gives you a good boundary to work with for your decorations!

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3. Put your skewers and string to one side and take your print out of your chosen phrase. You want to stick it to the glitter card to cut around, but its helpful to first place it against a window and trace the letters through the back of your paper so that you can give yourself a guide to cut around and not end up cutting your letters out back to front!

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4. Once you’ve stuck down your letters, give them a couple of minutes to dry, then carefully cut around each of them. Take one of your pieces of twine and lay out your letters to work out their placement.

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5. Then take your hot glue gun and pop a dot of glue onto your letters one by one and stick them onto the twine. Its definitely worth popping a piece of paper or something protective down on your table just so you don’t end up getting hot glue and its spidery strings all over your work surface!

6. Once your letters are adhered, tie your little bunting to your skewers and secure with a dot of glue to stop your bunting sliding down the skewer.

7. Then take a small piece of twine and a selection of baubles, I used 6 in total and tie them together around the top of both skewers. Again secure with a dot of glue.

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8. Finally take your ribbon, cut several small pieces (no less than 4cm each) and place them in the desired position on your second piece of twine. Fix in the centre with some hot glue and then cut a little ‘v’ out of each. Tie to your skewers and glue to secure.

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All you need to do know is pop your pretty topper into your cake and then stand back and admire your handiwork!

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You could go to town with your own design, choosing colours that fit with your festive decor and taste and a little phrase that suits your holiday mood!

Happy Christmas! xo.

Have you made any Christmas advent DIYs? We’d love to see – send us pictures with the hashtag #ChristmasAdventDIY and we’ll share them on and Twitter @EtsyUK.



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