Have your cake & eat it too? Well maybe not…

Posted by on Apr 5, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 0 comments

It is “Thrift Gift Thursday” here at Clever Creations.  Today I’m showing you how to take simple cookie tins from the thrift store and turn them into a fabulous gift or party centerpiece.  The tins range from $.69 to $.99 at my thrift store and I’m sure the prices would be comparable at your local thrift store too.  Wouldn’t this be so cute with just three small tins as a “3-layer paper cake”.  Attach a tag that says, “Happy birthday!  Hope this year you can have your CAKE and eat it too!” and it would be better than a birthday cake from any kitchen – as this one is calorie free! (Ok – I know you know I don’t mean that with the sweet tooth I have – but you get the idea).   However, for the one below, my base layer is a $4.99 hat box topped with four tins for a base cost of a little less than $9.  I wanted it a bit larger so I could use it as a centerpiece, thus the large hat box base.  I may even ask my precious hubby to build an elevated base for this if it won’t work on my large raised cake plate.  I could also add some more tins for extra height.  I think this will be great for baby or wedding showers with a vintage flair don’t you?  Ok – here’s your visual step by step:

1.  In addition to round tins in varying, graduated sizes, you will need paper to cover your tins.  Of course this cake could be done with varying sized square or rectangular shapes/tins.  Covering the base  in colorful scrapbook or wrapping papers would also be lovely.  What about using an extra copy of the wedding/party invite as part of the paper covering?  Photos?  Vintage emphemera?  The options are endless. I wanted my cake to be neutral/cream so I could use it for a variety of settings.  Start by cleaning the tins and tearing out the pages/choosing the papers you will use.

Tins/hat boxes in varying sizes

Tins/hat boxes in varying, graduated sizes












Paper supplies

I chose a Bible, vintage sheet music, a vintage dictionary & a book by one of my favorite authors for my paper supply.










2.  I use a plastic table cloth as a drop cloth (this craft can get messy), and a few other basic supplies to get started:

Basic "cake" supplies

Basic "cake supplies" Mod-podge, sponge brush, scissors & paper










vintage lace

Vintage lace

3.  Put Mod-podge on the tin and cover it with papers in any size, shape, or direction.  But I tend to be persnickitty so I made sure the papers on the side of the tins all faced up.
Mod-podge a tin - work in sections

Mod-podge a tin - work in sections. I covered the entire thing, including the bottom for a finished product.



Cover the hat boxes/tins in paper

Cover the hat boxes/tins in paper on the sides and bottom. This one is not quite finished. Be sure to cover the top and around the edge of the lid to the inside of the lid. This will cause the lid to fit tightly but gives a nice finished product.












4.  Cover all the tins in a paper of your choice and then line the edges with varying vintage laces by using a low-temp glue gun.  If you don’t have vintage laces you could make borders out of paper or fabric as well.  I love the yellowed vintage book/Bible/song/dictionary pages for the vibe I was after.

Glue on vintage lace around the edge

Glue on vintage lace around the edge










vintage lace trim

Vintage lace trim









Paper book page cake with vintage lace trim

Paper book page cake with vintage lace trim












5.  Once all the boxes/tins are covered and bordered with lace or paper, you can start the “cake decorating” with embellishments.  Since mine is a vintage cake – I chose embellishments with sparkle; vintage chandelier crystals, rhinestones, vintage jewelry and buttons.  I left room on my cake to vary the cake decorations depending on the event.  I have antique pocket watches for an anniversary/wedding, necklaces with rhinestones for showers, places for small vintage baby toys for a baby shower.  The large vintage rhinestone broach just sits (unattached) on top of the cake so if I want to remove it and place a cupcake, flowers, a photo in a frame, a toy,  or something else on top, the cake is flexible enough to change the theme.

Glue on embellishments

Glue on embellishments with a low temp glue gun.









chandelier crystals

I attached vintage chandelier crystals through the lace on the bottom layer and secured with a dot of low temp hot glue.













6.  Here’s the finished product.  I think several of these could be made as table center pieces for a wedding or for a tablescape.  Some could be put on cake plates to vary the heights…can you imagine how lovely this would be?  Maybe not quite good enough to eat – but certainly a treat for the eye!

Finished paper cake

Embellished vintage book/Bible/song/dictionary page cake.












Side-view close up

Paper book cake side view close up



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