Packaged Pretty: Cupcakes for Clara

cupcakes for clara, packaged pretty, laura clempson

“I’m grumpy and I don’t know why,” said Clara…

For Cupcakes for Clara I create products featuring the grumpiest little miss bossy pants called Clara. I make paper dolls, stationery, art prints, sewing kits, and toys. And because all of my products are based around Clara, I almost feel like I’m cheating with my branding. As soon as I put an image of her onto anything it becomes instantly recognizable. It’s simple! And because Clara’s hair is orange, it makes sense to use orange as a base for everything. Orange tissue paper, orange tape, and orange striped twine are all perfect to package products in. And I try to use orange props in my product photos. Clara is my facebook & twitter avatar, at the top of my blog, on my shop banner, and even pinned up above my desk. I really do like everything to match!

cupcakes for clara, packaged pretty, laura clempson

I had some oversized postcards printed to use as packaging cards for any smaller items such as post-it notes and finger puppets. I try to keep costs down by going for straightforward printing such as postcards or business cards that I can use for several different products, and then transforming them myself into swing tags, header cards or packaging cards. I find that with a couple of different tools – a round corner punch, a euro slot punch, and a standard hole punch, I can transform even the most basic of papers into something really special.

cupcakes for clara, packaged pretty, laura clempson

Recently I made my own scratch cards. I wanted to add an extra special goodie in with my orders to encourage repeat sales, but rather than a standard discount code I thought it would be more fun to make scratch cards. There are various “prizes” including discount codes, free shipping, and vouchers. And you know what – they were super easy to make! I had some mini moo cards printed (because of their printfinity you can print a different code on every card), and with a bit of dish washing liquid, acrylic paint, and sticky backed plastic, they were transformed into awesome scratch cards! I’ve posted a tutorial on my blog if you would like to make your own. 

cupcakes for clara, packaged pretty, laura clempson

Along with a scratch card, I like to include a couple of extras within orders – two business cards (one with “please share this with your grumpy friends” stamped on the back), a handwritten thank you card, and a sample of another product – maybe a few post-it notes or a single outfit card for a paper doll. Everything is then wrapped in orange tissue paper and sealed with a Clara sticker. Even the shipping envelope has a Clara return address label on, so the customer will instantly recognize their parcel.

I do try to be as eco-friendly with my packaging as possible. Using local suppliers and recycled or biodegradable products if I can.

  • Paper dolls, and stationery items are packaged with 100% recycled envelopes, and popped inside a biodegradable cornstarch bag.
  • Make-your-own kits come in 100% recycled boxes.
  • Original toys come packaged in their own re-usable 100% cotton bags, which I have handmade.

I love my Clara branding, and hope that with one glance at my products or packaging you could easily tell that it is a Cupcakes for Clara goodie.

cupcakes for clara, packaged pretty, laura clempson


My suppliers list… – I use moo minicards for my scratch cards. Beautiful quality and the printfinity option is fantastic. – Great for cost-effective matt postcards to use as thank you cards within orders and header cards. I also use them for my return address labels and business cards. I usually upgrade to the premium papers. – Absolutely my favourite printers. Great quality and extra options such as rounded corners or spot gloss are reasonably priced. – A great UK printers for stickers, art prints, postcards, and leaflets. – Fabulous eco-friendly packaging supplies including biodegradable cornstarch bags, 100% recycled envelopes, and fair trade cotton bags. – Well priced shipping supplies including board backed envelopes and boxes.

Editor’s note: I hope you loved this first post from our lovely new contributor Laura Clempson & the chance to see a behind the scenes look at her fabulous packaging! Check out her links in the bio below & be sure to say hello in the comments:) Also please do share your own packaging adventures & suppliers!


  1. Gabrielle says:

    Loving Clara and her packaging! The scratch cards are a brilliant idea and I use a few of the same suppliers as you. are also great for printing postcards and business cards on recycled stock. 🙂

  2. Jess says:

    Super cute! I just started using for my business cards and I LOVE them. I also write a thank-you on the back of each one which I tuck in with a free sample in my shop orders.
    My question is about timing. I love the idea of a gift and a thank-you all wrapped up in tissue but with several orders to send out per week and having to make the time to actually make the products themselves I’m not sure how to find the time for such extras.

  3. Thank you so much for this, Laura. You are a total inspiration! I am promising to sit down this coming weekend to review my packaging – half of which still has my old logo, I’m embarassed to say. I’m also trying to figure out how to make things “pretty” when I’m packaging up a large 10″x10″10″ felt box!

  4. You’re totally right Jess, it is an extra thing to squeeze in which is tricky when we’re already using every minute of our day.

    For me, because of the nature of my products, it’s easy to slip a couple of stickers or 3/4 post-it notes in the parcel. Maybe a small sample of your beautiful yarn would work really well?

    And I use tissue paper almost as a band around the products, just sealing it with a sticker, rather than actually wrapping like a gift – also a huge time saver!

  5. Thanks Tania! Making a switchover to new logos is tricky & takes ages so don’t be embarrassed!

    Maybe just a ribbon or a tissue paper band would work for your large boxes? Or bakers twine with a simple tag – always pretty & fairly inexpensive. Plus then it already looks ready to go as a gift if that’s what the customer bought it for!

  6. Kim says:

    Hi Laura – I soooooo LOVE grumpy Clara – I think there is a teeny tiny bit of Clara in all of us and I believe that Clara is like a big cupcake underneath her grimy exterior. Your packaging and product concept is AH-Mazing! BTW I owe you an order! I love how you create packaging that uses one main elements for all of your offerings – I did something similar with my stationery to make it easy to display in my teeny tiny stationery store. I use a standard A2 size glossy card score and folded in half horizontally then I punch a teeny tiny hole in the top I put my stationery in a resealable cello bag and staple the card to the top and VOILA – inexpensive packaging that works for stationery, magnets, notepads, buttons, and mirrors.

    Laura – I am so happy to see your personality come out in your packaging design it makes me 🙂
    and grumpy Clara I’m glad to see you get your “GRUMP” on in such a touchy and sweet way. Go grumpy go!

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