1) Make a ball out of red fondant and shape with fingers to form a cone as shown to form the base. Insert a toothpick or lollipop stick in the center. Make a round ball out of pink fondant for the 'head'.
2) Attach the pink ball to the base.
3) Make another ball in red, then slightly pinch end to form a cone again, but with a pointy end.
4) Keep working the pointy end to form the hat.
5) Slightly bend the end of the pointy hat as shown.
6) Add a dab of water and 'glue' the hat onto the pink 'head'.
7) Make a tiny ball out of white fondant and stick with a dab of water tot he end of the hat.
8) Roll out a thin circle of white fondant to form the 'beard'. Using the scalloped edge of the cookie cutter, cut out a semi circle. Neaten the straight edge with a sharp knife if needed.
9) Attached the beard tot he front of the topper with a dab of water.
10) Take a small piece of white fondant, and roll into a thin 'rope' to make the hat brim. Make sure the length goes all the way around the circumference of the hat.
11) Attach brim at the edge of the hat with a little water if needed. This step is a little fiddly, but if the rope breaks, just make it a little thicker. Pinch at the back to seal the rope ends together.
12) Make a small ball out of pink fondant and flatten it to make the 'nose'. Attach to the topper with a little water.
13) Using an edible ink pen, lake the dots for the eyes.
14) Cover your cupcake with more white fondant.
The all that's left to do is stick the toppers to the top of the cupcakes. The toppers do take a little time to make, but once you make one, then the rest is just copy and paste - no pun ;)
Another cool idea is to use fondant molds to create quick shapes like these Christmas bows. Glue to the top of the cupcakes as before with a little water, and finish with a printable cupcake topper made of paper.
I love the contrast of paper and fondant, and varying the shapes makes for a more interesting display. For this one I used mini cupcake stands in pink and a large DIY cupcake stand out of cereal cans and cake boards - Tutorial here.
Cristina Riches aka Bird, is the founder of BirdsParty.com. She's also a creative mom of two, published author, graphic designer, magazine editor and unconditional party lover. Her party ideas have been featured on numerous publications such as Forbes.com, CNN Entertainment, Parenting Magazine and MarthaStewart.com; and she's a regular party contributor to PBS Parents, Yum Food for Kids Magazine, Créative Magazine and HGTV.