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Friday, October 16, 2009

Frugal (and Easy!) Cupcake Toppers

For the potluck dinner, I realized that I didn't really have time to make cut-out cookies. Instead, I decided to make cupcakes with a fall theme. The cake is a simple but delicious vanilla cake recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook. The frosting is from the same cookbook, but I divided it into thirds. To one third I added orange flavoring and food coloring. To another third, I added just enough cocoa to give it a pale brown color. To the final third, I added more cocoa for a darker shade of brown. My goal was to make an assortment that would look fun on the serving table.

We transported the cupcakes, by the way, in a foil-lined shirt-size gift box. No worries about remembering to bring home a platter!

As the cupcakes were cooling, I made some quick, easy toppers. I'd seen some ideas online, and this is inspired by all of them. First I gathered the materials:
  • Plain white paper (printer paper)

  • Glue (non-toxic)

  • Toothpicks (clean!)

  • Rubber stamps

  • Ink pad (non-toxic)

  • Scissors

  • Colored pencils (non-toxic)

I folded the paper lengthwise into eighths (folded in half, then in half twice more), then cut it, along the folds, into long strips. I cut the strips so that each piece was about 2 inches by 1 inch, and folded them in half crosswise. (You could stamp them before folding, but I wasn't confident that I wouldn't end up with upside-down pumpkins!)

I stamped an image on each outside surface of the paper.

After a minute, when the ink had dried, I colored the images with colored pencils. This could have been done much more elaborately, but I was looking for a quick solution.

I used a bit of glue to attach the toothpick and to hold the sides of the paper together.

This is how they turned out:

I've seen tutorials that used punched shapes, back to back ... even photocopied pictures, cut out ... but this was an easy way to make some cute, practically free, cupcake toppers.

For more frugal ideas, click through to Frugal Fridays.


  1. Great idea, Melissa!! Those are really cute. :) Neat tip on how to transport them too.

  2. What a wonderful idea! Now I feel the need to go make cupcakes...


    P.S. For some reason I have a hard time leaving comments on your blog. Hope it works this time!

    P.P.S. Didn't work, trying again.

  3. Those are absolutely adorable!! Love the acorns. :)

  4. Cute! It's amazing how "in" cupcake toppers are this year- I'm seeing them everywhere!

  5. Such a cute and easy way to top cupcakes!

  6. These toppers are cute, and very much inexpensive. I can't believe how much some people are willing to pay for similar items, when homemade can be better personalized and just as elegant.


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