My oldest, well, she’s definitely my daughter. This kid loves sweet treats.
She celebrates with food, just like her dear old mum. (We’re not English, I have no idea where that came from.)
A couple of her birthday parties have been cupcake and ice cream cone themed, and last Halloween she chose to be a purple frosted cookie. With sprinkles. Ya can’t be a frosted cookie without sprinkles...obviously.
So it was no surprise when she proclaimed that she wanted to be a cupcake for Halloween this year. Back in May. Yes, she’s known what she wanted to be for Halloween for MONTHS!
What is a surprise is the internet’s lack of tutorials for cupcake costumes. I mean, everyone loves a cupcake, right? This can’t be an uncommon thing. And that means people are spending all kinds of time trying to figure out how to make this costume themselves.
And so, that’s just what I’ve got for you today; a complete cupcake costume tutorial. In hopes of saving you the guesswork and the process of figuring it out.
I realize that “today”, near the end of August, might seem a little early for Halloween costumes. But in our house, we plan Halloween all year long. My husband jokes that I start planning Halloween on November 1st. He’s not wrong. This is our normal. And we like it that way. At least I do. And I am the queen of this castle so they all have to deal with it.
This costume is sized for a child but to construct one for an adult would be the same process with slightly different measurements and extra supplies. (See below the supplies picture for more info.*)
Here are the supplies and tools I used:
*If making this costume for an adult, you’ll need a regular sized laundry basket , say from Target or Walmart, probably around an extra ½ - ¾ yard white fabric, another ½ - full bag of poly-fil,and 2-3 more sheets of poster paper.
Let’s start with the really simple, brief directions in The Short and Sweet section. Continue on to All the Details for the step by step directions and helpful tips.
The Short and Sweet:
Cut off the bottom of the laundry basket and cover the edge with tape.
Tie some elastic pieces to the front and back of the basket, crisscrossing them in back for stability.
Fold the poster papers accordion style, cut them to just slightly longer than the height of the basket, and glue them to the basket.
Cut and glue fabric together so that you have a long round piece. Glue one end closed. Stuff the fabric piece with fiber fill and glue the other end closed.
Glue the fabric piece to the top of the basket, swirling it around like frosting on top of a cupcake. Glue together along where the top of the swirl meets the bottom of the swirl.
Glue pom poms to the fabric to resemble sprinkles.
All the Details:
Prep the bottom of the cupcake.
1. Take a utility knife and carefully run it around the edge of the bottom of the laundry basket.
2. You want to completely remove the bottom part of the basket.
3. Clean up any noticeably uneven edges.
4. Stick on some heavy duty packaging tape and cover up that edge so it doesn’t scrape your kiddo’s legs up while they run around collecting candy.
5. Fold it over and press it down.
Make the cupcake wrapper.
6. Tale one of those pieces of poster paper...
*I’ve kept the sticker on to better help you make sense of which side of the paper goes where, but you’ll want to remove that at some point.
7. And fold it in half the short way.
8. Now open up the paper and take each of the outside edges and fold them in until they line up with the center fold line.
9. Next fold those edges up and back over to the folded edges.
10. Fold the paper in half (along that first center fold you made)
11. And fold each of the outside folded edges back towards that middle fold.
12. This is what it will look like after this step is complete.
13. Fold along the already made crease one final time and you’ve done it.!
14. It should look like this:
15. Just fold the other two pieces of paper accordian style as well and you have three pieces of a giant cupcake wrapper.
16. Let’s cut them down to size now. Take one of those accordion folded papers and lay it underneath the laundry basket like so. Let the paper come about an inch below the bottom of the basket and an inch or inch and a half above the top of the basket. (That dotted line is where I cut.)
17. Cut off the excess, but save that small piece because we are going to use it later.
18. Use that accordian folded piece to measure and mark the cut line on the other two piece of paper.
19. Then cut each of the folds, one at time until you make it through all of the folds...
20. And cut off the small portion from the top. (again, save the extra paper.)
Attach the elastic to the basket.
I wish that I had about 20 extra hands so that I could actually show you this part step-by-every-single-step. But sadly, evolution has failed me. I wish that I had the time to master video making, but (let’s be real) I haven’t even mastered still photography yet. So- you’ll have to settle for pics with arrows pointing to the knots I made.
21. Each piece of elastic will attach to the front and the back, criss- crossing.
22. When your child is wearing it, it will look a little something like this:
*Keep in mind that we are tieing, not glueing) at this point because the amount of fabric (as well as the type of fabric) you use will determine how much the elastic has to stretch to accommodate the weight. You WILL have to tighten the elastic up later on so don’t glue the elastic- simply tie it.
Attach the cupcake wrapper.
