You want some cake?
Here’s my felt cake template if you don’t want to break out a ruler and compass yourself (for personal nonprofit use only, please). The only pieces I didn’t include were the frosting pieces that go around the side. Below I explain how to figure out about how long you’ll need to make those. You can adjust the size as you like, or just use my template as a guide for drawing your own template.
Here’s the breakdown of the pieces you’ll need:
From the frosting color (in my case, pink):
- 1 circle, separated into the segments
- 2 rectangles 1/2 the circumference of your circle by the height of your cake (I did a 2 inch cake, but you could go thicker if you want) Here’s the math (3.14 × cake diameter) ÷ 2 = half the circumference (I added an extra 1/2 inch to be sure and then trimmed it off even after I sewed the other 3 sides). One of these will be cut into thirds for the cake slices.
- 4 half-inch strips the length of the diameter of your cake
From the cake color (in my case, brown):
- 1 circle, separated into the segments
- 4 rectangles the length of the diameter of your cake by the height of your cake
Cutting out your pieces:
- Start by cutting out the whole circle at once.
- Then cut it in half on the line. If you want to use your rotary cutter and mat, just cut the paper in half, lay it on top of your circle, and cut along that with your cutter (be sure to press the paper down with your metal ruler as you go so it doesn’t shift).
- Then cut the segments out, following the line. If you want to use your rotary cutter and mat, just cut one of the segments out, lay it on one edge of your half circle, cut along the other edge, then lay the segment along the new edge of your big slice and cut along the edge again. This should make three even pieces. Of course you could use freezer paper (if you’re not using felt that will melt) and scissors to cut out your shape. I resisted the freezer paper thing for a while, but it is so cheap for how much use you get out of it, I don’t know why I ever bothered with the taping-your pattern-to-your-felt method.
- Cut out your rectangles for the cake thickness. These will all be the same height, so you can just use a rotary to just cut strips to the right height and then cut them to the appropriate length as you go.
- The same principle applies to the thin strips of frosting, just cut a bunch of 1/2 inch strips and then cut them to the appropriate length (I waited to cut them down until after I had sewn them on to the cake).
Sewing the cake together
**Sorry, no pictures of this part, if you need help, e-mail me, but I think it’s pretty straightforward; you don’t even need to follow this if you don’t want to, just sew it all together however feels best. These instructions are for sewing the pieces together either by machine or by hand so that the seams are on the outside (the felt won’t fray). You may wish to pin as you go, but since I was sewing by hand, I just held my pieces where I wanted them to be.**
- Start by laying your frosting half circle and one cake rectangle (with the frosting strip already sewn on) wrong sides together and sew along the straight side of the half circle. Use a thread that coordinates with the frosting color.
- Lay the cake half circle on the other side of the cake rectangle that is sewn on your frosting half circle, wrong sides together, and sew along the straight side of the cake half circle. Use a thread that coordinates with your cake color.
- Take your long frosting rectangle (the one you had to do the math for) and line it up with one short end of the cake rectangle that you sewed onto the half circles, wrong sides together and sew along that edge. Use a thread that coordinates with the frosting color.
- Now sew along the top round edge of the frosting half circle, easing the frosting rectangle around the curve as you go. When you get to the end of your half circle, stop and tie off your thread. Use a thread that coordinates with the frosting color.
- Now sew along the top round edge of the cake half circle, easing the frosting rectangle around the curve as you go. When you get to the end of your half circle, line up the edge of the cake rectangle with the long frosting rectangle, and snip of any overhang so the two pieces meet. Use a thread that coordinates with the frosting color.
- Stuff this of cake piece well. (almost forgot to include this step. Ha!)
- Sew up this end. Use a thread that coordinates with the frosting color.
- To sew the slices, start with one frosting circle segment and one cake rectangle. Line up one of the straight sides of the frosting pieces with one half of the long side of the cake rectangle, wrong sides together, and sew.
When you get to the point of the slice, fold the cake piece in half and sew along the other straight side of the frosting piece.
- Sew the bottom of the cake slice on in the same manner.
- Now sew the frosting rectangle to the end of the slice of cake, starting with the short side of the frosting rectangle and one side of the cake rectangle.
- Then sew the top and bottom of the back of the slice of cake.
- Trim any excess along the remaining unsewn side so the two edges meet evenly.
- Stuff the of cake piece well.
- Sew up the end.
- Repeat steps 8–13 for each piece of cake.
General notes on making your cake:
- Do your cake embellishments before you sew your pieces together.
- I used a blanket stitch to piece the whole thing together, but you could also use a whip stitch or sew it on your sewing machine with a narrow seam allowance (I think, I’m not really the one to ask about sewing things on a machine, though).
- Stuff your cake well. Here‘s a great tutorial about stuffing things. I wish I had stuffed more firmly, because my cake is a little more lumpy than I would like.
- I pressed the cake pieces carefully with an iron to help define the shapes after they were stuffed (again, only if your using fabric or felt that won’t melt). If you’re worried about hurting your felt or your stitching, you could iron with a piece of scrap fabric or muslin over your felt.
- I sewed the magnets in by putting a scrap of muslin behind each magnet on the inside of the cake and stitching around them. I tried to choose a color that would blend in with the felt (unless I wanted the circle to be part of the design, as with the flowers).
(I know it looks messy, but it works.) You want to make sure that you are sewing them in the correct direction (i.e., so that you will have your magnets facing opposite poles so they attract instead of repel each other). A good way to do this, and to hold your magnet in place while you sew, is to determine which way you want the magnet facing, then stick another magnet on the outside of the cake so the magnets stick together through the felt. Then simply stitch around them, using the outside magnet as a guide for where to sew. (It only took me sewing on about 100 magnets in various projects to figure out this easy way of holding the magnets in place. Sheesh.)
- For the candles, I just cut out some rectangles, whip stitched them into small tubes, stuffed them firmly, sewed a small circle over the bottom with a little magnet tucked inside, added a flame, and chain stitched the spiral on.