CHIC DIY WEDDING IDEAS ON A BUDGET | XOXO & Flag Cake Topper Set! | by The Inspired Bride

Hello everyone!  My name is Maddy, and I write the wedding design blog the Inspired Bride.  I’m really happy to help out Alison while she’s out of town.

There’s been a lot of conversations lately about styled shoots, and what’s really feasible for brides.  I think as bloggers, it’s really easy for us to get caught up in “The Pretty”.  I don’t exclude myself from this.  As much as I love them and think they’re still completely relevant, styled shoots don’t have real world budgets and are often pretty tough to replicate on a 100+ guest list scale (yes, eclectic assortment of chairs, I’m looking at you!).  That’s lead me to think about what we can do that’s more accessible to the average bride that still has a sense of style and whimsy that you often see in these shoots.

The first thing I thought of was the cake.  I’ve seen real show stoppers all over the blogosphere and Pinterest, and I drool along with the rest of you. But what if an over the top cake isn’t where you want to spend your budget, but you’d still like to do something unique?   Rather than opt for something opulent, why not get a simple iced or fondant covered cake that is decked out in inexpensive and easy to make decor?  Problem solved, and valuable dollars spent elsewhere.  I’m going to continue to explore other designs on my blog over the coming weeks, but thought I’d kick it off with a topper set here on TKB!


  • Wired Ribbon in Various Colors and Widths
  • Scissors
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun
  • Sculpey or Fimo Clay
  • Utility Knife
  • Parchment Paper
  • Rolling Pin

To make the flags:

Cut a length of wired ribbon.  Lightly fold it in half so both wired edges meet, then trim the ribbon at a 45 degree angle from one edge to make a notched end.  Fold the other edge in so that it overlaps about 1/4″ of the main section of ribbon.  Add a little bit of hot glue to the fold of the ribbon and press a bamboo skewer into the fold, aligning the top of the skewer with the top of the ribbon.  Add another dot of hot glue to the overlapping flap and press it down into the main section of ribbon to secure.  Form the flag into a wave, bending it into the desired position.  Note that it helps to curve it around a pencil or your finger if you want multiple ripples.

To make the XOXO topper:

Print out a few sheets of paper with XOXO set in your desired font.  Cut the individual letters out and set them aside.  Roll out the dough to about 3/8″ thick and layer a letter over the clay.  With a utility knife, cut the clay along the shape of the letter template.  Remove the template, and refine the letter as necessary with your fingers or the utility blade. Repeat for the other letters.  Note that you could also substitute these steps by just using lettered cookie cutters HOWEVER you will need to discard them after use as surfaces that have come in contact with this clay should not be used again with anything intended to be edible.

Gently push in bamboo skewers to the bottom of the letters.  Try to keep them centered vertically in the thickness of the clay cut out.  If the skewer pierces the surface, correct the trajectory of the skewer and repair the crack with your fingers and small amounts of additional clay if necessary.  Set the completed letters on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake the letters as directed by the clay packaging.  Remove from the oven and let the letters cool and harden before use.

xoxo!  – Maddy, The Inspired Bride

Label(s): {Cakes + Desserts}

Love all of this...


  1. BeeCustom Design on June 7, 2011

    LOVE the simplicity of the cake:)

  2. Laura on June 7, 2011

    Cake is so simple yet eye catching and the colors are perfect!

  3. Naomi on June 7, 2011

    Perfectly simple! Makes it easier to eat but gosh I’d hate being the first to cut it…so cute!

  4. Alison on June 7, 2011

    Bee, Laura, Naomi – Simple is definitely the key word here. Totes agree, it’s absolutely adorbs and a lovely alternative! Maddy’s the best :)

  5. Amanda on June 7, 2011

    Those flags are the cutest! And I love the idea of doing the cake yourself, such a fun idea!

  6. Lauren Elise on June 7, 2011

    I really appreciate what Maddy had to say about styled shoots. A lot of times they aren’t feasible on a large scale. I think it is important to remember that those shoots are for inspirational purposes and that a bride can get ideas from them to replicate on a larger scale in less expensive ways. This example by Maddy is a perfect example of this. Awesome DIY!

  7. Nicky on June 7, 2011

    Simple, but very pretty. I want those xoxo toppings!

  8. Alison on June 7, 2011

    Amanda – Aren’t they? :)

    Lauren – Totes :) Love Maddy for keepin’ it real on the bliggity blogosphere! :)

    Nicky – I know, right? For me it would be super hard to resist tasting ‘em ;)

  9. Lena on June 7, 2011

    This is so darling!

  10. Samantha on June 7, 2011

    I’m flying right now over how beautiful that simplistic cake looks.

  11. Marie on June 8, 2011

    I’m so excited to see this post – I’m always blown away by cakes I see on wedding blogs and am always so curious as to how to go about trying it out myself. Awesome post. :)

  12. Alison on June 8, 2011

    Lena – SOOO darling! ;)

    Samantha – I feel you. I was literally flying over it at the same time that you were mentally flying over it. No, for reals. Isn’t that fun? :)

    Marie – DIY elements are always a blast to explore. I’m glad Maddy could show you something up your alley! xo

  13. Denver on June 8, 2011

    It’s a beautiful cake, simple yet elegant. :)

  14. Madison on June 8, 2011

    love the cake stand used. such a beautiful outcome to this!

    • Kenia on December 17, 2012

      - Amazing I love Erik’s work as well and I have to say your work compliments each other very well. I love evtenrhiyg about these. The way your compose your photos is inspiring and makes all your photos a joy to look at. Even though this couple certainly paid, they essentially won the lottery when it comes to wedding photography getting both Otto Schulze AND Erik Clausen. MORE!

  15. Amma // Beyond Beyond on June 9, 2011

    So lovely, this is such a great ideas!

  16. naoise -OneFabDay on June 9, 2011

    Beautifully simple and so chic! well done on creating something so easy and manageable and so stylish! (you’re dead right on the chairs btw!!)

  17. Paula on November 10, 2011

    this cake is so cute.. I love these simple ideas

  18. on April 21, 2013

    Wanting to buy, them enjoy the?Walking Contradiction After, order to determine.Metal of, is consistent with.Up to plus bbw date, around that long and retain their.Meet Once in, can get is.,

  19. on April 21, 2013

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss and share this with us, I for 1 feel strongly about it and really a lot appreciate understanding much more about this topic. I can see which you possess a degree of expertise on this subject, I would really much like to listen to more from you on this subject – Ive bookmarked this page and will return quickly to hear much more about it.

  20. on November 7, 2016

    Cheers for this valuable info I concur with all the arguments
    you have actually given to us. Cheers, Cassie

  21. on November 21, 2016

    Very good article! We are linking to this great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing. Thanks, Shelli


Leave a comment