D.I.Y. Cupcake Toppers & Garlands with Repurposed Paper

While packing up my house I keep coming across project ideas that I’ve filed away to share with you all at sometime or other.  I’ll have to save the other ones until after my move, but today I wanted to show you how to make some sweet and super easy cupcake toppers and little paper garlands, using scraps of paper that you have laying around your home or office.

For my toppers and garland I used a mix of magazine tears and security envelopes (of which I have a massive drawer full).  My daughter and I are always on the lookout for discarded security envelopes, and luckily the recycling bin at our post office is always chock-full of pretty little wonders for our collection.  I’m also in the midst of ripping apart my magazine collection and consolidating my favorite clippings into organized binders…so this project fit in just perfect.  I shy away from calling this a truly eco-friendly craft, but by giving new life to old paper that would otherwise be headed for the rubbish heap…it is at the very least a project I (and hopefully you) can feel relatively good about creating.


  • Scrap paper at least 1/2″x 3.5″
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • (optional) rotary cutting tool or craft knife and self-healing mat
  • Toothpicks (plain, not the mint kind) with only one pointed end.  If you only have two-sided variety you can carefully snip off the sharp point beforehand with some wire cutters or sharp scissors.
  • Glue stick


  1. Collect up scrap paper of standard to medium weight from around your home or office.  Suggestions: security envelopes, magazines, old calendars, old letters, kids artwork, discarded gift wrap, old maps, etc.
  2. Cut strips from your scrap paper that measure 1/2″ x  3.5″ using scissors or your chosen cutting tool.  Keep in mind the colors, patterns and motifs that will show in the section you cut out.  For a cohesive look, try matching colors or using complimentary shades or patterns.
  3. Fold your strips of paper in half, then open and apply glue to the inside of your rectangle.
  4. Roll the non-pointed end of your toothpick along the top of your glue
    stick until it has a coat of glue attached to it (this will help is
    stay put during the next step).
  5. Insert your toothpick (dull-side up) along the fold line inside your rectangle.
  6. Seal the two sides together, pinching lightly where the toothpick is hidden inside the paper to secure.  Smooth out any air bubbles.  The toothpick may be slightly loose at this point, but this should improve once the glue has dried.
  7. Using your scissors, cut out a V shape at the end to create the look of a pennant.
  8. Top your cupcakes, treats, or favors and enjoy!

Note: please take special care when using toothpick toppers around little children.


  • Scrap paper at least 1″x 4″
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • (optional) rotary cutting tool or craft knife and self-healing mat
  • Twine, ribbon, or string of some fashion.  The silver variety I used was found in the beading section of my local craft store.
  • Glue stick


Follow cupcake directions above with two variations:

  • Cut paper strips into 1″x 4″ strips.
  • After folding papers in half and applying glue, attach them to a thin length of twine.  You can space the papers out how you’d like.  Hang and enjoy!

I hope you liked my little projects and that they will inspire you to start looking at the scraps of paper around your home a bit differently.  xox Ez