If you know me, then you know that I like cupcakes. Okay, that is an understatement. I LOVE me some cupcakes. But I noticed that local stores are seriously under stocked when it comes to cute cupcake attire. Sure, your local craft store probably has a small selection. You might have your choice between Dora the Explorer and Tranformers (or whatever boys are into these days). You could go to one of the three bakery supply stores in town and you would find a better selection, but you probably won't find the kitchy-cute-fun cupcake toppers that you are yearning for. What to do? Well, Peptogirl says "Make your own!"
Step 1: There are a variety of paper punches out there so choose one accordingly. The size should probably be right around an inch and a half or smaller. Martha Stewart has a great selection and hers are just the right size. Marvy punches are also pretty great, just make sure to get the small size (they make some pretty big punches that are great for card making but a little large for cupcake toppers). If you don't want to spring for a paper punch, you can also get some die cut shapes in the scrapbooking section of your local craft store. They usually come in a small tube in a variety of colors and shapes.
Here's what the punches look like on the bottom, so you can see how they work.
You just slip the paper in (like a stapler) and press down like so.
Step 2: Now that you've got all your shapes punched, get out your favorite stamps and stamp pads. Start stamping!
The above mushroom stamp was designed by Missy Ballance. Missy also designed the monster stamp, for Amuse and I think it's for sale on the Amuse site though I couldn't find it. They also have it at the Paper Garden.
Step 3: Politely ask your cat to remove his tail from your ink.
Step 4: Watch said cat make frowny face.
Step 5 (optional): If you have punches in 2 different sizes, you can layer your shapes. Stamp on the smaller shape, then stick a piece of double-sided mounting tape to the back. Peel the paper off the other side and carefully center it onto the second shape.
Step 6: Get out your favorite white or scrapbooking glue. Although technically the glue shouldn't be touching your food, you still may want to choose from the non-toxic variety. I choose to use Scotch scrapbookers glue with a sponge tip.
Apply glue to the top portion of your stick. You can use toothpicks, wooden picks (pictured), popsicle sticks, or mini popsicle sticks. They carry these at your local craft store and mega-mart (a.k.a. Walmart).
Step 7: Almost done! Flip your stamped image over and press your stick onto the back. Make sure the stick is centered and the image is facing the right way before you allow them to dry. Let them dry for a few hours or overnight. Stand back and admire your work.
Step 8: Whip up some cupcakes and insert stick. Want to know a secret? I cheated, these cupcakes are store bought. I like to make my own but I thought it was silly to make cupcakes just for a tutorial. It's also silly to buy cupcakes just for a tutorial. Don't worry, I'm sure they will not go to waste.
Step 9: Do not allow your cat to sniff said cupcakes while you are busy trying to photograph them.
And especially, do not let said cat lick said cupcakes. If it happens anyway, give that cupcake to someone you don't like.
Step 10: Enjoy!
* Note: If you are making the cupcakes for someone special you can give the toppers a theme. You might print photos and words out on your computer then cut or punch out to make custom toppers. One year I made cupcakes for a co-worker with photos of her dog, Bungee.
Whatever image you decide to use, your friends, family, co-workers, (insert audience here) will think you are a crafty goddess and culinary genius. If they only knew how easy it was...Shhh...I won't tell.