Creating a cupcake tower is really easy. Even on a budget. You can use cardboard, platters (from the dollar tree to save some money) or tree slices. I used tree slices to add a fun effect to my themed parties. The most recent party I threw, was a dinosaur party for my youngest boy’s first birthday. I thought the tree like cupcake stand would be perfect in the Jurassic jungle I created. And it was.
Let’s talk budget. The Dollar Tree carries everything you need for parts. You can make a cupcake tower for under ten dollars. They have metal tins that are used to cover burners on a stove top. Those are perfect for your surface. Then they have some perfect glass candle holders that can be used to hold it all together. I paid $4 for all the pieces to my tin tower.
One can of spray paint gives it the ability to fit right in with your party theme. For the glue on all of my stands, I used E6000. Wood glue would have worked on my tree tower, but I used what I had leftover from the first set I did. What I found with all of them, is that you should do this in advance to ensure it cures and you aren’t rushing to get it together. I let mine cure overnight before touching them. When I tried to move them around too soon, the weight made them fall apart. Create your tower or stand the weekend before your party so you aren’t trying to move it around before it’s ready.
I did decide to buy tree slices from the craft store. Only because I didn’t want to find someone to cut the slices out for me. Watch Craig’s list for free pieces you can use. Occasionally someone gives away pieces in slices too. So I spent a little more than my low-budget cupcake towers, but you can easily make a tree tower on a lower budget as well.
When I started, I used acrylic paint to paint the candle holders to go a little better. Well, I wasn’t patient, and I picked up the stand an hour after starting to glue the pieces together. One candle holder came off and hit the ground. Then I had to deal with glass shattering, and running to the store to get another. So I scrubbed away some of the paint on the remaining glass piece and left them both bare. I actually like it better that way. You can always wrap streamers around them to hide them, or just paint like I did. I recommend spray paint for all of it.
After the glass pieces, or whatever you decide to use, are ready to go, you start on the platters. Since I used tree slices, I did a light stain on them to get the colors a little closer to the same. It dried very quickly. If you are using metal, hard plastic, or hard card board, you can paint your surfaces at the same time as your anchor pieces. It is optional to spray the platters with polyurethane, which I did for the tree tower. It helps protect it. Once everything is completely dry, you are ready to put it together.
Remember, don’t touch it other than to adjust after the glue is on, and do that quickly, so you aren’t messing with the glue much. My little trick is to apply the glue to the anchor piece first, then tap it to the place it has to go on the platter surface. This way you can see exactly where to put the glue on each surface. You want the glue to be on both surfaces for good curing. If you have the time, I recommend waiting to do the other layers until each layer is cured. You don’t have to. I didn’t. But I think it would make life easier. After everything is glued, and dried, push on it to make sure it’s going to hold up, and glue some more if you need to. Then it is good to go!