The Etsy-fication Process

It has happened.

It happens to brides all the time, and I’m afraid I, too, have fallen victim to that saucy little vixen known as Etsy. It’s like a drug, I’m telling you.

The only problem is that my bank account doesn’t exactly allow for frivolous purchases, especially ones involving adorably handmade wedding items that make it SO HARD to prevent myself from clicking that tempestuous “add to cart” button.

Observe exhibit A:


Image via Etsy / Seller Lollipop Workshop

Etsy seller Lollipop Workshop makes THE MOST adorable custom cake toppers (which other bees before me have understandably purchased!). The only thing preventing me from placing an order is the $150 price tag—OUCH. But, being the slightly narcissistic crafter that I am, I started thinking that if Lollipop Workshop can create such fantastic little cake toppers, why can’t I do the same thing? So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Anyway, there’s only so much I can do with this project until it gets closer to the day, because there’s no way of knowing at this point what Mr. A and I will be wearing or how my hair will be styled, etc. HOWEVER, I did buy the necessary wooden materials (which came to a whopping $10, by the way) and the appropriate paint and painting supplies (another $5), which will more than likely be half the money I’ll be spending TOTAL to make this little sucker. OK, are you ready for a little sneaky-peek? Gah, I’m SO EXCITED! Here we go!


Me and Mr. A, naked peg people version! (Photo by Miss Armadillo)



Overall, I am SO EXCITED with how they’re turning out. Sure, they may be a little less polished looking than the Etsy version, but I definitely think going the DIY route has been the better choice for me (and for the pocketbook!). And the best part is that I can proudly proclaim to inquiring guests that “I made that!” I think Lollipop Workshop is an amazing artist, and I wish I could match the skills in terms of painting and general creativity. However, when working with a budget well under the $10,000 mark for the entire wedding, every dollar counts. I’ve found I can sacrifice some of the aesthetic appeal for the sake of doing some serious penny-pinching in the cake topper department.

What DIY projects have you been surprised to find come out as good as they did? Could you ever trust yourself to replicate a more expensive option of something to cut back on spending?

Go out and be DIY inspired! Who knows? You might even surprise yourself!


Mrs. Armadillo

Houston, Texas
Wedding Date:
March 2013
Ring Paranoia
Don't Forget: Get Your Groom Excited About Your Registry and WIN with Macy's!
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  1. Member
    happyface 5777 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:07 am

    You are going to dress them up … right? LOL

  2. Member
    josina 687 posts, Busy bee @ 7:14 am

    I made my own wooden cake topper people as well and it turned out great! The best part is that the dress for the cake topper was made from scraps from MY dress after hemming it so it added that extra bit of personalization and made it extra special! Good luck! The hardest part for me was the groom’s tux/arms.

  3. Member
    BigWeddingTinyBudget 42 posts, Newbee @ 7:23 am

    Adorable! Can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

  4. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 7:28 am

    great job! it looks just as good as the etsy sellers, no lie. you really got mr. a’s hair!

  5. Member
    katie395 527 posts, Busy bee @ 7:32 am

    these are adorable!!! I think they look just as good as the etsy ones! I do agree, though, Etsy is a bank accounts worst enemy!

  6. msarmadillo Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 7:46 am

    @happyface: What?! No way! Clothing=optional at the Armadillo wedding! 😉
    @Josina: Aww, how cool! Now your topper is extra sentimental with the dress scraps! What a fun idea!
    @BigWeddingTinyBudget: @Miss Gray Wolf: @katie395: Thanks! :) I can definitely see little imperfections with my paint job, but the cost savings is incredibly helpful in my quest to overlook the tiny mess-ups, haha!

  7. Member
    MissSpark 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:50 am

    I so wish I could paint like that! They look adorable! I too have fallen under the spell of Lollipop Workshops adorable spell…Fortunately, we’re going with a non traditional bundt wedding cake, so there isn’t any space for a topper, my bank account is pleased.

  8. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 7:55 am


    This post is clearly NSFW.

    (on a more serious note, you could try applying a thin coat of matte or glossy lacquer/finish to seal the paint from chipping and make it look a bit more polished. I’d first try a test piece to make sure you like the look, though)

  9. Member
    NVACat 349 posts, Helper bee @ 8:07 am

    What a great job! I have definitely fallen victim to the Etsy crack…. and am seriously debating maybe spending $150 on a cake topper from them!

    Since I’m nowhere near as creative as you!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    agdg2013, Guest @ 8:14 am

    Super cute job!! And I’ve gone a little nuts-o trying to penny pinch and have completely scrapped a florist and real flowers for that matter. I’m well under way making 2000+ COFFEE FILTER flowers -.- I’m not sure I fully understand what I have gotten myself into….LOL!

