DIY: Jack and Sally Cake Topper

My husband and I are a bit eccentric, loving costuming, macabre art and literature, and dark humor in general. So, fully taking advantage of All Hallows Eve falling on a Saturday last year, we had a Halloween themed wedding! I’m a fan of Tim Burton, so we had to throw a little shout out to the cutest Halloween Town couple, Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas.  I made the topper for our cake and was pretty proud of the results!

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What You’ll Need

Round plastic cake board- for the base, found at Joanne’s, Hobby Lobby, or baking stores

Black and white Sharpie pens (regular marker type and oil paint pens)- to decorate the base and for small details

Crayola Model Magic clay- color doesn’t matter, but white is easiest to paint over

Aluminum foil and aluminum wire- for creating armature and a base for the clay

Acrylic paint- I used black and white to match our wedding colors, but anything works

Black and white paper (cardstock or regular paper)- to create a book or plaque for your names or a cute saying (We used a quote from the movie, “For it is plain, as anyone can see. We’re simply meant to be..”)

Hot glue, glue gun, super glue, and regular Elmer’s glue- to attach it all together

So, What Now?

  • First step is to plan out your separate parts. Our topper had Jack, Sally, and the tree. Start by creating the forms out of aluminum foil and wire. Heads and bodies can be roughly formed out of foil, legs and arms from twisted wire. Using a little glue can help keep the foil attached to the wire. The tree was made entirely from rolled foil. These forms don’t need to be perfect since they’ll be covered with clay.
  • Next comes the clay. Crayola Model Magic is wonderful stuff; lightweight, easy to work with, and dries overnight. Cover the armature of each piece with clay, paying special attention to hands and facial features. Look at how the final pieces will fit together. I had to adjust sally’s legs several times to ensure she would fit stably on the tree branch without tipping. I also had to check Jack’s balance and spread is legs farther apart so he wouldn’t fall over. Allow the clay to dry overnight.
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  • Time to paint! Cover each piece in solid base colors first if you used colored clay (to prevent color bleed). I used black for the tree, then dry brushed over the top with grey to look like bark. Finally I highlighted the spooky tree face in light grey.
  • Jack and Sally were a bit more detailed than the tree. Paint in the major base colors first (black for Jack’s outfit and white for face and hands, grey for Sally’s skin and random patches for her dress). After that’s dry, add details using Sharpie markers.20150717_20410620150717_204127
  • Now it’s time to put it all together! Hot glue works best for attaching items to the base, but I found that super glue worked better for attaching the figures together (since I wanted to avoid the large gobs left by hot glue). Take your time. Make sure each figure is stable before moving on the the next part. Paint over any glue spots that stick out and touch up your finished product.
  • Add any final details. I created a miniature book out of black cardstock and white paper, writing a little quote on the open pages. Be creative! Quotes, names… whatever you want can be added to personalize your cake topper.

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Happy Crafting!

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