Birthday Smiles: Sprinkles-Inspired Card and Gift Idea

This #SendSmiles shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  


I don’t know about you, but I feel like the summer is filled to the brim with birthdays of special people! In June, July, and August alone, we celebrate birthdays for my mom, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, Little Crafter, my niece, and five special friends {two of which are our adorable little neighbor kiddos}. Every time I turn around, I’m in need of another card…which is why I like to stock up on Hallmark cards ahead of time while I’m doing my regular shopping at Walmart.


Walmart is the only place where you can buy Hallmark Cards starting at just 47 cents, which is awesome because the price of cards can really add up! With the average price of a greeting card between $2.50 – $3.00, I’d be spending close to $30 on cards alone just to get through the summer months. Instead, I browse the 47 cent and 97 cent sections and pick up a variety of great cards for everyone on my list, from little boys to grownup girlfriends. Sometimes I also pick up some “Thinking of you,” friendship, and thank you cards too just to have them on hand in case I need one.


Recently, as I was stocking up on birthday cards, I found this one that I thought was particularly cute for my friend Gretchen, and it gave me an idea for a gift to go along with it. Nothing says, “Happy Birthday” like sprinkles and cake, right? Here’s what I came up with…



You’ll need:
– white mug
– sprinkles
– small spatulas or other baking utensils
– cupcake toppers or liners
– permanent markers or paint markers designed for use on glass/ceramics


This project is so fun and simple. All I did was print the words “cupcakes & caffeine” on one side of the mug using a black permanent marker. This is a particular saying of mine, and I thought that the sprinkles plus the coffee mug made it a perfect fit. Then, I took a few shades of pink and purple markers and made some random groupings of dots just to look like spilled sprinkles around the words.

On the opposite side of the mug, I created a cupcake image using only dots! {For those of you who are art-nerds like me, this technique is called Pointillism. It was created by Georges Seurat, who became the forerunner of the idea of pixels and therefore the ancestor of television, computer screens, and as I tell my son, Minecraft.} I just did my cupcake freehand, first creating a dotted outline of the parts of the cupcake, then filling it in. The good news is that while you’re working, the marker will come off with soap and water, so you can “erase” any mistakes and try again.


To ensure that your mug is safe to use, make sure all the markings stay more than 1/4″ below the rim so that your mouth doesn’t contact them. Remember, non-toxic and food-safe are not the same thing. Also, before giving it away, you’ll want to cure it so that the design sets. First, let the marker dry for a full 24 hours. Then, place the mug on a baking sheet in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 450 degrees, then bake for 30-45 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow it to cool down while the mug is still inside. Wait and pull the mug out of the cooled oven. It’s best to hand wash mugs like this to preserve the design.


Now for the extra goodies! I grabbed a jar of rainbow colored sprinkles, some mini-spatulas {because, let’s face it, miniature things are adorable}, and some cute and trendy cupcake toppers and filled the mug with them. And that’s it…a super-simple but personal birthday card and gift combo! The whole deal cost me less than $15, which works for me, and I love how it turned out.


I can’t wait to give this to my friend! Cupcakes and caffeine are right up her alley…what about yours?


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  1. Oh my goodness, this is so creative and such a seriously adorable and useful gift! I never would have thought to take inspiration from a card but am definitely going to be paying more attention next time I pick one up! #client

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