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Build a Cupcake Tower

Updated on June 15, 2013

Build and decorate a custom cupcake tower

Instead of making a cake for a friend's baby shower, I chose to go with cupcakes. With all the other projects I had going on I was simply running out of time and needed a little help from my local bakery. Plus cupcakes make serving simple. But just because there was no cake didn't mean there was no presentation. At the last minute I decided to build a cupcake tower.

What to use, what to use...a box, some cardboard, some cans of soup, check. In about half an hour (sans photography time), I had a cute and functional cupcake tower to add a little jazz to the food table.

I'm no entertainer, but if I can build this, so can you!

I'm on Pinterest!

The Cupcakes

The Cupcakes
The Cupcakes

A few tools you'll want

If these craft tools aren't already part of your supplies, add them now! I use them all the time.

Swingline 9112 ClassicCut Pro Paper Trimmer, 15 Sheets, Metal/Wood Composite Base, 12 x 12
Swingline 9112 ClassicCut Pro Paper Trimmer, 15 Sheets, Metal/Wood Composite Base, 12 x 12

I use this every day, for every project. It makes trimming paper SO fast and easy.

 
Provo Craft 243071 1/4-Inch Terrifically Tacky Tape
Provo Craft 243071 1/4-Inch Terrifically Tacky Tape

This is THE ONLY tape I use for ribbon, and it's especially awesome for covering oddly shaped items with paper, such as round soup cans and wooden toys.

 
Hot Melt Trigger Glue Gun (FREE 2 GLUE STICKS WITH EVERY GLUE GUN ORDER)
Hot Melt Trigger Glue Gun (FREE 2 GLUE STICKS WITH EVERY GLUE GUN ORDER)

Invest in a good glue gun. Mine exploded the day before my wedding while I was doing a few finishing touches and it was a crisis. (By explode I mean I plugged it in and it sparked and blew apart where the cord meets the gun. Ow!)

 
Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board and Envelope Tool
Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board and Envelope Tool

I didn't use this item for this project but I seem to use it everywhere else. As long as you're shopping, pick up one of these!

 

First, gather your supplies - I had everything I needed to get started

Here I have a photo of the supplies I initially gathered for this project.

I have:

* a box to act as the base

* cardboard for the tiers

* paper to cover the box and tiers

* full, unopened soup cans for the stem

* tacky spray, but you can use tape, a glue stick, or the glue gun

* a glue gun

* Provo Craft's Terrifically Tacky tape which I LOVE

* sharp scissors

* a circle cutter (which I actually didn't use for this particular tower)

* ribbon

I also ended up using:

* a straight ruler

* a compass with pencil

* double-sided tape

A closer look at my supplies

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Any type of permanent tacky spray adhesive will make this project go a lot faster.I LOVE Provo's Terifically Tacky Tape. I use it everywhere.I got this gift ribbon at a charity resale shop for a few cents. I'll use it to embellish the tower.I got this box at a resale shop too. It was originally part of a perfume gift pack.A sample of some of the paper I'll use.More paper I've selected.A compass was used to draw a circle on the cardboard for round tiers.
Any type of permanent tacky spray adhesive will make this project go a lot faster.
Any type of permanent tacky spray adhesive will make this project go a lot faster.
I LOVE Provo's Terifically Tacky Tape. I use it everywhere.
I LOVE Provo's Terifically Tacky Tape. I use it everywhere.
I got this gift ribbon at a charity resale shop for a few cents. I'll use it to embellish the tower.
I got this gift ribbon at a charity resale shop for a few cents. I'll use it to embellish the tower.
I got this box at a resale shop too. It was originally part of a perfume gift pack.
I got this box at a resale shop too. It was originally part of a perfume gift pack.
A sample of some of the paper I'll use.
A sample of some of the paper I'll use.
More paper I've selected.
More paper I've selected.
A compass was used to draw a circle on the cardboard for round tiers.
A compass was used to draw a circle on the cardboard for round tiers.

Building the tower

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I started with a variety of boxes, soup cans (full cans, for weight), and cardboard sheets, and narrowed it down to this design.I used a compass to draw circles on two pieces of cardboard and cut them out for round tiers.A little bit of repositioning and voila!  A cute cupcake tower framework. Now let's add some bling.
I started with a variety of boxes, soup cans (full cans, for weight), and cardboard sheets, and narrowed it down to this design.
I started with a variety of boxes, soup cans (full cans, for weight), and cardboard sheets, and narrowed it down to this design.
I used a compass to draw circles on two pieces of cardboard and cut them out for round tiers.
I used a compass to draw circles on two pieces of cardboard and cut them out for round tiers.
A little bit of repositioning and voila!  A cute cupcake tower framework. Now let's add some bling.
A little bit of repositioning and voila! A cute cupcake tower framework. Now let's add some bling.

Decorating the base

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Measure the size of your base.Cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to fit. If your base is longer or wider than 12", you might need two pieces.Measure and cut paper to cover the sidesUse the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.Use the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.Carefully smooth out the paper and let dry thoroughly so moving the base doesn't shift the paper off center.A perfectly decorated base!
Measure the size of your base.
Measure the size of your base.
Cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to fit. If your base is longer or wider than 12", you might need two pieces.
Cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to fit. If your base is longer or wider than 12", you might need two pieces.
Measure and cut paper to cover the sides
Measure and cut paper to cover the sides
Use the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.
Use the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.
Use the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.
Use the spray adhesive to adhere the paper.
Carefully smooth out the paper and let dry thoroughly so moving the base doesn't shift the paper off center.
Carefully smooth out the paper and let dry thoroughly so moving the base doesn't shift the paper off center.
A perfectly decorated base!
A perfectly decorated base!