  11. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:16 am

    Etsy makes me so mad! They have beautiful stuff, but they’re so expensive it’s physically painful and a bit ridiculous.
    I think your little bride and groom heads look great, I can’t wait to see them fully clothed and even if they don’t look like the etsy version, they’ll be extra especial cause you made them.

  12. Member
    lolo7835 645 posts, Busy bee @ 8:20 am

    I also made my own wooden cake topper and it turned out awesome! And for $40 it was a bargain.

    I have some tips. 😀 Don’t forget to pick up some gloss varnish (they have it in the paint section with the acrylics) to use after you paint the head. It really gives the heads the same kind of shine that you see on Etsy. The arms look best if you drill a small hole in the ‘shoulders’ of the clothespin and stick the pipe cleaner through. I tried it with the pipe cleaner just glued on the back and it was a total fail. Also get skinny pipe cleaner! I think they have it at joann’s.

    I was a dork and made a paper pattern of the clothes before I cut them out in fabric and glued them on. That was a big help as it’s harder to get the clothes to fit than you would think.

  13. msarmadillo Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 8:33 am

    @Mrs. Bunting: Bahaha! TOTALLY should have put NSFW in the post title! My bad!! I actually bought a spray laquer and did it over the paint job, but it’s not as shiny as I would like so I most definitely will be getting a clear varnish I can paint on. I want those things to shine like crazy!
    @agdg2013: I am still utterly amazed at how awesome coffee filter flowers look! The hours of painstaking DIY work is well worth the result, IMO. Keep at it! :)
    @NVACat: @Miss Toadstool: I have to consciously make myself avoid Etsy. Otherwise, this wedding budget would balloon out of control. It’s ridiculous.
    @lolo7835: OMG, drilling holes for the pipe cleaners is such an awesome tip! I’ve actually been scratching my head about how to attach the arms aside from just using a blob of unsightly glue on the back, so THANK YOU! I actually already have plans to put a thick, clear varnish on the paint job, because you’re absolutely right–it will give it a nice, polished, Etsy-fied look. :)

  14. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:41 am

    I definitely think they look like they have the potential to be as awesome as the Etsy ones, and the cost savings is definitely worth it! I can’t wait to see how they turn out! :)

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Biz, Guest @ 8:44 am

    What do you actually make the head out of ??

  16. Member
    libbylou222 31 posts, Newbee @ 9:38 am

    I copied a lot of pinterest/etsy things for my wedding and they all came out perfectly! the ring bear pillow i wanted was $80 on etsy and i made it for $8 and it was even cuter! I am so with you, you should 100% make your own cake toppers! $150-200 for those is ridiculous and yours already looks cute!

  17. Member
    happyface 5777 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:12 am

    @Biz: I think the clothespins already comes with the heads attached…

  18. msarmadillo Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 10:24 am

    @Biz: The balls are actually 1-inch dowel caps. They were right next to the clothespins when I went to buy my supplies, which made it pretty easy!

  19. Member
    happyface 5777 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:30 am

    @Miss Armadillo: And they’re just glued on? Sorry, I thought you could buy them exactly like that at a craft store!

  20. msarmadillo Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 10:34 am

    @happyface: Oh, they may make them with the balls already on the top! I just bought dowel caps and glued them on myself. I need to find a sturdier glue, though, because hot glue just ain’t cuttin’ it! 😉

  21. misssparkler Member
    misssparkler 488 posts, Helper bee @ 10:38 am

    Wow! Seriously, you have some talent, Miss A.

  22. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 10:55 am

    You did an amazing job!

  23. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:45 am

    So jelly, Miss Armadillo. I’m a complete fail whale at DIY-anything. I love these!

  24. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:32 pm

    LOVE your painting job!! I can’t wait to see how they turn out. So far they look awesome!

    Maybe Gorilla Glue for attaching the heads?

  25. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:23 pm

    Awww so adorable Miss Armadillio! I love the faces! I also went cheaper on the cake toppers. In fact the cake toppers was my first purchase for the wedding after we got engaged I bought two birds that are decorations for hanging on your Christmas tree, but they are cute and perfect so I bought them! A whopping $8!

  26. Member
    cindyk 55 posts, Worker bee @ 3:23 pm

    they’re really cute! i will be taking inspiration from you and will probably make this myself too! can’t wait to see the final results!

  27. coyote Member
    coyote 1933 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:22 pm


    Hehe, but no… These are awesome! You did such a great job… YOU should start making them and sell them for $150 a pop!

  28. Member
    royalpurplebride 511 posts, Busy bee @ 12:08 pm

    So cute!!! I already bought stuff to make my own too!!! I too couldnt bring myself to spend that much on etsy. The one I wanted had a bride and a groom with a little orange kitty. Which we do have!! haha.. and the initials on the picture matched ours, so it was meant to be that I should make a copy.. haha. Cant wait till they are done 😉
    Great minds think alike!!

  29. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:46 am

    These are going to be so cute, I love them already!!

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