DIY Going Away Party Cupcake Toppers

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When I moved away from my family in Iowa about five years ago, I was comforted by the fact that at the very least, Mike's entire family lived in the Twin Cities, so while I would be loosing proximity to one family, my other family would still be very close to me. Well, life happens and things change, and inevitably it always seems like someone needs to move away at one point or another. 

Mike's brother and sister-in-law are off to a new adventure in Milwaukee and it couldn't be more bittersweet for me. I'm so happy for them because it genuinely seems like this is the right step for them and they're super excited about their opportunities but selfishly, I'm sad they can't live in the same town as me forever. 

Last week our family got together to throw a small going away party for them and I wanted to contribute something special for the evening. Since I was on team dessert, I created these simple cupcake toppers with Minneapolis on the front and Milwaukee on the back to remind them where they've come from, and where their going - and that it is possible to love and want to be two places at once. 

Here's how you can do it too.

First you'll need to create and print your hearts. I just took screen shots of the cities I wanted from Google Maps to get the main images. Then I followed this Photoshop tutorial to make a heart shape crop, scaled it to about 2",  and I duplicated it about a million times to fill up a sheet of paper. If you don't have Photoshop, you could easily throw it in PowerPoint or even Word, scale it down to a 2" square, then use a heart shaped punch to cut them all out. 
You'll need one of each city for each topper you make, so if you're making 24 toppers, be sure to cut 24 hearts of each city, or 48 total hearts. 

I just used scissors to cut ours out and made Mike race me to get them finished. I cut 26, he cut 22. I am clearly the superior cutter in our family. I hope I can pass my talents on to Eli.

To put the hearts together, first make sure to set up your workstation right in front of your child, but wrangle them enough that they can't touch the hot tip of the glue gun. You'll need your hearts, toothpicks and as I mentioned, a hot glue gun.

Then just squeeze a little of that magic glue right onto the back of one of the cities, throw a toothpick down and put the other city on top.

And you're done! The only thing left is to go to the party and try not to cry - both over the people leaving and how wonderfully cute these toppers are. 


  1. Oh! Where were these four years ago?! I made a MN cake and an AZ cake for a going away party when her family moved to Phoenix...this would have been SO much easier. Keep these ideas coming girly!

  2. So cute! I can't wait to see him (and you) Monday!

  3. I hope they'll love Milwaukee - we just moved in January 2013 and love it. You'll have a new, great place to visit!

  4. Are those red velvet cupcakes? Any chance you'd share the recipe? They look scrumptious!

  5. Glad to hear you love it! I've always heard good things!

  6. Wow! That's impressive! Considering my skills in the kitchen, I like DIY much more than baking. :)

  7. Good eye - yes they are! Here's the recipe, it's delicious!