Since I offer DIY cupcake topper designs in my shop, I thought it would be pretty handy to have a tutorial that shows how to make a cupcake topper! It’s an easy project and it’s actually a lot of fun. (You have to love a project that doesn’t cost too much, doesn’t take too long, and has extremely cute results!) : )


{Step one} Gather your supplies

Here’s what’s shown:

Yes! You read that right. Stir sticks from Starbucks. They make the best cupcake topper sticks ever! I found that out after hunting in every craft store on the planet for cute little popsicle sticks. I couldn’t find any, and then there they were – in my coffee! They’re just the right size, they are super-duper-thin, and best of all, they are FREE! Or maybe I should say, free with any purchase! ; )

(Disclaimer: Please don’t sue me, Starbucks! I love you and I give you five dollars a day!)

The mat shown underneath my supplies is a self-healing Xacto cutting mat, but it’s not necessary for this project. It’s just my little home base for all DIY craftiness.


{Step two} Cut your popsicle sticks in half

The sticks are too long as-is, so you need to cut them in half to make them the right length. I use a pair of wire cutters to get the job done. It works great!


{Step three} Cut your printable circles into strips

Cut just underneath each row of circles to create horizontal strips of paper.


{Step four} Punch out your circles

To me, this is the most fun part! Align each design within the viewing area of the craft punch, and punch away!


{Step five} Glue the popsicle stick to the back of a printable circle

Put a printable circle face down, so that the blank side is facing you. Use your glue stick to put a little glue on the top half-inch or so of the popsicle stick (make sure you glue the side that’s been cut – that way, the cute rounded end will be the one left showing). Press the glued area of the stick firmly against the back of the printable circle.


{Step six} Add a second printable circle

Put another printable circle face down and cover the entire surface with glue. Line up this circle with the bottom circle, and gently press down to adhere the circles around the popsicle stick. And you’re done – already! I told ya – easy as can be! : )

• • •

DIY cupcake topper sets of all sorts – with matching cupcake wraps! – are available at


We Love Your Comments!



  1. 1
    Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    Melissa says:
    Thank you for this post and the great tip on the sticks :)
  2. 2
    Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 at 1:37 am
    Talesandtrials says:
    I had to giggle when you said you used sticks from Starbucks. That's too funny. Thanks for the tip though and this fab tutorial! ;)
  3. 3
    Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 at 12:44 pm
    Mytweetp says:
    I total "scraplift" sticks from Starbucks too...Maybe we should check at COSTCO?
    : )
    Your Blog is beautifully done. I have visited everyday since I discovered it. THank you.
    • 3.1
      Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 at 8:48 pm
      Heather - Chickabug says:
      Hee! : ) They really are so handy. I really did look everywhere for
      something like them - I looked at craft stores and even at
      kitchen/office supply stores! Nothing like them anywhere!

      Thanks so much for following my blog!! What a great compliment! : )
  4. 4
    Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 at 1:39 pm
    Polka Dot Market says:
    Very sneaky and savvy! Shared at :)
  5. 5
    Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 10:06 pm
    Marie says:
    Super cute! And I love that circle cutter. I'm gonna have to find one of those!! Thanks for sharing.
  6. 6
    Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 5:40 pm
    Tricia Ann says:
    Great idea- couldn't you simply print the circle sheet on sticker paper and then not have to use glue- little more expesive for sure but super easy!
    • 6.1
      Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 7:13 pm
      Heather - Chickabug says:
      Absolutely!! That's a great way to make them, as well -- but as you can tell by my stir-sticks-from-Starbucks method, cost-effectiveness is definitely in mind for this particular tutorial... : )
  7. 7
    Sunday, March 13th, 2011 at 12:56 am
    Pamela Ahtchi says:
    This is an adorable idea for customizing themed cupcakes! Just love the DIY!

    Many thanks from Cookie Wishes!
  8. 8
    Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 1:20 am
    jrl says:
    What about using the sticks they use for waxing your brows? They look very similar to the Starbucks ones.
  9. 9
    Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 12:01 am
    Alyssa says:
    Amazing! I actually just bought the round and round puncher just for this!

    • 9.1
      Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 12:07 am
      Heather - Chickabug says:
      You mean you've lived without one until now?! ; ) I'm so glad the tutorial helped! And you'll never regret buying that puncher, believe me!
  10. 10
    Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    Kristinaugle says:
    What program do you use to design the printables?
  11. 11
    Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at 6:09 pm
    Jeannie says:
    Thanks for this tutorial. I was wondering which size to use as I really need to get this to start making them.
  12. 12
    Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 9:04 am
    jackie campanelli says:
    I saw the Irish theme (St Patricks) package How do I order it? From "How does she" or Chickabug? I am not quite sure how this works to order items Thankyou for your help Jackie
    • 12.1
      Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 6:32 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Jackie! To get the free St. Patrick's Day printables, check out this page for instructions:
  13. 13
    Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at 10:41 pm
    Heidi says:
    Thanks for the quick tutorial. Since I've never done paper crafts I've never heard of the circle punch you used. I think I'll cut squares with sissors, since I don't have time (or money) to run to Joann's before I get these done. I need to figure out a way to get 50 sticks (need 100 toppers) from Starbucks.
    • 13.1
      Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 8:45 am
      Heather says:
      For a huge quantity I'd recommend asking a Barista if it's ok to take them - I personally collect 2 extra sticks each time I buy a coffee and it adds up, but if you need them all at once, it might be good to ask. That way you don't get 'caught' making off with a giant handful of sticks. ; ) I'm sure they'd be cool with it! Or you can buy popsicle sticks at a craft store, many people use popsicle sticks instead of small wooden sticks.
  14. 14
    Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    Debbie @ Deliciously Inspired says:
    Love this idea - you are very talented.
    • 14.1
      Monday, June 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 pm
      Heather says:
      Thank you so much, Debbie! : )
  15. 15
    Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at 8:21 pm
    Jessi says:
    What is the diameter of your cupcake topper?
    • 15.1
      Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 8:21 am
      Heather says:
      2". :)
  16. 16
    Friday, October 14th, 2016 at 11:53 pm
    Aly says:
    So, what is the final length of those Statbucks sticks, once you've trimmed them down? I found wooden coffee stir sticks on Amazon that I'd like to try.
    • 16.1
      Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at 7:57 am
      Heather says:
      Hi Aly! I'd say about 3.5" long. : )
  17. 17
    Monday, September 25th, 2017 at 10:30 am
    Sharon Henley says:
    I found small sticks like this at Walmart, a package for 75 for under $3. Less than a Starbucks coffee :)
  18. 18
    Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 at 6:14 pm
    Melissa says:
    Thank you so much for this post!

    I didn't even know a circle paper cutter existed until I read this!

    This will be a huge money saver for DIY birthday cupcake decorations.

    I'll be linking over to this when I write my DIY birthday party decoration post!

  19. 19
    Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 at 1:49 pm
    Flavia says:
    This one is very nice. How to get the printables..