DIY: ‘Be My Bridesmaid’
Ombre Cupcakes in a Jar

DIY cupcake in a jar

For some brides, popping the question to their bridesmaids is the best part of wedding planning. To others (like me), it’s super scary and stressful to try to make this question special without making your friends feel obligated to say yes. I mean, seriously. If your friend spent bucko dollars and time just to ask you to be a bridesmaid, wouldn’t you feel like you HAD to say yes (even if you couldn’t afford it, or didn’t want to)?

Well, we’ve found the perfect compromise with today’s DIY “Will you be my bridesmaid” ombre cupcakes in a jar! I love this little gift because it’s SUPER adorable, affordable AND shows your friends how special they are to you without the added pressure of a large gift or gesture. I almost forgot the best part … our cute inkjet transfer “Will you be my bridesmaid” napkins! Your girlfriends will be so surprised to see their hidden message waiting for them!

DIY cupcake in a jar

Here’s what you’ll need:
- Half pint mason jars (I recommend the Kerr brand because they are made in the USA)
- Pink grosgrain ribbon
- Plain cotton white or cream cloth napkins
- Metal spoons
- Inkjet fabric transfer paper
- Full sheet label paper
- Cake mix of your choice (I recommend white or strawberry cake)
- Red food coloring
- Buttercream icing (I used the kind that comes in a can in the baking aisle)
- Gallon size Ziploc bag
- “Will you be my Bridesmaid,” and “Let them eat cake” printables (Come back tomorrow for these Freebie Friday printables!)
Optional: Pastry bag with frosting tips

1. Wash mason jars. Take off the tops and set aside.

2. Prepare your cupcake batter using the ingredients listed on the box. Separate your mixed batter evenly into three separate bowls. Tint cake batter using red food coloring. (Tip: Add less coloring than you think you’ll need. You can always add more in, but you can’t take it back out! Start by doubling the amount of coloring in the next bowl, and so on. For example, if you add 2 drops of red into your first bowl, then you should add 4 drops to the second and 8 drops to the third, etc. This is how you will achieve that nice, even ombre effect of light to dark batter.)

3. Fill your cupcake tins with the different shades of batter. DO NOT MIX the batter. Use cupcake papers if you wish. I just sprayed my pans with cooking spray. Bake cupcakes according to the directions on the box.

DIY cupcakes in a jar

4. Once your baked cupcakes are completely cool, slice each one in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Now we can get to stackin’! Put one half of the dark-pink cupcake into the mason jar first. If the cupcake isn’t filling up the space, go ahead and gently smash it a little with a spoon until it lays evenly in the bottom of the mason jar. You want a flat surface to apply the frosting.

5. Fill the Ziplock bag (or pastry bag) with the buttercream frosting and snip off the corner of the bag. Twist to apply the first layer of frosting on the cupcake layer. (Click here to see how to make a Ziplock piping bag.) 

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with your medium pink cupcake layer and the light pink layer. Add a final layer of icing on top. Your mason jars should now be completely filled with ombre awesomeness!

7. Download our free “will you be my bridesmaid” and “let them eat cake” printables!

8. Print our “let them eat cake” labels on full sheet label paper, cut out and affix to the top of your mason jars! Print our “will you be my bridesmaid” image on inkjet fabric transfer paper and iron onto your cloth napkins using the paper manufacturer’s directions. (Tip: DON’T iron too long or the white space in your image will start to yellow.)

9. Fold the finished napkins (with the message hidden) and tie to the mason jar using matching grosgrain ribbon. Wedge a spoon between the napkin and your jar, and VIOLA! You’re finished!

These beautiful desserts are sure to make a great impression with your bridesmaid hopefuls! After all, isn’t it the thought that counts when it comes to close friends (though a little treat never hurt anyone)?

Happy baking! I hope your bridesmaids will love this gift as much as we do!

Allison
Allison is the owner and editor of MarryThis! With a love of weddings and a flair for budget-friendly ideas, she feels that gorgeous weddings don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A graphic designer by day (Allison Doty Graphic Design - allisondoty.com), Allison also creates the visual presence of MarryThis!

38 Comments on "DIY: ‘Be My Bridesmaid’
Ombre Cupcakes in a Jar"

  1. Monica says:

    How many mason jars of cake does this make? I need to make 3 will one cake mix be enough?

    • Allison Allison says:

      Hello Miss Monica! Each layer is equal to one cupcake — so if you want to have three-layered jars like mine, you would need 9 cupcakes (of varying colors) for 3 jars. I think an average box of cake mix makes 24 cupcakes, so you should be just dandy AND have some yummy leftovers for yourself. My hubby LOVED taking the extras to work with him for lunch. :)

  2. kahla says:

    What font did you use for the WIll you be my Bridesmaid? I want to change one of them to say will you be my maid of honor?

  3. Lindsay says:

    Hi! This post is just too cute, but I’m wondering if you think the cake would hold up if shipped to out of state bridesmaids? I’ve done some research online and can’t seem to find a definitive answer. Thanks!

    • Allison Allison says:

      Hi Lindsay! My cake lasted refrigerated in the mason jars for about a week, so I think they would be fine to ship as long as you sent them in a cold insulted container. If you’re still worried, perhaps you could swap out cake and use a more shipping-friendly treat like cookies or biscotti instead?

  4. What a super cute (and super tasty) idea!!

  5. Stacey says:

    Hi Allison. I have a question for you. What kind of napkins did you use exactly? I ordered some cotton napkins, and I cannot get the ink to stick using the transfers. I’ve used iron-on transfers before, so I think it’s the type of cloth I used. If you have a suggestion or better yet, a link to purchase the plain white napkins, let me know!

    • Allison Allison says:

      Hi Stacey! I used the cheapo .49 cent napkins from Walmart (unwashed) and they worked great. Perhaps in this case a cheap polyester blend is better ;). Also, each brand of iron-on transfer paper has VERY different and specific directions, so make sure you follow the package directions exactly. I hope this helps! Good luck! We would love to see photos of the final product!

  6. Janice says:

    Love this idea and want to us… but is there a way to do a different color? I want it to be my wedding colors.

    • Allison Allison says:

      Hi Janice! Glad you like our post! Yes, you can totally color coordinate this to your own wedding colors! Just dye your cake to match. I suggest starting with vanilla batter and then using food coloring from there. Don’t go too dark, or it will start to look non-edible, and a large amount of food coloring can add a bitter taste. There is no way to change the color of our free printanles in Adobe Reader, but you can make your own using any image-editing software like Photoshop or Paint! Just make sure to measure your mason jar’s lid first :) Hope this helps!

  7. Ashton says:

    Just wondering what program you used to design the napkin transfer?
    I’m not having Bridesmaids, but I do want to invite my girlfriends to be a part of my special day in another way (I found a great be my non-bridesmaid invite idea here:http://apracticalwedding.com/2009/02/wedding-party-alternatives-non/)

    Anyway, I want it to say “non-bridesmaid” has opposed to Bridesmaid.

    Thanks!

  8. Steph says:

    These are just gorgeous! Mason jars aren’t quite as prevalent in Australia, would love to see something like this done locally! I haven’t seen any of my bride friends go to this much effort for their bridesmaid proposals – I love it! Great post.

  9. Thank you for helping out, great info.

  10. Carina says:

    These are adorable! I love unique solutions to those understated (and sometimes under-designed) celebrations like choosing bridesmaids + showers + bachelorettes etc….beautiful work!

  11. This is such an adorable idea! I love the napkins & the ombre cupcakes. The pretty pinks also have me daydreaming of Valentine’s Day!

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