Day 2: Cupcake/Muffin Gift Box and Lemon Almond Mini Muffins

Final project  - ready to be delivered!

Final project – ready to be delivered!

Well, welcome to Day 2 of my Pinterest blog.  I found a couple of quick projects to share today – so kind of a “Two for One”.  Now don’t get used to this, people.  Most days I’ll probably be lucky to put a sandwich in a plastic bag, slap a sticker on it and call it a project.  Just kidding – but I don’t want anyone thinking I’ll be pulling off many “two-a-days”!

Before I get to the project, I have some exciting news to report.  I had 74 visitors to my blog yesterday – in 5 different countries (as far away as Australia)!  Wow!!  I had no idea anyone would read actually read this except my husband, who I forced to become a follower.  This is very exciting and a little nerve-wracking.  The pressure is really on!

So – about the projects….

First, I saw an idea for a really cute cupcake box made out of an empty foil/plastic wrap box.  I thought “how simple, cheap and easy.  What could possibly go wrong?”  Well, I’m old enough to know that the minute those words come out of your mouth you’re probably in for a problem.  I will say that in the end, it turned out really cute.  But I do have some comments/suggestions to share if you’re thinking of trying this.

1)  This is a really cheap project.  All you need is an empty box from one of your wraps – foil, saran wrap, etc.  Or if you’re like me, you’re too impatient to wait until you have an empty box so you just take the roll of whatever out and now it’s rolling around under your cupboard without a home.  So if any of my friends or family have empty boxes, please save them for me as it takes a long time to use up a roll of foil!

Other than the box, you just need some kind of wrapping paper or anything else to cover it and a piece of ribbon and a button.  Lucky for me, I discovered a HUGE box of craft stuff left in my basement  by my daughters that is going to come in really handy.

2)  The instructions suggest gluing the wrapping paper to the box.  Even though I had a bad feeling about this, I went ahead and gave it try.  You can see the results of that effort below – hence the SECOND roll of foil under my cupboard without a box!  It ended up looking like a 2nd grade craft project (no offense to any 2nd graders who might be following my blog!).

The failed attempt

The failed attempt

Even in the face of failure, I was undeterred.  I thought “hey, I wouldn’t normally glue wrapping paper onto a package, so why do it now?”.  So I just wrapped and taped the box like I normally would, being very careful around the ends to make it look neat.  I think it looks just fine, although I did think later that I could probably have tried a spray adhesive glue.  If anyone tries that, leave a comment and let me know how it turns out.

3) As you can see, I used a striped wrapping paper.  I chose it because it’s kind of “Lily Pulitzer-esque” and I like pink.  But more importantly, using the stripes makes it really easy to line everything up.  So it’s a good way to get the hang of this before you move up to more advanced wrapping.  Also, I was thinking that if you used a foil-type wrapping paper you could probably glue it and have it look o.k.

One last comment – I was leery about the idea of “sewing a button onto a box” but I have to say it really wasn’t hard, so don’t be put off by that.

So once I got the box finished, I decided I’d better make some mini-muffins to go in it.  I thought about cupcakes, but I can only imagine that the frosting would get all smashed up no matter how carefully I packed them and anyway, who needs more sweets right after the holidays.  I already can’t get my skinny jeans (that weren’t all that skinny in the first place) zipped up without an unsightly bulge that I don’t even want to think about right now.

So I decided on a Lemon Poppyseed Almond muffin.  You know the type – just enough like a dessert that you really want to eat it , but a muffin sounds so much more healthy than a cupcake.  The recipe is linked below and here are my comments on that project.

1) I made the recipe pretty much as listed.  The only change was that I used vanilla yogurt instead of plain.  This wasn’t a planned adjustment – I just couldn’t remember which one I needed when I was at the store.  I don’t think it makes much difference.  These are good muffins if you like this kind of thing.  My daughter said “yuck”, but I thought they sounded good.

2)  I thought they looked a little sad and naked when they came out of the oven, so I made a glaze with confectioners sugar, lemon and a little water and drizzled it over the muffins.  I should probably say that if I’m given a choice between a thing WITH frosting and a thing WITHOUT frosting, I will always chose the thing WITH frosting.  If you’re one of those odd people who says things like “it is a little too sweet for me” you might want to skip the glaze.

Cooling muffins

Cooling muffins

Anyway, my box is now packed with a half-dozen muffins and ready to be delivered to a friend who just had surgery.  The rest will go into the freezer so I can be one of those people who “has something in the freezer for when people just stop over”.  So feel free to stop over for a muffin and a cup of tea!

Spoiler for tomorrow – a home organization and improvement project.

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