Category Archives: Lifestyle

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

A step by step guide to creating a frightfully ghoulish Halloween cupcake bouquet centerpiece on the cheap.

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

Hey, guys!

It is now my favorite time of year!

Fall? Pumpkin spice? Baking season? Well, yes to that last one but it is always baking season around here. If you haven’t grabbed your copy of my free baking conversion cheatsheet, now is the time to do it. Pretty soon all of those baking feels are going to hit you just before the holidays. Make sure you have the right measurements and can easily convert those favorite recipes.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

It is Halloween season!

Yes, that means I am begging my LulaRoe Lady for leggings covered in bats, cats, skellies, and skulls. I am also hunting down all the best Halloween themed decor around town.

I always try to snag awesome Halloween finds on clearance after the holiday is over but I am telling you, those are some slim pickings.

This year I have decided to dress up my table decor with a Halloween Cupcake Bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

In all honesty, I have been seeing these cupcake bouquets everywhere but had not had an appropriate occasion to create one until now. I think it will be a unique way to display the holiday treats and add to the overall creepy ambiance.

If you have seen the cupcake bouquets around town or across the internet, then you may know that small bouquets usually run upwards of fifty-five dollars or more. Crazy, right?

It isn’t crazy. When you purchase from a professional baker, you are purchasing their time and expertise. So often, art and especially food art is undervalued. Many potential customers will complain about pricing and suggest that they can get a cheaper product from a chain store.

Though I understand the plight of the baker I also understand what it is like to be on a budget. One of my greatest thrills is making twenty dollars look like sixty.

How do I do this?

One way to stretch my dollar is that I do a lot of DIY. Of course, there are some limitations to my abilities but I LOVE learning new skills along the way.

The second way I make that twenty dollars look like sixty is by shopping at the Dollar Tree. I can find a variety of products at a low price and love that I am not spending more than a buck.

Almost all of the materials used in this tutorial were purchased at the Dollar Tree.

Materials Needed:

A Halloween Bucket: There are several styles. Choose the one that best fits your party theme.

Three dry floral styrofoam blocks

A large knife

Two bags of colored crinkle cut paper shreds: I used one bag of black and one bag of purple. You can pick whichever colors best match your decor.

Plastic wrap

Colored tissue paper

Scotch tape

One glow in the dark skull head

Toothpicks

Halloween Cupcake Liners

Undecorated cupcakes refrigerated

Halloween Roses

Decorator’s Icing or your icing of choice

Food Dye to color the icing: I used red but again use what best fits your color scheme and decor.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

How to Put It All Together

The cupcake bouquet is created to make cupcakes look like flowers coming out of a vase. Flowers have the benefit of stems to keep them standing upright. Cupcakes do not.

To keep our cupcakes vertical, we will need to attach them to the styrofoam.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step One:

Sizing the Styrofoam

Your bucket size and shape will determine how much of the styrofoam blocks you will need. The mouth of my bucket was quite wide so I need three styrofoam blocks to fill the space.

Place the styrofoam blocks side by side on a flat surface. Flip your bucket over so that the mouth is facing down and place on top of the styrofoam blocks. At this point, you can either draw or etch around the shape of the bucket to create an outline of where we will be cutting.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Move the bucket out of the way. Using a few toothpicks, connect the styrofoam blocks together. With a large knife, cut around the outline previously drawn. The styrofoam should be circular to match the mouth of the bucket. Troubleshoot to make sure styrofoam snuggly fits into the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

No one wants to have styrofoam on their cupcakes. Ew! Use the plastic wrap to completely wrap around the styrofoam. After wrapping the styrofoam in plastic wrap, I also wrapped it in colored tissue paper. This gives my bouquet a base color so the ugly green styrofoam is not showing. I used the Scotch tape to adhere the colored tissue paper to the bottom side of the styrofoam.

Step Two:

The Filling of the Bucket

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

If step one was troublesome, this is by far the easiest step of them all. Open the bags of crinkle cut paper and dump them into the bucket. Since I was using two colors I swirled them around a bit to mix the colors.

Place the covered styrofoam in the top of the bucket and push down until snug. You only want about an inch or so sticking out of the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I created a decorative center for my bouquet by placing a skull head in the center and securing it in the styrofoam. Make sure to keep the skull a bit taller so it does not get in the way of the cupcakes.

