Introducing the Mini-Pretzels: Our DIY Cupcake Toppers

October 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm 1 comment

When we left off, I had fallen in love with little wooden versions of Mr Pretzel and I, like the ones made by goosegrease on Etsy.  Mr Pretzel was pretty smitten with the idea too. Something about the simplicity of these minis spoke to our clean, modern sense of design. This project stayed on the back burner until a trip to Joann’s Fabric.  Mr Pretzel and I were picking up supplies for another wedding project and I said “Let’s swing by the wood section”.  I was thinking we could build our own people using various wood shapes. As we were comparing wood spheres for the appropriately sized heads,  my eyes landed on a package of perfectly sized, already assembled, wooden people!  My eyes scanned the price… $1.29!  Whooo hooo!  I did a quick celebratory dance and quickly pulled Mr Pretzel to the next aisle to stock up on paints.

An afternoon later, I had mini-Mr Pretzel and mini-Miss Pretzel- for a whopping $8.37! If you have a selection of paint on hand, you could do this project for a mere $2.  Seriously?  Seriously!  Alright Miss Pretzel, get on with the ‘structions!

Materials:

  • Wooden Minis (2)
  • 2.5 inch lengths of 1/16inch diameter dowel (2)
  • Drill with 1/16 inch bit (or size to fit dowel)
  • Pencil (with eraser if you draw like me!)
  • Fine Grit Finishing Sandpaper
  • Empty Cardboard Box
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Assortment of small paint brushes
  • Aerosol Clear Finish
  • Wood Glue

1)  In order for these babies to sit pretty atop your cupcakes, they need some stabilization.  Cut two 2.5 inch lengths of dowel. I cut mine longer to have a good handle to hold while painting, and cut them down to 2.5 inches when I was finished.

2) Drill a hole in the bottom of your mini to the approximate depth of 1 inch.

Funny story

Funny story: this is the battery powered screw driver I had when I met Mr Pretzel. I insisted it was a drill- he just laughed at me. I have a “real” drill now- but it was loaned to friends of ours so I had to whip out my “baby drill”

3)  Insert the dowel, but do glue.

INotice the bottel of beer in the background- New Belgium Mothership Wit- an organic wheat beer. Yummm... in the knit house we have brews while we DIY... thats how we roll./I

Notice the bottle of beer in the background- New Belgium Mothership Wit- an organic wheat beer. Yummm... in the Pretzel house we have brews while we DIY... that's how we roll.

4)  Using pencil, draw out the features of your mini.  If necessary erase.

drawing

drawing

erasing...

erasing...

finished pencil guides

finished pencil "guides"

5)  Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth out your mini.  Your pencil marks will lighten up (this is good- so to not show through light colored paints)

sanded and ready to go

sanded and ready to go

6) Take the empty box, flip it upside down and poke holes the diameter of the dowels in the bottom.  This is where you will rest your mini when not working on it.  Especially handy when the paint is drying.

i See a trend?(yep thats a beer box) /i

Hint: when the whole mini is wet with paint or clear coat, you can guide your mini into its drying position from underneath the box- touching only the dowel. And yes, that is a beer box- any question why a brewery themed wedding is totally us?

7) Apply paint.  Don’t be shy- apply multiple coats if necessary.  A good rule of thumb is to paint the light colors first.  If you make a mistake, use a paper towel dipped in water to clean away wet paint. If the paint dries and you are unhappy with the result, erase with sandpaper and start over.

i Almost done painting, still have to do the bouquet.  I love Mr Knits cuff links and converse all stars! /i

Almost done painting, still have to do the bouquet. I love Mr Pretzel's cuff links and converse all stars!

*sigh* were cute as minis!

*sigh* we're cute as minis!

8) Admire you work… it’s coming along!

Mr Knit likes his mini and boy does it look like him!

Mr Pretzel likes his mini and boy does it look like him!

9)      Spray with a clear coat. Apply liberally but be careful to avoid drips.  Let it dry and repeat.

Mini Mr Knit has been clear coated, Mini Miss Knit has not.

Notice the difference: Mini Mr Pretzel has been clear coated, Mini Miss Pretzel has not.

So happy with how the bouquet came out!

So happy with how the bouquet came out! Time to clearcoat Mini Miss Pretzel.

10) Take your minis off their dowels and pose them around the house.  Warning: this is seriously addictive!  Ours are currently hanging out on the fireplace mantle… chillin’. When you are ready to put them into service, be sure to glue to dowels inside the minis- you would hate to lose the dowel in your cupcake!

Meet the Knits!

Meet the Pretzels!

They are even cute from behind!

They are even cute from behind!

*Kiss*

*Kiss*

My favorite quote of the day came from Mr. Pretzel holding his mini: “What do you want me to do with… umm… me?!

Note: This tutorial can be adapted for larger Wedding Cake toppers using larger wooden people and a base rather than pegs.

I hope you enjoy making your own Minis!

All photos: Miss Pretzel or Mr Pretzel

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Entry filed under: DIY. Tags: .

Sit Atop My Cupcake Quickie project: Signature Cocktail Sign

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mireya  |  October 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Oh my gosh, these turned out great! The bouquet is so cute! Good work!!

    Reply

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