Sunday, April 20, 2014

cupcakes, anyone?

it's no secret that three of my favorite things in life are cupcakes, fancy giftwrap, and using up paper scraps. so i have to say that this was a pretty good week, since i managed to combine all of these things into what might just be my favorite kids' gift bag ever!

you can see that i've used pretty much ALL scraps for this, but (hopefully) in a way that makes that a virtue and not just a necessity. my favorite part is the "chocolate cake" element of the cupcakes, which is made up entirely of strips... not even neatly trimmed strips, either, just whatever size they were, i lined them up and glued them on. 

i should back-track a little bit and say that this is totally basic paper-piecing, just on a slightly bigger scale than when we do it with rubber stamps. to start out, either draw or download a line drawing of a cupcake, sized to fit your project. glue your "cake strips" to a scrap of cardstock slightly bigger than you'd like the finished product to be. then find three slightly bigger scraps, which look nice together; these are going to be your icing layers. cut apart (or copy and print multiples) the drawing and use the different sections as your templates. i usually do this by stapling the master copy to a couple of layers of patterned paper, so that i only have to cut each shape ONCE... because i'm lazy like that, lol! :)

this is the perfect time to embellish: machine (or faux) stitching, rub-ons, sequin sprinkles, inked or distressed edges, whatever you like, bring it on!

next is is assembly. i happen to ♥LOVE♥ dimension, so i raised each successive cupcake layer from the one below with a few pieces of foam tape. so the cake portion is flat, the largest icing is up on one layer of tape, the medium icing is on two, the small icing is on three, and yes... the cherry is on FOUR layers of 1/16" foam tape! i realize it doesn't make a huge difference in the photographs, but in real life, it makes the the whole thing stand out!

the finished cakes, which in this case are not quite 8x8" would make awesome birthday cards; but you could do these pretty much ANY size. small ones for a birthday banner, would be cool, i think. i made mine this size so they could be the centerpieces of birthday bags for my young friends carlos and isabel.

they happen to have their birthdays in the same month, (and often receive their presents from us on the same day) so i will sometimes use one idea to make a "two-fer" like i did here. to make the cakes into decorative 8x11" panels i only needed to trace some chipboard alphas to personalize each bag with the kids' names. i used up the rest of the colorful scraps by making a circle-punched scalloped border; tacking the circles to the back of the panel and then stitching around the perimeter with the sewing machine for extra security.

i like to anchor the elements to each other pretty securely, but only ever attach the panels to the bags with 4 or 5 small pieces of foam tape. this way the whole panel can be easily removed and become a sign for the birthday kids' bedroom doors! can't wait to see these guys next weekend and give them their presents! ♥♥♥


  1. Pure paper-crafting, paper-piecing magic ... and the chocolate letters and heart-filled cherry on top are amazing finishing touches

  2. Um yeah, I'll have a gigantic cupcake please?! Those are awesome giftie bags!

  3. You are the undisputed QUEEN of the gift bag! Yes, you are!

  4. Wow are these ever gorgous, love everything about them. great use of scraps, I think those cupcake wrappers are awesome.

  5. Seriously awesome! What a great stash-buster for those little bits - and I LOVE that you make it easy for them to save :)


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