cpio works like tar, only better.
STEP 1 (Create two directories with data ../dir1 an ../dir2)
mkdir -p ../dir1
mkdir -p ../dir2
cp /etc/*.conf ../dir1/.
cp /etc/*.cnf ../dir2/.
Which will backup all your cnf and conf files.
STEP 2 (Piping the files to tar)
cpio works like tar but can take input