How to Make an Easy Cupcake Stand

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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How to Make an Easy Cupcake Stand
Make a cupcake tower out of cardboard and polystyrene. (cupcakes image by Mat Hayward from

Making cupcakes provides bakers and food artists alike with a chance to flex their creative muscles. Cupcakes grew in popularity during the 1800s primarily because they don't take as long to bake as a conventional cake. Bakers adorn modern cupcakes with all manner of delicious designs. From basic to elaborate, enhance cupcakes by displaying them on a homemade stand.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue
  • 2-by-1-inch polystyrene disks

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  1. 1

    Place a large mixing bowl facedown on piece of cardboard. Draw around the outside of the mixing bowl to create a circle on the cardboard.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle with scissors or a rotary cutter. Draw and cut two more circles the same size.

  3. 3

    Trace the mixing bowl on a sheet of decorative scrapbooking paper. Do this three times.

  4. 4

    Glue one circle of scrapbooking paper to one cardboard circle. Do the same for the other two pieces of paper and cardboard.

  5. 5

    Glue together four polystyrene disks. The disks should measure 2 inches across and have a 1-inch width. Use hot glue for a secure bond. This creates the columns that separate the tiers of the cupcake holder.

  6. 6

    Make two more columns, using seven polystyrene disks each.

  7. 7

    Place the smallest polystyrene column on a flat surface. Coat the top of the column with hot glue.

  8. 8

    Press one of the cardboard circles to the glue on the column. Make sure the side of the circle with the scrapbook paper faces up. This is the surface the cupcakes will rest on.

  9. 9

    Apply glue to the bottom of one of the taller polystyrene columns. Press the column to the centre of the cardboard circle base on the scrapbooking paper side.

  10. 10

    Coat the top of the column with more glue. Press another cardboard circle to the column, papered side up. Do the same for the next tier of the cupcake holder.

  11. 11

    Allow the glue to dry completely before arranging the cupcakes on the holder or moving and transporting the holder.

Tips and warnings

  • Homemade cupcake holders using polystyrene columns are lightweight and may tip over when exposed to wind or movement. Experiment with different bases, such as a tin can or plastic CD spindle holder filled with rocks.
  • Glue rickrack or lace to the edges of the cardboard circles for a decorative flare.
  • Apply contact paper to the cardboard circles instead of scrapbooking paper for a water-resistant option that makes the cupcake stand suitable for long-term use. Alternately, apply a layer of clear packing tape over the scrapbooking paper to create a surface that can be wiped clean after use.
  • Don't spray paint the polystyrene disks. Spray paint melts polystyrene. If decoration for the columns is needed, coat the columns in glue and wrap with patterned scrapbooking papers.

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