Step Three:

Placing of the Cupcakes

The cupcakes work best when they have been refrigerated so they hold better on the toothpicks. We will start by placing the outer rim of cupcakes first and working our way to the center.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet TutorialHalloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Place two toothpicks into the bottom of the cupcake about halfway. Using the toothpicks like prongs, stab them in at an angle into the styrofoam. If the toothpicks push through to the top of your cupcake, just push them back in with a gloved finger.

You do not want your cupcake to be perfectly perpendicular to the table because then your icing will want to slide right off. No one wants that! 

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Leave about an inch or so of space between each cupcake as you place them around the outside.

As filler and to add to our bouquet, I cut off a few sprigs from the Halloween roses and tucked them between each cupcake. The idea is to cover up the colored tissue paper base and to make the bouquet look full and beautiful. I tucked leaves and petals around the cupcakes to make sure they would not get in the way of icing.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Once the outer row is complete, then you place the inner row. I try to alternate my cupcakes so they look more like a natural bouquet. The inner row is placed similarly to the outer row. Fill in the spaces with sprigs of Halloween roses or leaves.

This is the time to get creative. You can stick leaves and sprigs throughout the bouquet. I love that the Dollar Tree Halloween Roses have little spiders attached. What a cute way to amp up the creepiness of this cute bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step Four:

Icing the Cupcakes

This is the fun part! Now it is time to make those naked little cupcakes turn into beautiful flowers fit for your ghoulish bouquet.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

To keep things easy, I decided to just do simple rosette flowers and only two colors. Depending on your bouquet and color choices, you can do as many color and flower combinations as you can dream up. I went with a simple white rose and a deep red rose color.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I find that using either a Wilton 1M Open Star Piping Tip or a Wilton 2D Decorating Tip creates the best rosettes.

Carefully swirl your icing onto each cupcake keeping the leaves out of your way. Alternate colors so the bouquet looks even and full.

Step 5:

Finishing Touches

To finish off this creep-tastic and yet beautiful Halloween Cupcake Bouquet, I had to add a few drops of blood!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I create edible blood with chocolate syrup and raspberry preserves to drip over the white roses. You can read more about this technique and other Halloween ideas in my Halloween Spooktacular Disaster.

Now, you have a display that will both wow and delight all of your guests.

The best part about this edible arrangement? You didn’t have to spend lots of money to achieve such tasty results. Just remember to shop the Dollar Tree Online to get all your party decor and more.

Let Me Know

As we prepare for Halloween, I want to know how you decorate. Will you be making one of these Halloween Cupcake Bouquets? Will you be throwing a party or taking the kiddos trick-or-treating? Let me know in the comments below!

Today, we are making life taste sweeter with the Dollar Tree.

 

Best Gifts for Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

We are days away from the day we honor all the people we call Mom. If you’ve got babies, step babies, fur babies, grown babies, grand babies, and so on, this day is just for you!

Mother’s Day can be super stressful for some folks. How do you celebrate such an important person in your life? Don’t worry, I have some great ideas that are sure to make your Mom smile and keep you in her good graces.

Mother’s Day isn’t too difficult for me. My mother lives 600 miles away and ever since I gave her my first macaroni necklace I realized she is pretty happy with just about anything I give her. I know she would love to have me in person or even just love to enjoy the warm beaches here in Florida, but I sent her the second best thing: chocolate. My mom is totally a self proclaimed chocoholic. There is nothing she enjoys more than savoring a  Hershey’s milk chocolate bar while sipping on a cool can of Pepsi.
Of her three children, I am not the “good” kid. I was the oldest. I was the trailblazer and rebel. So of course I didn’t send the Hershey’s bar and Pepsi. I’ll leave that to my younger siblings.

But I did find these delectable chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries.

Always keeping a thrifty eye, I also purchased a Groupon for them to save some money. Actually I got the Groupon so that I could get her more strawberries for less money.  I’m not going cheap on my Mama. I just know how delicious these things are.

#ShareTheBerries

Once your order is delivered, she can just tag Shari’s Berries and add #ShareTheBerries with a photo of her sweet loot to be entered to win even more goodies. That is a totally sweet deal all the way around!

Being my mom’s oldest child, means that there was a time when I was growing up that it was just me and her. My parents divorced when I was less than two years old and my stepfather didn’t appear in the picture until I was five. Very much like how I’ve raised Cupcakeasaurus Rex, we were both single parents with a young child.
Mother’s Day can be hard for single moms. Many times they are doing the work of both parents and not getting recognition for either roll. They work long hours and constantly have a guilty feeling about not spending enough time with their babies. They realize though that working provides finances that allows them to improve their children’s lives. Looking through my limited pictures of CRex and me, I realized that the same phenomenon happened with my mother and me. There aren’t many pictures of us together. When you are busy being the parent, there is no time to take pictures of being the parent.

