Recycled Map Cake Topper

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Being a huge fan of frosting (and, let’s face it, just about anything sweet), I don’t really understand why anyone would want to serve an unfrosted cake at their wedding but I will say this: they’re awfully cute, especially if you don’t like fondant or gobs of icing.

I think they need a great topper to make them truly “pop” however. And if there’s anything I like more than frosting, it’s a string of mini-wedding pennants!

Of course, rhinestone pennants may seem to go against the very less is more ethos that has made the naked wedding cake so popular, but if you pair your bling with just the right paper (or, in this case, a few up-cycled maps) you’ll be good to go.


  • String or yarn measuring approximately 1 yard
  • Wooden sticks (I used shish kebob skewers)
  • One old map (the more colorful the better!)
  • Card stock in a coordinating color
  • Small rhinestones
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tacky glue
  • Glue stick or glue gun
  • Optional: paper flowers


Step 1: To begin, measure two triangles, one large and one small. They should “nest” within one another. I used 2 inches for the short edge measurement of my smaller triangle and 2.5 inches for the larger one. You can use a piece of cardboard to create template.

Step 1

Step 2: Fold the edge the card stock that will form the smaller, inner triangle of each pennant. I selected mint green to coordinate with the map I used to form the larger, outer triangle of each pennant. Cut out your cardboard template and place it along the folded edge of card stock. Trace the template (you’ll want at least 8 triangles if you’re going to write “Congrats” and 9 for an added exclamation point at the end).

Step 2

Step 3: Cut out all of the triangles but keep in mind that since you’re cutting on a folder edge, they’ll look like diamonds if you unfold them.

Step 3

Step 4: For this next step, I do in fact recommend unfolding your triangles, as it is easier to add your bling if you’re working on a flat surface. Using your tacky glue trace the outline of a single letter below the fold on the bottom portion of the diamond. Remember: less is more! I’m pretty good at bedazzling freehand but you can trace the letter with a pencil first or even print it directly onto the card stock if you’d prefer a bit of guidance.

Step 4

Step 5: Add your rhinestones, following the letter you have “written” in glue. When working with extremely small rhinestones, I find it helpful use a chopstick or the back end of a small paintbrush to nudge them into place. You can also use a spare piece of card stock to push any stray rhinestones into a straight line for letters like “T” and “R.”

Step 5

Step 6: Next up, repeat steps 2 & 3 using the larger triangle card stock on your map. Then, unfold each triangle into a diamond and glue the smaller card stock diamond on top of the larger map diamond, being sure to center it before the glue dries. (Your rhinestone letters should be relatively dry by this point.) I used a glue stick and then reinforced some of the more troublesome seams with a glue gun.

Step 6

Step 7: Fold each diamond over your string or yarn and glue the front of your pennant to the back to hold it in place. I wrapped my excess string around 3 shish kebab sticks on each side to make sure they stayed put and because it looked cute. Once you’ve finished, you’re all set to top your cake!

Step 7

I used a few paper flowers leftover from another friend’s wedding to add a bit more pizzazz around the base of the cake. In my opinion, there’s no better way to symbolize the start of a great adventure than with a recycled map cake topper.

Finished Product

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