Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cupcake Costume

For Halloween this year I decided to, of course, be a cupcake. (Please excuse the embarrassing goofy mirror-pictures I had to take so that you could see my full outfit.)

 It was a pretty easy DIY project, although I wasn't all-that thrilled with the result. But hey, who doesn't have slightly lumpy frosting sometimes, right?

 All you need is a cheap laundry basket (or one you've always hated because it cuts into your fingers when you carry it), a bag of the cheapest stuffing you can find, ribbon (you'll need about 3.5 ft.) and a bag of colored pom-poms for your sprinkles.
 First you need to cut the bottom out of your laundry basket. I envisioned doing this with a box cutter and actually cutting the plastic bottom out of the basket, but since I only had scissors I decided to cut the side of the basket where there were nice spaces to make things a bit easier.
 Keep cutting until the bottom is completely off.
*NOTE: If I were to do this again, I would cut the basket at the top of the last row of spaces instead of the bottom. I wanted to make sure I kept a nice long cupcake shape but it really wasn't necessary and the long plastic ends would poke my legs a bit sometimes. If I had cut the top of the spaces it would have left me with a smaller form and I would have cut more off than just the bottom center but I wouldn't have had those long plastic ends to deal with. (Does that make sense?)
 Anyways, next, get your ribbon. Tie it onto one side of the basket but don't cut it yet! Stand inside the basket and look in the mirror and figure out where you want the cupcake wrapper to be positioned on your body. I wore shorts underneath and wanted the cupcake long enough to come down to almost my knees. This however made it almost impossible to sit down or climb steep stairs so you'll have to decide what works best for you.
 You can also do this step after you've hot glued the poster board "wrapper" onto the basket or once everything is done, however, I tied the ribbon first so that you can easily get to the basket to tie it and so that I could hot-glue the ribbon to the stuffing and poster board. I also chose to do one large strap that went around my neck instead of doing two "back-pack" straps but you could do it either way.
 Take your poster board (I chose pink because I couldn't find silver, this will be the cupcake "wrapper") and take off the sticker on the bottom corner.
 Begin folding the poster board, starting from the shortest side (fold it hot dog style) in an accordion fold. The poster board is thick and difficult to crease but don't worry if the sections aren't equal, no one will notice in the end.
 The poster board will be much larger than your laundry basket. I contemplated cutting it but I knew it would make an uneven, jagged edge and I really didn't want that. If you cut it just be sure to leave about an inch extra at the top to allow you to cover the laundry basket completely and to have something to attach your stuffing to.
Continue accordion-folding all of the poster board. I had bought 3 sheets and it was almost not enough but ended up working out pretty well. You really need 3-4 depending on how pronounced you want your folds to be.
 Once you have all three folded, hot-glue the edges together to create one large sheet. I used binder clips to hold the edges in place while the glue dried so that I could move on.
Hold up the poster board around the cupcake to make sure you have enough. Remember that it'll taper down at the end, so you will get a better idea of things if you measure by wrapping the paper around the top of the basket first and not the bottom.
 See how in the first picture it barely fit and in the second there's quite a bit of slack?
 Next center your laundry basket over the poster board and get your hot-glue gun ready. Gluing the poster board onto the basket was probably the trickiest part of the whole project for me because the wrapper doesn't lay flat against the round basket but instead only touches where the paper is creased. Use lots of hot-glue and try to work quickly, gluing around the rim of the basket and around the sides and pressing the poster board into the glue.
 Next, take your stuffing and hot-glue it to the top rim of the basket.
 Work your way along the edges, gluing the stuffing to both the basket rim and the top inch of poster board.
 Continue all the way around the basket.
 Next, find an old white t-shirt that you never wear (gross!).
 Get your bag of stuffing, pom poms and hot-glue gun. 
 I also put a magazine underneath the shirt to make sure the hot-glue didn't seep through to the other side of the shirt--or worse--onto my carpet.
Add a few lines of hot-glue and gently press a ball of stuffing into the glue, being careful not to burn yourself.
 Keep adding glue and stuffing until you fill the whole shirt.
 I chose just to do the front because the stuffing was a bit itchy and uncomfortable and really the front of the costume is all that matters, right?
 Next hot-glue your pom poms on in a random "sprinkle" fashion. I chose this pink and purple assortment instead of the regular colors. You could also use the larger pom poms. I wouldn't recommend going any smaller however because it's easy to get your finger in the dot of hot-glue when you place them and no one wants that.
Add some more stuffing to the cupcake base by hot-gluing more stuffing the the inside of the basket. I found it was better NOT to fluff up the stuffing by pulling it apart but instead keeping it in large clumps so that it would stay as one bunch and not get as clumpy. I also added large amounts of stuffing to the ribbon to try to build up a nice rounded shape.
 Hot-glue some pom poms onto the base as well.
Next, carefully step into the cupcake and place the ribbon around the back of your neck (like a peanuts vendor at baseball games) and see if you need any more stuffing anywhere. I was pretty happy with it at this point (and ready to be done with the project!) so I didn't add any more around the shoulders or the back of the basket or shirt. I had a v-necked white t-shirt and I stopped right at the V to create a nice rounded shape. I also noticed that the bottom of the shirt wasn't really visible and was covered by the wrapper, so I would spend less time focused on the shirt and maybe a bit more on the cupcake wrapper and middle part of the shirt where the majority of the stuffing was.
 I wore matching pink shorts that you couldn't see underneath the wrapper, silver ballet flats, and a pink cupcake necklace that my dad gave me for Valentines day one year (thanks Dad!!). Overall everyone seemed to really like my outfit. It got a lot of laughs and it was a nice alternative to some of the sexier costumes that are out there. Plus, come on, who doesn't love cupcakes?


  1. Very creative and I love the alternate to the "sexy" look! Very classy and you're welcome for the necklace :) nicely done

  2. This is amazing! I love that you made it yourself! You are such an inspiration!