A special photo session would be an excellent idea for the mother in your life that may be parenting alone or just doesn’t have the time to update the scrapbook.

You can opt to purchase a gift certificate with a local photographer or even offer to take a mini photo shoot out at the park. Either way, those pictures are memories she can treasure for a lifetime.
Alright, so my mom loves chocolates. That may seem clichè but sometimes the common gifts are the best. Think of her favorites.

Think of what she would enjoy. Flowers?
I know, I know, the clichè-est of them all! However, there are some really cute ways to personalize such an over done gift.

For example, if you are a grown able bodied person and you want to give your mom flowers, you could by chance do some yard work for her. This could include planting, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. It is a task that she probably isn’t looking forward to doing herself but she will appreciate a beautiful job well done. She can take pride in her home and curb appeal.
If you are looking for a simpler route, you can pick out a planter that is representative of her personal style or something you two share together. Hanging plants can go a long way too. There are super cute pots that are shaped like coffee cups, or boots or large cry babies even. I know! What mom would want a flower pot that looks like a crying baby? I have no idea but there are all sorts out there.

Now, you are like me and your mom lives 600 miles away? Using a Groupon for a flower delivery service like ProFlowers is an option as well.

ProFlowers delivery on my doorstep

You pick out the prettiest bouquet you can find and you can pick the date it will arrive and any extras you might want to tack on. For Mother’s Day, you can tack on chocolates, special cards or deluxe vases. A neat thing about this option is that you can surprise Mom at work or at church or at Bingo night. You can choose the delivery options and make sure everyone she knows KNOWS that she has a kid that loves her.

My lovely Tulips still wrapped up and ready to bloom on the big day. Thanks Grandma! She knows what’s up!

For more ideas on flowers and exactly which types to choose, check out this post from Tione over at Beauty That Walks.

Chocolate and Flowers too traditional? I have ideas on not so traditional ideas too.

Groupon is still my favorite place to find all sorts of ideas. You can search for deals local to you if you want to do an activity together or you can search deals local to her if she lives farther away.

Some of the Groupon offers are for massages or spa days.

They sound nice for certain types of mothers but may not work for all. I remember being gifted a massage gift card for a baby shower gift. It was super thoughtful and sounded amazing. However, I finally got that massage when CRex was three years old. Sometimes life just gets away from us moms too much for all of that.

For more practical gift ideas to help make your mom’s life easier, check out this post from Divya at Eat Teach Blog.

She has the perfect solutions for that mom that just won’t go to the spa. Like me, she also recently married and uprooted her life to move across the country.

 Groupon also offers exotic experience gifts like riverboat tours, paddle boats or PaintNite sessions.

PaintNite is a fun gift idea I’ve done with my mom on her birthday before. This is a great idea for so many reasons. First, she gets to spend time with you, or she gets to spend time with whoever else she chooses to take. I’m sure she will have a great time with your younger brother.

Second, PaintNite makes everything super easy and fun. You don’t have to do any prep work. Their instructors bring all the supplies you need to make a wonderous masterpiece. Not to say everyone makes a wonderous masterpiece by any means. The instructor is there to help and encourage all levels of painting experience. They also host their sessions at restaurants and bars so you and Mom can enjoy food and drinks while you paint.

Lastly, you can give Mom your painting just like you did with your macaroni necklace. She will love it and think of this time spent together every time she sees it. Or you can keep it for yourself because really who wants your macaroni necklace?

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge my Mama. Thank you for always supporting me and my dreams. You did all the hard and yucky jobs and I definitely didn’t make it easy on you.

I would also like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother In Law. This is our first Mother’s Day together and I look forward to our upcoming plans.

Hopefully, you have not waited to the last possible minute to celebrate Mom and hopefully one of her best achievements: you. If you have, then I hope these ideas have helped you narrow down that perfect way to thank Mom for teaching you how to feed yourself, use a toilet and function as a human being. There is not a way out of this one. You have to celebrate!

If all else fails, bake her cupcakes. Cupcakes are always a winner around here. These Pretty In Pink cupcakes are sure to make Mom smile.

 

Was this post helpful to you? Did these ideas help you find the perfect gift? What excellent idea did I miss? Let me know in the comments below! I want to know!