Monday, June 20, 2011

Cupcake Topper Tutorial: Patriotic Summer Fun!

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I loved teaching fellow crafty souls how to make party bunting and cupcake toppers at The Peacock Cafe!  Paper, ribbon, buttons, medallions, and lolly sticks were combined to make colorful decor for patriotic summertime fun.

Cupcake toppers are easily made with cardstock or scrapbook paper... would ~you~ like to make some?

Here's what you'll need:


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Two sheets of matching 12 inch X 12 inch scrapbook paper (or one sheet of cardstock): I used a simple red and white checked "picnic" patterned paper

Scrap strips 1 and 1/2 inches by 12 inches for medallion and flower punches: I used denim scrapbook paper for the round medallions and glittery white cardstock for the flowers

Buttons: red for this design

One inch diameter hole punches: scalloped round and simple flower (I purchased them at either Hobby Lobby or Michael's- they're made by The Paper Studio)

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Narrow white ribbon

White cardboard type candy/lolly sticks (found in the candy making or baking section of Joann's): I used cardboard instead of wooden picks or popsicle sticks so they can be cut without creating splinters to shorten the height if necessary...

Plain adhesive (I use an Elmer's glue stick) and low temp melt glue/glue gun

Optional: Paper crimper: the strips that make the cupcake topper are accordian-folded, but if you're arthritic or have difficulty folding the strips in even increments, running the strips through the paper crimper first can make the folding MUCH easier.  Brayer:  used to help push air bubbles out from scrapbook pages being glued together.

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Directions:

If you use cardstock, SKIP THIS STEP (cardstock is thicker than scrapbook paper and will be ~difficult~ to accordian-fold if you double its thickness).

Apply glue (glue stick) evenly across the back of one sheet of scrapbook paper:

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Place second sheet of patterned paper on top, "wrong" sides together, matching corner to corner, and smooth all air bubbles out.  I use a brayer to prevent air pockets so the paper won't separate once it's cut.

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Once dry, cut the scrapbook paper into twelve 1-inch wide strips:

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If you'd like to use a paper crimper, run each strip through it one time, making sure that the paper doesn't slide sideways or slant as it goes between the rollers:

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I've seen two crimpers made by Fiskars- this one that makes symmetrical grooves across the paper or cardstock (the pattern resembles corrugated cardboard), and another that crimps an uneven wavy pattern across the paper.  You'll want the NON-WAVY crimper.  I found mine at Michael's.

Accordian-fold the paper strips in 1/2 inch or less widths:

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Alas, there's a ~tricky part~ to this cute craft!

See the ends of this strip?

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The ends are both folding in toward one another, a big no-no!

If you've folded the paper so that the ends look like this (photo below) as you curve the strip around for the ends to meet, you're in GREAT SHAPE:

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If the accordian folds have resulted in the strip having the "no-no"ends pictured in the first photo, simply cut off the last fold with scissors:

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Now you're ready to use your hot glue gun to turn your folded strip into a ring. Apply glue so that the facing-up of one end of the strip can stick to the facing-down end of the other:

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See the glue?

The seam should be an overlap of one edge of the strip covering the other. Whoops! Apologies- you can see the seam across my uh... middle finger:

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After all of your strips have been folded and glued into rings, let the glue dry while you use the hole punches to make 24 denim blue medallions and 12 white flowers (though you can make 24 flowers so that each cupcake topper is decorated on the front AND back if you'd like):

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Once the medallions and flowers are punched, grab one of the folded rings. Let it stand on your work surface, and gently press down on the top creases toward the middle of the ring. The folds will start to fan out as you press down:

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Continue to press down until the ring collapses completely into a rosette shape:

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You'll need some coordination (or help at this point), as you must keep the accordian-folded ring/rosette flat on your work surface with one hand while squeezing some melted glue into the center of the rosette with the other, topping the glue with one of the denim medallions:

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Make certain you have a firm hold on the rosette at this point, because it will still try to pop up and spread back open into a ring- NOT fun when there's hot glue involved!

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Press the denim medallion into the center of the rosette on top of the hot glue, keeping a firm hold on the rosette as it dries.  If the medallion is punched from thin paper, be careful not to let your fingertips get burned as you hold it down.

Once that side is dry, flip the rosette over and add hot glue and a denim medallion to the back. See how the rosette holds its shape once one side has been glued?

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After the rosette has dried, choose the prettier side and, using hot glue, add a white flower punch and button to the center of the denim medallion:

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Lollipop stick time!

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Squeeze a little bit of hot glue into one of the folds/grooves on the back side of the cupcake rosette:

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Slide the lolly stick into the groove and glue, and let dry:

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Turn the cupcake topper over and tie on a length of ribbon (I cut my ribbon into nine or ten inch lengths so I'm able to tie a nice bow):

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If you don't want the bows to slide or twist around the lolly stick, add a small drop of hot glue beneath the rosette and push the bow up into it:

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**SO** cute, but we're not quite done! See the ends of the ribbon? Blah. Yes, BLAH. Cut a dove's tail into each end and watch the cuteness factor increase:

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Pull off any dried glue "strings" and start baking (or buying!) cupcakes~ it's time to decorate!

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Let me know if you make a set of cupcake toppers!

(Psst, did you know the same medallion/rosette design can be used to create ornaments, a gift tag decoration, or to spruce up bunting or handmade cards?)

1 comment:

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