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Balloon Cupcake Toppers


Our littlest turned two a couple of weeks ago, but we took a quick family trip on his birthday and didn’t really get any celebrating done on the actual day (although we did go to a lake that has since been closed due to toxic algae, but I digress). To make up for it, we invited grandparents, great grandparents, and a couple of our favorite aunties over for a celebratory dinner when we got back into town. Despite my love of big, over-the-top parties, I usually keep our family birthdays simple and low-key. For this one, we had corn on the cob and store-bought kettle chips, some pretty amazing french dip sandwiches, a big green salad (to use up as much produce from our garden as possible), and our favorite raspberry and peach lemonades. I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and put good, old-fashioned colored sprinkles on top. But then I couldn’t help fancying them up just a little; it made me sad not to do anything to them!

I was inspired by this adorable cake from Martha Stewart to use up our stash of summer water balloons to make some sweet and festive cupcake toppers. I was just going to straight up follow the directions from Martha, but I thought the wooden skewers looked a little tall on those wee chocolate cakes, and I didn’t want anything toppling over. And pointy skewers in the hands of my children is just a bad idea in general! Instead, I used paper lollipop sticks from my vast craft stash. They were a hit with the grown-ups (“Cute cupcakes!”) and the kids (I’m still finding little balloon toppers stashed all over the house). And the birthday boy loved them, which is the whole point. Super sweet, super simple.


water balloons

8″ paper lollipop sticks
a good pair of lungs (Oy!)


1. Grab a water balloon and blow it up to about the size of a pear.
2. Tie the balloon shut using the usual method, but before slipping if off your fingers, stick one end of a lollipop stick through the loop. This takes the teensiest bit of coordination.
3. Put the stick in a cupcake–voila!

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