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DIY Biplane Cake Topper

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Years ago I created this cake topper for a very special bride and groom who became engaged while riding in a red biplane. Since then I have received numerous requests from people interested in purchasing a similar cake topper, most often for Birthday celebrations.
Airplane Cake Topper

When I tell people the price for a similar topper begins at $450 on the phone there is almost always a gasp because they are shocked at the cost. In reality the price should be even higher due to the amount of time and effort it takes to create this style of topper.

For those of you who have the time and want to make one yourselves to save on the cost of labor I support your desire to do so. I've created a 44 image, step by step tutorial for those of you who want to have a go at it.

You will need:

A lightweight model plane kit
Model Glue
Model Paint
Model Varnish
Wire Twisting Tool
Craft Wire in 3 Gauges: 20, 24 and 28
Wire cutters
Jewelry Pliers
Drill with a small bit

→ CLICK HERE ← to Continue to Page 2 for Steps 24-44

1. Purchase a lightweight model airplane kit. The model will cost around $10.00 and may vary in size. The key is to find the lightest model possible because it will be the easiest to suspend.

2. Purchase model glue. I used the glue straight from the tip of the tube and every now and then used a straight pin or bamboo skewer to apply the glue to the model.

3. The model pieces come attached to each other within a plastic frame. You will need to break off each piece and glue them together.

4. This is fairly easy to do using the instructions that come with the kit.

5. Just following the instructions the plane begins to take shape...

6. The model begins to take shape.

7. The finished model! It took me just over an hour and a half to get this far.

8. To suspend the plane from the wire support I needed to drill a hole into the bottom of the plane. Here I use a small drill bit and carefully create the hole.

9. This is what the hole should look like.

10. I use three different gauges of wire. For the next step you will need a combination of both 20 and 24 gauge craft wire to create the wire spiral that you will attach to the airplane.

11. You will need this wire twisting tool. They cost around $20 + shipping.

12. Note the small nub on the right side of the left handle. That nub slips into a small slot on the center of the base. When you lock the handle down it allows you to tighten the pliers onto multiple strands of wire so that you can twist them.

13. Note in this photo the left handle is now latched to the center section of the twisting tool. I just wanted to show you the position because I honestly owned the tool for YEARS and couldn't figure out how to use it until a friend showed me how.

14. To secure the latch you manually slide this silver section towards the bottom of the tool away from the pliers end.

15. Next take several strands of wire and wrap them together forming a loop at one end like above. The number of strands of wire will depend on the weight of your model plane because the wire will need to be strong enough to support it. The number of strands will also depend on what gauges of wire you are using. The best thing I can recommend is to make this wire only as strong as it needs to be to support the weight of the plane. The thinner you keep this support wire the more delicate it will appear.

Take the looped end and hook it to some type of anchor as you will need to create tension pulling on these wires to twist them.

16. In this sample image I used only three strands which were then firmly clamped into place in the pliers end of the tool using the techniques described above.

For this topper I used 5 stands of wire for the airplane wire and 3 strands for each of the cloud supports.

17. To twist the wire you simply pull the silver end away from the pliers, then push the silver end back up into the base and repeat over and over until the wires are sufficiently twisted.

18. This is the second position of the end of the tool pulled out.

19. As you push and pull the end of the tool the wires will begin to twist themselves around each other.

20. When the wire is sufficiently twisted release it from the twisting tool. Trim both ends with the wire trimmers and put a 90º bend in the wire about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch from the end.

21. Take the end of the bent wire and slip it into the hole you drilled into the bottom of the plane.

22. Guide it in all the way until the wire bend slips all the way into the plane.

23. This may be the trickiest part of the entire project. Now you need to glop some glue onto the end of a bamboo skewer and guide it into the body of the plane via the hole where the passengers would sit to secure the wire in place. It takes placing enough glue inside the body of the plane to really secure this wire in place. Allow the glue to dry completely before proceeding. This is a good step to complete at night and allow to dry overnight or for at least a few hours.

If your model glue isn't thick enough or designed to work on metal (wire) you may need to use a different glue. The Testor's glue pictured in image #2 is not designed to work on metal so I used a different glue to secure this wire in place.

Once the wire is secured in place gently use your fingers to create a single loop in the wire.

→ CLICK HERE ← to Continue to Page 2 for Steps 24-44

Idea submitted by: Stacie Tamaki of The Flirty Bride

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