I love these edged cupcakes shown by Woman's Day mag.
Instead of covering the whole cupcake, try edging the cupcake in sprinkles, crushed nuts, crushed M&Ms, red hots, etc.
Another tip for icing:
Not an expert in pastry bags or want the expense? Use a ziploc bag and cut a hole in the corner.
A great way to fill the bag? Slide the bag down into a tall glass. Drape the edge of the bag over the glass and fill.
photo credit: Woman's Day