Antique Cabinet Card Halloween Nut Cups tutorial

This was a little project Aaron and I put together way back in 2009 as guest designers. We thought we'd revisit it and share it with you!  Please forgive the poor quality photos...they are pre "grown-up camera" ;)

Some of the best crafting projects are those that make use of your favorite collectibles. We've got a drawer full of gorgeously old tattered photos & antique cabinet cards...just tons of great pictures of complete strangers whom we now refer to as "instant relatives". You pick them up at junk shops, antique stores, estate sales...and you're not quite sure how you can use them but you know that one day you will.

We are big fans of nut cups. We make them for just about every holiday. They're nostalgic, they're useful, they're fantastic party favors, place settings, candy containers...and best of all...They are super easy to make! These are a bit different then our usual design which are round and have pipe cleaner handles. This is more of a die cut/shelf sitter nut cup hybrid. Here's what you'll need to make these:

-Antique cabinet cards /photos...
(just make sure you've got a good size bust portrait. We didn't want to cut up our cabinet cards so we made color copies of the originals and used those. We also enlarged them on the copier so that they were the right size. approximately 4 inches wide and 4 inches tall.)
-Artist mat board
-cardboard craft boxes. 2 1/2" square x 1 1/2" tall
-ultra fine tip black sharpie marker
-black crepe paper streamer
-cream crepe paper streamer
-black rick rack
-cream or black paper shred
-xacto knife
-1" paint brush
-mod podge or an equivalent medium
-all purpose glue
-black & cream patterned paper of your choice

1. cut out your photo copied portraits and apply them with mod podge to the mat board. Brush a thin even coat of mod podge onto the mat board, lay your image on top, press down and with a clean, dry paper towel carefully rub out any bubbles & wrinkles. Let dry.

2. with your ultra fine tip sharpie draw on the masks. Do it in pencil first to avoid shaky hand mishaps.

3. cut out the portrait with scissors and use the xacto knife for the more complicated parts. be sure to use a plastic craft mat underneath. You may have to crop your image to fit right. About 4 inches wide by 4 to 4 and a half inches tall is a good size.

4. flip it over and apply a patterned paper to the back of your portrait die cut. Use the same technique as before with the mod podge. carefully trim away excess paper with xacto knife.

5. apply the pleated crepe streamer to the craft box. do the black first..raise it up about a quarter of an inch when you attach it to the box so that you have a layered look with the black and cream. to apply the pleated streamer use your all purpose glue. it's fairly easy. just start at one corner of the box...put a dab of glue on the box and press the start of the streamer to it and hold til it's set...then put a dab of glue right there on top of the crepe and fold back the crepe on top of itself, about a half inch, hold until set. Keep repeating this process around the box for a pleated effect. only have to apply the crepe paper pleat to 3 sides. On the 4th side you will attach the die cut.

6. Once you've got the black pleat on the box, then, using the same exact process, apply the cream pleat right over it...about a quarter inch lower...just make it flush with the bottom of the box so that your box stands evenly. this way you'll have a layered look.

7. now apply the rick rack around the box. Again, using your all purpose glue, just do a dab at a time, press and hold down about an inch and a half til it's set...then move along to the next inch until you've covered 3 sides of the box.

8. next, with the all purpose glue attach your die cut to the front of the box. Just make the bottom flush with the bottom of the box.

9. fill up your nutcup with paper shred...either cream or black.

 These are just so perfect for Halloween because they are fantastic little candy holders...use them as place settings for your little Halloween Happening! Add a handful of sweets & treats and some spooky little surprises. For the purposes of this tutorial we kept these pretty basic, but we're sure you'll think of a million ways to add your own personal touches and fabulous embellishments...some fine glitter highlights...maybe add a witch hat to the gals...attach banners so you can personalize them with the names of your party guests...etc.

We just love classic Black & White for Halloween decor. The look is so timeless and works for, all those antique photos that you've got stuffed in boxes and drawers, those "instant relatives" can now join the party, they've got a brand new purpose.

 Happy Halloween!
xoxo Jenny & Aaron


  1. I love these! I better get cracking on my Halloween table!!!

  2. @wacky tacky Thanks bunches! Yeah...we just had to revisit them. We are nutcup nuts! :) I have some incredibly sweet 50's Birthday cups as well as Christmas and Easter. They are seriously one of my fave collectibles! :)

    Happy October!!

  3. Jenny.. I love nut cups! So glad to see them make a return as they were an integral part of my throwing birthday parties for family... as a little girl!!! Great project!

  4. @Kadee Aren't they just the happiest little things ever? I've been lucky enough to find some incredible new old stock nutcups over the years...with faded pink crepe paper...and Dennison seals! They make me sooo happy! Oh gosh..and when I come across vintage birthday party photos and see them on the table...I pretty much squeal and go light headed! :)

    Thanks for visiting and for sharing the sweet memories! :)

  5. Lovely post! Can't wait to try this out:) We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Holland, but it is getting more attention. But defenitely not as big as in the US.

    xx Susie

  6. These are so neat!! Love them! xo Heather

  7. These are so sweet. I would love to see what you make for Christmas! I made your nut cup lights... and people still comment on how amazing they are. Xxoo

  8. Hey Dear love these little cups,remember (back in day )lol,with peanuts,mints they have some in craft stores but not like these brings back memories Thank's great job...Cookie17

  9. You two are wayyyy too funny! Instant relatives! Very nice. I am with you on the collecting bits of things for crafts later... my family loves telling me I'm a pack rat. But ya know, sometimes when I'm ready to start a project, I'm SO glad I saved that one random piece of something that came in some packaging way back when. Know what I mean?


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xo Jenny & Aaron

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