Autumn Leaves Cupcakes

Fall cupcakes

These autumn leaves cupcake toppers match the rest of my fall and Thanksgiving printables, which include 3D pumpkins, Thanksgiving invitations, a wineglass lampshade and a turkey placemat. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what they look like.) They all have the same pleasing pumpkin color and subtle paisley design, so they're designed to give you a complete coordinated look for your Thanksgiving holiday or fall decorating.

These are pretty easy to make but I've provided some tips and a link to instructions below the photos. Download the template at the link below: 

Download the Template

There are actually three basic ways to make these:
  1. One-sided with the toothpick exposed at the back
  2. Two-sided with the toothpick covered
  3. 3D foldable (I used four panels in the sample below but you can use however many you'd like.)
And as you'll see, I've added embellishments to these, which is an easy way to dress them up quickly. See the Tips section below for a link to get something similar.

Tips for Making the Leaf Cupcake Toppers

  • These instructions for my 3D pumpkins will show you the basic technique for constructing the 3D version of these leaf toppers. See the photo directly above for a version with four panels. You don't have to use four; you can make these leaves as "3D" as you want by adding more panels. The instructions linked above indicate using 12 panels but that's for the pumpkins. You can even just use one panel if you want. See below for tips on doing that.

  • I know I've become a broken record on this topic but you just can't beat a pair of curved manicure scissors when it comes to cutting out printables. These leaves are no exception. Manicure scissors (especially if they're curved) make it very easy to cut around the ins and outs of the leaf shape. And, oh yeah, you can use the scissors on your nails too.

  • For non-3D cupcake toppers, you can adhere the leaves to the toothpicks in several ways. As you can see in the example on the left in the photo below, I used Glue Dots glue lines to stick the toothpick in place on a topper that doesn't have a back. The glue lines hold really tight, so I recommend them. But you can also use plain glue if you want. Just make sure you check on them as they dry to see if the toothpicks have shifted. Sometimes they drift while drying, don't ask me why.

  • You can also just cut out another leaf and stick it to the back, as shown on the right in the photo above. You might not be able to match up the leaves exactly, so there might be some overlap on one side or the other or both. If this happens, just clip the overhang with scissors. This is where those manicure scissors come in extra handy.

  • I used colored toothpicks but the regular plain wood kind are fine too.

  • I used some plastic gems I bought at Michael's to dress up the toppers. Mine didn't have adhesive on them, so I used Zots to attach them. Double-sided tape might have worked just as well but I ran out of it. But if you do use double-sided tape, you have to make sure it's strong enough so you won't have gems falling all over the place in the middle of your party. Or you can use something like these flat-backed self-adhesive jewels, which eliminate the issue entirely. Amazon has a lot of different plastic gem collections, so you don't have to use those particular ones. I imagine Michael's and Hobby Lobby also have a nice selection of them.

  • Since I used cotton twine to embellish my 3D Thanksgiving pumpkin decorations and wineglass lampshades, I used it on the leaf toppers too. I like the combination of the rustic twine and the oversized gems. It gives a nice country look IMHO.

  • To further give the cupcakes a country look with a little bit of shabby chic, I used 6" circles of cheesecloth around the cupcakes and then tied them off with more twine. (Burlap would work nicely too.) Cheesecloth is almost impossible to control unless you corral it, so I used a very simple template to hold it in place. To make the template, I placed a bowl with a 6" opening upside-down on some copy paper, then drew a line around it with a pencil and cut around the circle. As you can see below, I then pinned it to the cheesecloth, pulling the fabric gently as I went along to keep it from bunching up. Once it was pinned, I just cut around it with my regular scissors. This is one time that manicure scissors aren't recommended. The cloth edges will end up a little rough but that's fine. It's supposed to look rustic. I recommend using double-sided tape or glue lines (the tape is easier though) around the cupcakes to hold the fabric in place. It's helpful to also add a glue line around the back of the fabric to hold the twine in place.   

I really hope you enjoy making these autumn leaves cupcake toppers. You could also use them as table scatters, to tuck into silk plants to dress them up for fall or to make a banner. Whatever you do with them, I hope you have a wonderful autumn!

Credits: Thanks to Marisa Lerin of for the pattern used in the background of these fall cupcake toppers.

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