23. Oh this is getting exciting! To make sure the 3 pieces are evenly spaced around the basket, take that measuring tape and measure all the way around the outer rim of the top of laundry basket. That’s also known as the circumference, for all you non-math nerds.
24. My basket was 54.75” around the top.. Divided by 3 = 18.25”. So every 18.25” I made a small mark so I knew where to place the edge of a paper. (Too small to see so no picture.)
25. Then I took the three papers and, one at a time, lined the top edges up with the the marks.
26. Because the bottom of the basket is smaller than the top (making it perfectly resemble a real cupcake) I made sure that the edge of the paper was parallel to the weaves/ cutouts/ whatever the hell you call those open squares. I glued at the top and bottom rims (where the arrows are pointing).
27. Then I made sure that the middle folds were evenly spaced…
28. And added glue in these spots:
29. To help keep the edges of the papers together I added clear tape to the backs.
30. And I glued at the tops and bottoms again…
31. Making sure the sides matched up as well as possible.
32. There were still slight gaps that bothered me so I took those extra accordion pieces and placed them on the inside of the basket behind where two papers came together.
33. The were a little longer than I needed so I trimmed the excess off of the top.
*You will have more left over paper still. Keep it! We’re going to use it later.
Make the frosting swirl.
(Please forgive the poor lighting in the next few pictures. Daylight was fading fast and I was trying to sneak this project in before the end of the day.)
34. Take your fabric and fold it in half the long way.
35. Cut along that fold, giving you two long pieces of fabric.
36. Glue the ends together…
37. To make one long piece.
38. Now fold the fabric in half again. The long way- again.
39. Glue the long edge closed. This makes the fabric into a tube.
40. Turn it right side out…
41. So the edges are on the inside and unseen.
42. Fold the edges of one end in and glue them together.
43. Now start stuffing that poly-fil in the fabric tube a handful at a time.
44. Make sure that you get it all the way to the end so it’s easy to manipulate and doesn’t turn into a clog.
45. Keep stuffing that fill in until you’ve used the entire bag. There should be about 6-8 inches of extra fabric at the end. Glue the end closed the same way you did at the other end.
46. Time to put it together. This is where things start to take shape! Add some glue along the top of the rim of the basket. Preferably somewhere near the back of the cupcake wrapper so that the beginning and the end of the swirl are not so obvious. View from the inside:
47. View from the outside:
48. Continue glueing the fabric to the top of the basket all the way around until you get back to where you started. Take that top corner, the one not glued down...
49. And fold and glue it down so the second layer of the swirl rests nicely on top.
50. Glue together where the second layer of the swirl rests on the bottom layer of the swirl. All the way around.
51. Gently squeeze the second layer and the bottom layer of the frosting swirl to secure it. DON’T push down on the whole thing from the top because it will start to crumble the bottom of the cupcake wrapper.
52. When you get to the end of the frosting swirl...
53. Glue down the top corner of the edge similarly to the way you folded and glue the corner on the bottom layer. You want it to lay as flush as possible with the fabric that it meets.
Add the sprinkles.
54. Bust open that bag of pom poms and decide which colors you are going to include in the costume. We decided on pink, purple, and teal.
55. Glue them on all around the swirl.
56. Varying the colors and planes if you can.
57. As an afterthought, we glued a pom pom in her favorite color to tan elastic headband. She didn’t want a cherry on her head (because she doesn’t like them) so this worked out nicely. Pretty cute
Finish it off.
58. We are finally going to use up the rest of those paper wrapper scraps. Take the rectangle accordion and cut it in half, making squares.
59. Then cut each of the squares on the diagonal, making triangles.
60. Cut along any folds so you are left with single layer triangles.
61. Now let’s cover up the spaces where we can see the laundry basket down inside the cupcake wrapper.
62. Add some hot glue along the long side of the triangle.
63. Lift the edge of the frosting swirl gently to make some room...
64. And place that triangular paper right in there to cover up the top of the laundry basket.
65. Much better.
Put it on.
66. You’ll want a white tank top and a short pair of shorts to go under the costume.
67. And you will probably need to tighten up the elastic at this point. Or maybe cut it and re-tie it. Whatever is easiest for you. You want it at a height that allows the kiddie full range of motion. After all, she’s got a candy bag to haul around and fill up.
The Grand Total:
So, how much does it cost to make this delicious costume?
Assuming you use coupons for your items at the craft store (as I did) here’s about what consumables will cost you:
A custom costume for less than what you can order it for online? Yes. please.
I hope this tutorial saves you loads of time and makes your kiddo the cutest trick-or-treater on the block! And if you make a cupcake costume (or any other costume), I want to see it! Post a pic to the flickr group or to Instagram and tag me!
Happy glueing and haunting, my friends. And whatever you make, make it yours!
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