A few years ago when my Matron of Honor was engaged and we as her bridesmaids hosted her bridal shower, she had a card box made by a family friend that resembled a cake. It was gorgeous and unlike anything I had ever seen. Upon closer examination I determined she used several round stacking boxes, covered in fabric with decorative trim as the icing details. She used faux flowers in her wedding colors to wrap around the cake to give it personality. Apparently this was this woman’s signature gift and she made them for all kinds of brides to be. I just loved it and knew I had to make my own version.
I knew for my card box I wanted to make something similar, but I wasn’t sure about what size, color or if fabric was the right option for me. I realized first I had to think about what I intended for our cake to look like–would I want it to match (or at least compliment) our actual cake? Definitely. So, I went in search of cake designs I liked.
As someone who collects milk glass, especially hobnail milk glass (hobnail= that dotted/bumpy texture), I was really liking cake designs that mimicked that hobnail pattern and texture. It would compliment any hobnail glass I wanted to use in our decor and was simple and romantic looking. It would also be easy to replicate and if it turned out well would be great inspiration for our real cake!
I started researching cake shaped card boxes and found very few that resembled what I had seen made for my Matron of Honor. I mostly found versions that looked like stacked presents–which actually proved to be just as helpful and inspirational. That is where I got the idea to use the boxes upside down–because I wanted the lid overlap to resemble a ribbon between the “layers” of the “cake”. I knew what it would look like for the boxes to look like gifts and realized that wasn’t going to work for a cake and didn’t look like my original inspiration. These are the boxes I purchased:
So–I used the larger box (lid side on bottom) as the base and the smaller box (again, lid side on bottom) as the second layer of the “cake”.
To get a hole for the cards to fall through, I used my box cutter to cut a hole about 1.5″ in diameter smaller than the area covered by the second “layer” (box) so that it had an inch all the way around to be adhered to. *Note that large cards are going to be 4×6 or 5×7 in size so you want at least a 5″ hole for them to fall through.*
I cut a hole the same size out of the bottom of the cake layer (lid side) of the second “tier” (smaller box). (It had about .5″ around its rim to adhere to the next box.)
I lastly cut a rectangle about 1″ wide by 6″ long at the top of the “cake” (bottom of smaller box) for the envelopes to fall through. *Side note: when choosing your box sizes, make sure each larger box is 2-4″ inches larger so you have a nice diameter transition from one size to another, anything smaller than 2″ (gives at least 1″ all the way around) and it won’t look like a true stacked wedding cake– mine had a 3″ difference, I used a 7″ round box and a 10″ round box.
I painted the bottom of each box white with a couple of coats of acrylic paint. I then used a texture medium to make the dots. Mine came out a little more pointy than I would have liked, I was hoping they might be more round. If that truly is your goal I recommend some kind of lightweight modeling clay that you’ve rolled into very small balls and glued on with minimal glue. After the texture medium dried, it was a slight off white as compared to my white background on the box so I repainted each whole box to make the dots blend in more nicely. Each time I used a combination of bright white and warm white paint to get a more realistic buttercream color.
For the green ribbon ridges on the lip overhang of each lid, I used a mint green acrylic paint. Once that was dry, I mixed 2 shades of Martha Stewart very fine glitter (a lime green and a teal green) and watered down some Elmer’s glue and painted that over the surface. I then sprinkled the glitter mixture on until I was happy with the coverage. I let everything dry then made sure the lids and bases fit well together and needed no more touch-ups before I moved on.
Once everything fit well together (make sure not to make texture dots where the lip will overhang or you might have to remove them to get the lid to fit correctly), I hot glued the green rim (lid of larger box) to the larger box with the large box bottom “hole side” up. I glued the lid of the smaller box top side down to the bottom of the larger box (so the holes lined up for cards to fall through). I left the bottom of the smaller box loose from the glittered rim/ lid so we will be able to get the cards out easily when we want to and simply lift off the “top tier of the cake”.
Next, I focused on adding the flowers. I had found a filthy [and mostly ugly] candle display with fake flowers wound into it at the thrift store. I liked the red plastic ranunculus-looking flowers and hoped with some cleaning they would look bright and new. The small white (sort of hydrangea-looking) flowers were plucked from the same display. The green vine with the small leaves was leftover from Flower Girl basket supplies. I held things on until I thought I had it just right then grabbed my phone to snap some pictures of how it looked before I committed to gluing everything on.
*As you can see in the bottom right, I considered using some larger faux flowers but the proportions were wrong for this miniature cake, also I made this cake box before I was engaged so no ring in this picture!*
Once I was happy with the result, I pulled out the hot glue gun and stuck everything on. The final result? A card box that looks like a cake!!
The final details I put on were to glue large clear beads to the top rim of the top tier. I also glued small pearl beads (decorative trim would also be perfect for this) around the edge of the card hole at the top.
What are you planning for your card box?