Make your child’s artwork or drawing into a creative and fun art cake for a birthday party. This kid’s birthday cake idea is so easy anyone can do it!
Does your child love to draw, sketch and create? Today we’ll show you how to turn one of his or her little masterpieces into a festive art cake for your child’s birthday.
Our oldest son, who we refer to as C1 on the blog, has said for several years now that when he grows up he wants to be an author/illustrator. He fills notebook upon notebook with stories and drawings of his characters. So when his 8th birthday was coming up, he wanted his birthday cake to feature the special characters he’s created.
I scratched my head and thought for a bit about how I could recreate his drawings on top of a frosted cake using decorative icing. Then the idea hit me — I could make his art cake using one of his actual physical drawings!
This solution was so simple! Anyone could make an art cake like this. This easy technique could be used with anyone’s drawings including toddlers, teenagers and adults of all ages. In fact, why even limit it to just a birthday cake? Wouldn’t this be adorable as a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cake?
How to Make an Art Cake Using Your Child’s Drawing
This simple step-by-step tutorial will show you how to use someone’s drawing or sketch to decorate an art cake for a birthday party or other special occasions.
What you need:
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® will make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are derived from personal experience.
Kitchen and Craft Tools Needed:
- White cardstock
- Colored pencils or markers
- Clear Con-Tact paper
- 9 x 13″ cake pan
- Cake carrier
- Mixing bowl
- Icing knife
- Cake decorating tips
- Cake decorating bags
- Cake mix with oil, eggs and water per instructions on the box
- 2 cans of white frosting
- Green food coloring
- Yellow food coloring
- Multi-colored sprinkles
1. Create the art for the cake.
2. Protect the cake art.
Once your child is done with his or her drawing. Place it face down on a large piece of clear ConTact paper. Wrap the ConTact paper around to cover the back of the drawing as well. As you do so, be careful not to get any wrinkles or bubbles in the ConTact paper.
Now trim around the edge of the drawing leaving about an 1/8″ margin of extra contact paper along the edges.
3. Bake and frost the cake.
Bake a 9 x 13″ cake following the instructions on the cake mix. Once the cake has cooled slightly turn it onto the cake carrier.
Wait for the cake to cool completely. Then mix food coloring into white frosting until it’s your desired shade for your base color. For our art cake, I used green food coloring and about a can and a 1/4 of white frosting.
Frost the entire cake with your base color.
How to keep cake crumbs out of frosting
A little tip my mom taught me: Always start on one end of the cake and work your way toward the other. Continually move your icing knife in the same direction, pick it up and then move it in that same direction again. It’s when you move the icing knife back and forth that you end up with cake crumbs in your frosting.
4. Place the drawing on the art cake.
Decide where you’re going to put the drawing on the art cake and place it there. We chose to decorate our cake vertically and left a big empty part at the top so we could frost “Happy Birthday” there. But there’s no reason you couldn’t decorate your cake horizontally if you want.
5. Frost a border around the drawing.
Mix your remaining white frosting with a different color of food coloring. We used yellow for ours. Use scissors to snip the bottom off a cake decorating bag. Then drop a simple round cake decorating tip into the bag and fill it with about half of your yellow frosting.
Now pipe a small line around the edge of your child’s drawing. To make the line a little wavy I just gently squeezed the frosting bag in a pulsating manner as I worked my way around the drawing.
After that I used the yellow frosting to make a larger zig zag border all around the cake and to pipe the words “Happy Birthday”.
Next, I inserted a star decorating tip into the bottom of another decorating bag and filled it with the remaining yellow frosting. Then I piped a thick star tip border all around the base where the cake sits on the cake carrier. To get that pattern, I just used the same pulsating/squeezing technique that I used around the drawing.
To write words like “Happy Birthday” on top of the art cake, I chose to do it free hand. You squeeze the icing bag for the long lines and then release pressure at the end of each line. If you’re not comfortable free handing it, you could lightly sketch the letters on the frosting first using a toothpick.
To get the words perfectly centered start with the letters that are in the middle of the word and work your way out from there. So like with “HAPPY”, you start with the “P” and with “BIRTHDAY” you start with the “TH”.
6. Sprinkle on the fun!
Now you could totally be done with your art cake after the last step. But why not crank up the fun by adding lots and lots of colorful sprinkles!
You can put colorful sprinkles anywhere you want! We used two different styles of sprinkles and sprinkled them like confetti over the zig zag border. Don’t worry if any sprinkles fall over the edges of the art cake – that just adds to the fun!
That’s all there is to it! Now you have a super fun and colorful art cake that showcases your child’s drawing. My son grinned from ear-to-ear when he saw what I did with his drawing. But it was even more rewarding to hear how proud he was when he showed the cake to other people.
Have fun celebrating whatever special occasion or birthday you’re creating this art cake for. We’d love to see how your art cake turns out. Please e-mail us pictures or tag us on social media @kenarryideas so we can see your awesome creations!
If you enjoyed this art cake idea using a kid’s drawing, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
You may also enjoy these birthday ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –