Have you ever wanted to start your own cake topper business, or wondered just how profitable it really is? Because I certainly have! I did the digging, so you don’t have to. In this article we’ll cover everything from where to sell your cake toppers, to how much you should be listing them for! I’ll even tell you how many cake toppers you need to sell to break even on your Cricut machine.
If you’re wondering what I know about selling cakes and cake toppers, you might be surprised to learn that I actually worked as a bakery assistant for more than 8 years! It was how I paid my way through school. We made everything from scones and donuts, all the way through to three tiered custom wedding cakes and .
So, it’s safe to say seen my fair share of cakes & toppers.
During my time at the bakery, I saw a lot of custom cricut cake toppers come through the door. Sometimes the baker would source them herself, while other times customers would bring their own in.
As the price of circuit machines came down, the variety of cake toppers got wider. So wide in fact, that it was almost overwhelming! Every other week we had customers requesting different colors, designs and styles. Everything from Disney themed cake toppers, to sports teams and song references!
So, given all the competition- is it still a profitable business model? Let’s find out.
How to Start A Cake Topper Business: An Overview
- Decide on which kind/style of cake topper you’d like to sell
- Pick a niche
- Make your toppers
- Take photographs
- Upload them to the platform of your choice
- Market your services!
Kinds Of Cake Toppers You Can Make With Your Cricut
While there are plenty of different cake toppers on the market, we’ll be specifically covering the handcrafted Cricut toppers. You can see some examples of these above!
Best Materials To Make Cake Toppers With
The three most commonly used materials for making cake toppers are:
- Wood Veneer.
Keep in mind that not all circuit machines are capable of cutting acrylic or wood, so it is best to double check your machines specifications before starting this project.
If you’re looking to invest in a new machine, the Cricut Maker is best suited to working with thicker materials such as these. Otherwise, it’s probably best to stick to card stock!
Choosing a category/theme for your cake topper business is arguably just as important, if not more important than the goods themselves. Take some time to consider whether you want to make toppers for birthdays, weddings or other events (such as graduations, baby showers etc.).
Once you’ve decided on a client base/target audience, consider what kind of toppers are going to sell best in these categories. For instance, if you’re selling birthday cake toppers, vinyl numbers and names work best. Whereas for weddings, you’ll want lots of gold, silver and sparkly options!
If you intend to sell your cake toppers on Esty, you’ll need to niche down even further- as the market there is incredibly competitive!
Tools & Materials
- Cricut Machine
- Cutting Mat
- Cardstock / Acrylic /Balsawood / Wood Veneer
- Cake Pop Sticks or Thin Wooden Dowels
- Hot Glue
How to Make a Cake Topper With Your Cricut
If you are looking for a full tutorial on how to make a cake toppers, daydream into reality has an extremely thorough tutorial on her blog. However, if you’re looking for the cliff notes version (so you can determine whether it’s the right side hustle for you), see below:
Step One: Design Your Cake Topper in Design Space
Designing your cake topper in Cricut’s Design Space doesn’t have to be difficult: just make sure that all your text & element are touching one another. Otherwise, you’re going to have issues constructing the finished product!
Step Two: Cut And Weed Your Topper
Go through the process of cutting out, and weeding your cardstock! Don’t forget to use a cutting mat.
Step Three: Assemble your Cake Topper
Use hot glue to attach the cake pop sticks, dowel or cake topper stick to the back of your design. Hot glue should be strong enough to adhere to all the materials listed above (wood, acrylic and cardboard).
Photograph Your Cake Toppers – Don’t Use Stock Images!
Nothing will kill your craft business quicker than using stock images, or pictures lifted from another sellers shop. Buyers aren’t silly: if they see the same image used across multiple different stores, all across the web, they’ll know you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes!
Take well lit, creative photos of you cake toppers – and
Where To Sell Your Cake Toppers
Etsy has proven, time and time again, to be the best place to sell handmade crafts. While the competition is certainly higher, and it can take some time (and advertising to get head), it’s a far better option than starting your own store or attempting to sell your items on amazon, or ebay!
Whether you’re successful in selling your crafts on Etsy or not is largely dependent on four factors:
- Choosing a less competitive niche/servicing an underrepresented market.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research.
- The number of items you have for sale (the more items you have, the more likely they are to be found in search).
Related Reading: How to Promote Your Etsy Business
Selling cake toppers on Facebook marketplace is less competitive than selling them on Esty; Unfortunately it’s also far less profitable.
There are unfortunately fewer customers on Facebook (due to its location specific search results), resulting in less sales overall.
For this reason, we don’t recommend solely selling your cake toppers on FB marketplace/craigslist/etc. They’re a fantastic place to make a few extra sales here and there. However, you should be focusing more of your time and energy selling your toppers on Esty or in person.
Expos & Events
Setting up a stall at local expos and events is an easy way to get eyes on your products. While you mightn’t sell too many toppers on the day, it’s a great way to get your name out there, hand out business cards, and network. You’ll undoubtedly find a few prospective customers in the crowd – especially if you’re in the business of creating custom toppers!
You should be looking to set up shop at any expo or event relating to baked goods, crafts, weddings or parties. You might also have luck selling your toppers at boot sales or farmers markets!
On Sellers/Local Businesses
Selling your handmade goods directly to businesses is one of the best ways to make sales. Why? Because customers are more likely to make split second decisions in person than they are online. There’s also very little, if any competition when selling in person (unless you’re selling to a cake supply store of course).
So, what kinds of businesses might be interested in selling your cake toppers?
- Cake supply stores
- Party stores
- Small grocery stores/Convenience stores
Standalone local businesses (mom and pop shops) are most likely to be receptive to stocking your handmade crafts. They also have significantly less foot traffic than big box stores, so you won’t be overwhelmed with orders right from the get-go!
Start Up Costs
It costs approximately $750 to start a cake topper business. While the circuit machine makes up the majority of this cost, it is still significantly more expensive than other craft businesses/side hustles we have spoken about on the site.
Here’s the price breakdown:
- Cricut Maker 3: $700
- Cardstock: $2-$30 (sheet vs pack)
- Cake Pop Sticks: $10 (pack of 100)
- Hot Glue Gun: $10
Additional costs may include Esty listing fees, circuit blades, business card printing and holding costs!
How to Price Your Product
Custom birthday cake toppers are selling from anywhere between $5 and $25 dollars per piece on Facebook marketplace. Cardboard and paper toppers tend to err on the lower end of the scale, while you can charge more for a wooden or acrylic cake toppers.
At these prices, you would need to sell between 28 & 140 cake toppers to break even.
Is A Cake Topper Business Profitable?
Selling cake toppers is not a particularly profitable business model, however it can be a good way to make a few extra hundred dollars as a side hustle. If you intend to peruse circuit crafts as a small business, you’d be much better served making tumblers or, doormats or stickers as they have a much higher profit margin.
Alternatively, you may want to consider scaling your cake topper business by selling other related items such as party supplies, baked goods or invites/invasions.
All of this to say, you’re unlikely to make significant profits selling toppers alone. You either need to sell it alongside other cricut crafts, or pivot your business model.