Decorating the tiers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I'm working outside so I don't get spray adhesive everywhere.First I sprayed the top of each circle and stuck them to the back side of the paper I'm using as a cover. It's a good idea to "dry fit" these first, so you know the paper is big enough.Once the adhesive is dry, cut the paper away from the cardboard discs.Those are some cute tiers!  But wait...there's more...Measure the height of your can or dowel and cut a piece of paper to fit.Use the Terrifically Tacky tape along the very edge of the paper to ensure a good seal.Roll the paper around the can......and position it before you seal it.I'm adding ribbon to the bottom of the can, so this barcode edge won't show.Two perfectly wrapped posts!
I'm working outside so I don't get spray adhesive everywhere.
I'm working outside so I don't get spray adhesive everywhere.
First I sprayed the top of each circle and stuck them to the back side of the paper I'm using as a cover. It's a good idea to "dry fit" these first, so you know the paper is big enough.
First I sprayed the top of each circle and stuck them to the back side of the paper I'm using as a cover. It's a good idea to "dry fit" these first, so you know the paper is big enough.
Once the adhesive is dry, cut the paper away from the cardboard discs.
Once the adhesive is dry, cut the paper away from the cardboard discs.
Those are some cute tiers!  But wait...there's more...
Those are some cute tiers! But wait...there's more...
Measure the height of your can or dowel and cut a piece of paper to fit.
Measure the height of your can or dowel and cut a piece of paper to fit.
Use the Terrifically Tacky tape along the very edge of the paper to ensure a good seal.
Use the Terrifically Tacky tape along the very edge of the paper to ensure a good seal.
Roll the paper around the can...
Roll the paper around the can...
...and position it before you seal it.
...and position it before you seal it.
I'm adding ribbon to the bottom of the can, so this barcode edge won't show.
I'm adding ribbon to the bottom of the can, so this barcode edge won't show.
Two perfectly wrapped posts!
Two perfectly wrapped posts!

The Finished Tower!

The Finished Tower!
The Finished Tower!

I'm on Pinterest!

Repin me and find other cool crafts.

Build your own Cupcake Tower

Build your own Cupcake Tower
Build your own Cupcake Tower

Need a quick Cupcake Tower?

Since cupcakes have become so popular, cupcake towers have become easier to find and come in dozens of classy sizes, colors, and styles.

What did you think?

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    • profile image

      willowtree123 5 years ago

      Very interesting.Thank you :)

      Embroidery designs

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Major FUN!! It is a must do for the next time I make cupcakes. Cupcakes are so perfect, just the right amount of cake.. love it. Angel blessed lens.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      My girlfriend loves making cupcakes. She'd be thrilled to have a display tower like this. Looks like I have a new project to get started on!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Cute idea! Blessed!

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 5 years ago

      I think that's fabulous,well done.

    • profile image

      nursecraft 5 years ago

      Nicely done! Thanks for sharing your best!

    • CrafterBerly profile image
      Author

      CrafterBerly 5 years ago

      @mantuamom: They were! I used flat corrugated cardboard circles that I cut from 12x12 squares. I think the squares came from some scrapbooking packaging. If you aren't sure, glue a few circles together with the corrugation running in opposite directions so it doesn't all bend in the same place. If you need a sturdy box, try asking your local McDonalds for an empty fry box. They are great for everything!

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 5 years ago

      this really is a great and simple idea! I will definitely try it once!

    • lifesheath profile image

      lifesheath 5 years ago

      Looks very professional.

    • awestricken1 profile image

      Ken Parker 5 years ago from Tacoma, Wa

      Great idea, I love the instructions on how to do it. Cup cakes are the best.

    • profile image

      Scanabella 5 years ago

      Cupcakes are making news everywhere lately! Super Cool Lens! Have you joined Squidoo's

      Cupcake Club yet? I did yesterday!

    • profile image

      seosmm 5 years ago

      Great idea and very nice lens!

    • Shana rios Chavez profile image

      Shana rios Chavez 5 years ago

      great idea

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      Cute and Clever! This would be a fun project to involve a child in for prepping his or her birthday party or other party event. *Blessed*

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Neat idea!

    • mantuamom profile image

      mantuamom 5 years ago

      Were the cardboard circles strong enough to hold the cupcakes? I'd be afraid to put too many cupcakes on there for fear it would collapse! This is such a great idea.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • purpleclouds profile image

      purpleclouds 5 years ago

      What a great idea. I made a cake decorating spinner and it really comes in handy now, but I never thought about making cupcake tower. Thanks for sharing.

    • toldyaso lm profile image

      toldyaso lm 5 years ago

      Cute! :)

    • profile image

      capricornlove 5 years ago

      I love your creativity, I must try this for my baby's upcoming birthday:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great instructions on how to make this, thank you for the write up!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      That was easy! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great lens here, thanks for sharing this, will be useful for DIY type moms or dads :D

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Wow! This is brilliant and so well constructed too. The finished look is incredibly deceiving. Bravo!

    • profile image

      totalhealth 5 years ago

      really cute DIY project and so easy to make.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Lovely and creative - blessed by a travelling angel.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 5 years ago from Idaho

      I thought this was so clever. I couldn't believe what you made that beautiful stand out of, I thought for sure it was wood! I loved it so much, pinned it to pinterest and blessing your lens! Have a great week, Linda

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      That looks great. Not sure I could do it myself however - lol!

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 5 years ago

      Easy-to-do tips! Very nice lens! Thanks for sharing.

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 5 years ago

      Looks like very easy to do.