DIY Favor Tags & Cupcake Toppers – Where the Wild Things Are

caketopper

So in wrapping up my posts on Baby P’s first birthday bash I figured I’d share one last cute little money saving party idea – DIY favor tags and cupcake toppers! My favor tags were as simple as using the same method I did to create P’s invitation and stapling it to a little baggy of cookies! Due to the wide age range of kids that were going to be in attendance I wasn’t sure what to do for favors but I knew I wanted to do something cost effective, so what’s more cost effective than sugar cookies? Plus I felt that giving something edible really lent itself to the “we’ll eat you up” part of the favor tag. While originally I had planned to make cookies in the shape of a “1” time ended up getting away from me and I just went with simple homemade (and by homemade I mean those ready-to-bake rolls of dough that you buy in Walmart, lol) sugar cookies with sprinkles. I was really happy with how they turned out and even happier that I was able to customize my favor tags to fit the party theme!

close-up of favor tag and cookie bag.

close-up of favor tag and cookie bag.

favors as we displayed them.

favors as we displayed them.

As for the cupcake toppers they were a last minute DIY idea for when I decided that I was going to forgo the idea of having a professional make the cupcakes and smash cake and make them myself. While I’ve gotten crafty with cupcake decorating in the past (check out my margarita and patriotic cupcakes!) I knew that since I needed about sixty cupcakes I didn’t want to commit to any type of elaborate design. In searching various online retailers I came across some pretty adorable cupcake toppers, even some that were already customized to my theme, but in an effort to save some addition money I decided to just create them myself by using Microsoft Word to create little circles with various WTWTA images inside (see my post on DIY Invites & Greeting Cards without Photoshop for more on making some simple designs without fancy computer programs). Once my little circles were printed all I had to do was cut them out and use a glue stick to glue them together around a standard toothpick. While the process was a little tedious it was a super easy and FREE way to jazz up my box cupcakes!

photo 2 (6)photo 5photo 4 (3)

 

TIP: Want an even easier option? Print the favor tags out on shipping labels and simply stick it to a little colored paper baggy. You can apply this same idea to your cupcake toppers by printing out the characters on circular labels and sticking them together around a toothpick so that you can skip the cutting step altogether.

If you’re interested in throwing your own budget-friendly “Where the Wild Things Are” party and would like to use my caketopper and favor tag designs please contact me and I would be happy to share the document with you free of charge!

DIY Fabric Covered Photo Mat – Made from a Cereal Box!!!

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? I actually have quite a few “free” projects in the works currently that I’m super excited about, but for now I’ll share this one with you as it was part of our gallery wall which I will reveal soon! This project actually happened by accident when I realized that the frame I was using wasn’t a standard photo frame and I was going to need to cut a photo mat to fit it. Since the piece of art (I shouldn’t say art, it was a weird picture of a cat or something, lol) that was originally in the frame had an ivory mat around it I was going to have J cut it to fit using a box cutter. Of course he misunderstood me (anybody else have an issue with their men having selective hearing when it comes to their crafting requests? lol) and cut the wrong part of the mat, rendering the part I needed useless. Boo-hoo! It was time to come up with a plan B, which I thought would be just to buy and cut a standard mat to size but then I realized that a standard mat wouldn’t fit this frame either (gahh!). Just as I was getting super frustrated and about to ax the use of that particular frame altogether, I remembered that I had seen a picture mat that somebody had covered in fabric by simply mod podging fabric onto a plain picture mat. Now, that still didn’t solve my problem of not having the right mat size, but if I thought that if I could only find a thin cardboard to fashion my own mat I could take advantage of my left over fabric from past projects. I knew that a poster board cut to size would work just fine but in the interest of not having to traipse into town to get one I thought to myself “what do I have in the house that is of similar thickness/material to a poster board?” and then it came to me – a cereal box!!! About a half hour and a little mod podge later I had myself another fancy photo mat (check out my first DIY photo mat here) that not only matched the fabric on our side-light window panels but was free!!! All it required was a little thinking outside of the “box”, so to speak (get it? cereal box, ha.ha.ha). I hope this inspires a free photo mat on your end (you need not use a cereal box like I did, any thin cardboard will do) and should you not have the need for a photo mat right now, keep this one in mind as a great DIY gift opportunity come the holidays!

I'll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart <3

I’ll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart ❤

 

DIY FABRIC PHOTO MAT

SUPPLIES:

  • 1 large cereal box or poster board of some sort
  • fabric of your choice
  • mod podge (I used matte finish but it doesn’t matter what you use)
  • glue gun & hot glue
  • foam brush
  • measuring tape
  • scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: If you are using a cereal box break the box down by cutting along one of the corners so that it can lay flat like a piece of cardboard. Then measure and cut four strips of equal length or four pieces that can come together to form a rectangular mat since it wont matter what your pieces look like beneath the fabric as long as the shape of the mat is even (depending on the size of your box you may not be able to get four equal pieces but rather four pieces just long enough to overlap and connect to form a rectangle). If using a poster board simply measure and draw out your mat and then cut it out already formed.

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My cereal box! In the interest of pinching our pennies I opt for “crisp rice” instead of rice krispies haha

Step 2: Once you have your four pieces connect them so that your print side (if using a cereal box) is all facing one direction using hot glue to form the mat. Ignore this step if you have used a poster board and your mat is ready to go. Now you are ready to measure and add your fabric!

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ensuring that it fits in the frame

fabmat2

Step 3:  Measure your fabric by laying the fabric print side down (upside down) and laying your mat on top, use a pencil or pen to mark an area just a tad bit larger than your mat size or enough to be folded over the edges (I will explain in the subsequent steps). Once you have marked your rectangle on the fabric, cut it out using your scissors (this should be obvious but keep the rectangle in tact! To cut the center simply puncture a hole in the center of your fabric and cut along the insides).

Step 4: Place your mat so that the non-print side is facing up and lay your fabric cut out over the mat to make sure that it will line up correctly. In each of the inner and outer corners cut a small slit that extends from the edge of the fabric to the corner of the mat (this is so your fabric can be tucked underneath without puckering at the corners).

Step 5: Now you are ready to attach the fabric to the mat. Using your foam brush, brush a generous amount of mod podge onto the mat surface and then lay your fabric atop it and press down to secure. Some mod podge will likely seep through the fabric, this is fine, simply use your foam brush to brush it off so that it doesn’t form clumps. At this point your fabric will still be larger than necessary for the mat but allow it to dry this way before moving onto the next step.

Step 6: Once your fabric has dried for the most part, turn your mat upside down and use hot glue to attach your fabric’s edges to the underneath of the mat, making sure to pull it tightly so that isn’t loose along the edges and holds to the mat securely.

Step 7: Now turn your mat back over and add another coat of mod podge to the top of the fabric, ensuring that you are adding and even layer and are not allowing it to pool or clump along the top. Allow it to dry and you are ready to use it in your frame!!! Ta-da!!! 

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My DIY frame displayed on our gallery wall!

 

To see more of our family pictures from baby P’s 6 month photo session see this post!