DIY Easy & Inexpensive Cupcake Stand

Cupcakes have expanded beyond children’s parties and been gaining in popularity.

Part of the fun in these bite-sized treats is in the presentation. There’s no need to shell out a huge chunk of change for a fancy cupcake stand, just DIY!

This cupcake stand is for a Teacher Appreciation Celebration to mark the end of the school year. The cupcakes, which will look like red apples in a nod to teachers, will be nestled in a 6-tier cupcake stand designed to evoke the feeling of an apple tree.
(Here’s a collection of gorgeous DIY Cupcake Stands I found online and used for inspiration!)


Here’s how to make the stand:

  1. Purchase cake rounds for the number of tiers you want. I got 2 for each level (and 3 for the bottom) and hot-glued them together to increase stability. Make sure they’re evenly lined up!
  2. Next, I traced the rounds on green wrapping paper (2 for each size cake round). Cut these out and use rubber cement to glue them to the tops and bottoms of the rounds. (Using rubber cement will prevent the wrapping paper from wrinkling.)
    Step 2
  3. I purchased green satin bulk ribbon (it’s way cheaper) and then hot-glued it around the circumference of the cake rounds to cover the ugly corrugated cardboard edges (see photo below of Cupcake Tree in Progress).
  4. Cupcake tiers should be separated by a solid lift stable enough to hold up the ascending tiers and should be tall enough for a cupcake with frosting and décor to sit on each level (about 4″). I was searching everywhere for the perfect cylindrical tier lifts when a teacher who’ll be at the party offered for her shop class to take on the lifts as a project!

5. Next, I’ll wrap the lifts in brown satin ribbon to look like a tree trunk and hot glue them between the tiered cake rounds.

6. Make sure all the glue has dried before you let any cupcakes near your stand!

I’ve included some photos of the project in progress. Please check back later this week for photos of the final steps and finished project!

Cupcake Tree in Progress  (Cups are placeholders)
Test Batch of Apple Cupcakes


The big End of Year Celebration where these cupcakes and stand will debut is this Friday. I’ll be hosting a little Cupcake Camp to mass-produce the cupcakes the night before and I picked up a couple tips to make the process easier during my test batch:

  1. I’ll be using pretzel sticks instead of tootsie rolls for the apple stems. Tootsie rolls didn’t hold up well and required additional work. Plus, the pretzel sticks will hold the box top off of the finished cupcakes to protect them from getting messed up.
  2. I’ll be dying the fondant green BEFORE making them into leaves. Painting individual leaves was nuts! I’ll also use a leaf-shaped cookie cutter instead of the ridiculous mold I used that required leaves to be individually plucked out with a toothpick.
  3. Plus, I got red foil cupcake liners so I can bake more than 12 or even 24 at a time and they’ll look more apple-like!

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