How to make a cupcake stand

    Posted by  ·  January 5, 2011

    Here is an easy way to make a tiered serving tray that can easily be interchanged with different plastic plates and bowls.

    I originally was wanting to make the one from the Giver’s Log, but I couldn’t find the thrift-ed pieces.

    The supplies for this project can be found at home improvement stores (like Lowe’s). The plastic plates are from Target. I also found some cool plastic plates at a local thrift store.

    Supplies for Tiered Serving Tray

    2 plastic plates

    one knob that fits threaded rod

    1 – 1/2″ X 3′ round aluminum tube (there are cool square ones too!)

    1 – #8-32 X 3′ threaded rod

    1 package of #8-32 X 1  1/4 combo round w/nut (or one nut to fit end of threaded rod)

    2 rubber washers 3/16″ X 1/2″ X 1/16″

    11/64″ drill bit

    fine sandpaper

    (we did not end up using the #10 flat zinc washers)

    You will have plenty of supplies left over. These would make great gifts!

    How to make a tiered serving tray

    Cut aluminum tube with saw, making sure cut is level. You will need a 6″ length and 3″ length (these can be adjusted to your own needs)

    Cut threaded rod into a 9 1/2″ length

    Lightly sand aluminum tubes to make surface even and remove imperfections

    Drill hole in center of two plastic plates. It worked best to place masking tape where the hole needed to be drilled and drill from the front.

    Put 9 1/2″ threaded rod through bottom plate and put a nut underneath the plate.

    Next place rubber washer on top of bottom plate, place 6″ aluminum tube around threaded rod.

    Place next plate, a rubber washer, 3″ aluminum piece and then screw knob tightly to top.

    The pieces can be easily removed and interchanged with other plastic plates to fit any party theme or color scheme!

    Leave a Comment

    Comments

    1. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      This is so cute! I've seen something similar somewhere else before but didn't save it! :( Thanks for posting now I can do it! :)
    2. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      This is great. I also have a tutorial for one of these I made with candle sticks from a thrift store. I use is all the time. Here is the link to mine:
      http://budgetwisehome.com/thrift-store-decorating-3/
    3. Jenny
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Wow, this is a great idea and tutorial! So cute and I love that you can interchange the plates!
    4. Meghan R
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Does the nut on the bottom make it wobbly? I'd worry about that.
      • Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
        It is actually quite sturdy, the rubber washers allowed us to screw it together very tightly. I don't think it would hold heavy items but for a few treats it works great!
      • Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
        Meghan, there is a rim on the bottom of the plate that keeps the plate elevated off the table. As long as the nut is thinner than that rim it is not wobbly. Thanks for mentioning, because it would be important to make sure the plate you choose has a rim on the bottom.
    5. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      What a cool idea! I've often seen plastic plates that look quite festive and have never had an idea of what to do with them. Thanks for sharing!
    6. Tracey @7294cottageway.blogspot
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Love it! I am totally going to do this one! Love your ideas and blog! Hope you have a really great day!
    7. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      I love this!
    8. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      that is such a great idea. i have been on the look out for a great cake stand but haven't found one i love...but now i could just make one! perfect. thanks
    9. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      I LOVE this!!! Printing it the shopping list right now! Can't wait to make it :) THANK YOU!!!
    10. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Nice Job! I'm totally going to steal {I mean borrow} this idea.

      kisses
      Heather from WhipperBerry
    11. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      this is so great!! I've always known you could make your own, but I've never really thought through the logistics of it! i'll have to try this!! thanks!
    12. zoe
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Fab, love it, thanks, have been looking at these to buy and grizzling at the price, want mine for displayng nail polishes as opposed to cakes...
    13. BrendaDe
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      so stinkin' cool! I love this!
    14. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      AWESOME tutorial!! I am going to share on my fanpage, I know everyone will love it!!
    15. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Ohhh love it! It's truly one of those, "I have all the supplies, why didn't I ever think of that" posts for me! lol Thanks for thinking of it!
    16. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      I have a question if you wouldn't mind adding the response to the post if you have an answer. I have made these before and the nut on the bottom causes certain plates to rock because the lipped bottom isn't quite tall enough. Do you have a solution for that?
      • Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
        Let's all brainstorm this question.

        Aimee's Question:
        I have made these before and the nut on the bottom causes certain plates to rock because the lipped bottom isn’t quite tall enough. Do you have a solution for that?


        What about somehow creating a lip --- like painting and attaching a wooden embroidery hoop. There might even be a metal type ring at the home improvement store that could be used.

        What do you all think?
    17. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      such a great idea!!! i love you!
    18. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      To solve the wobbling problem I would get 4 felt or rubber pads (like the type you would put under kitchen chair legs) and put them on the bottom of the plate. You could do 2 layers of them if you needed but hopefully one layer would do the trick. I think you could find pretty small ones or use glue dots to make your own little felt cushions.
    19. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I am totally going to try this, I'm always looking for different ways to make dessert stands!
    20. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      What a great idea!! Is the cake stand wobbly with the nut on the bottom? Just curious.....just read the above comment about a wooden emboidery hoop...that might work. Thanks
    21. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    22. Christi
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Another option I've seen is using wine glasses/champagne flutes between the layers. Looks really cool. And I'm sure there are things you could do inside the glasses like silk flowers and what not. I think it was all just glued.
    23. Annie
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      This is a great idea so clever, I'm going to give it a go as soon as I gather my supplies. Thanks for such clear instructions.
    24. Mr. Cindylouh
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Here's a thought - What if you put four (4) felt pads, like those used for the bottom of chair legs on the bottom of a plate that lacks a lipped ring. They are thick enough and would balance the tray equally.

      Would this work?

      PS. Looks really good Cindy...I look forward to seeing treats on this plate!
    25. Jenny Leigh
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Regarding rocking: The first thing I thought of was a rubber gasket/washer or sewing machine belt. Or you could add rubber or felt peel-off feet like you might put on the bottom of chairs or on cabinet doors.
    26. Mercedes
      Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      That is brilliant... I have got some melamine plates waiting to do the exact same thing but I am scared of the drill !!!! Your plates are a nicer design than mine :-)
    27. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      I just found your blog when searching for printable cupcake wrappers - and now I am subscribing! I love the cupcake stand idea. It's perfect because my daughter is turning 4 in February and I want to make cupcakes for her party, but I don't have a cupcake stand. I try to make most things myself, because it's fun and always turns out so neat. So thanks for sharing this great idea! :)
    28. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      I love the fact that now your favourite dishes can be turned into something with the "wow" factor!
    29. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      What a great idea! I've been looking for a cupcake stand for a while, but this one sounds pretty easy to make and I can custom design it.

      Thanks for sharing!
    30. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
      Well how clever are you?! I love that!
    31. Emmy
      Thursday, January 6th, 2011
      This is so cool! Thanks :)
    32. Thursday, January 6th, 2011
      One word: genius!
    33. Thursday, January 6th, 2011
      What a great idea and so easy to make.
    34. Sunday, January 9th, 2011
      Great minds think alike because I just got the tools to do this a couple of weeks ago with some clearance trays from Michaels. But I didn't think about the aluminum tubing. Glad I found this tutorial before I started. Thank you so much for sharing. I LOVE IT and I'm obsessed with tiered trays so I'll be making lots of these!
    35. Beverly
      Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
      Super cute! Thanks so much for sharing!! I made one tonight and am overall happy. My plate doesn't have a large enough lip, so we're going to try rubber feet to help balance it out. Still practicing screwing it all together to make it straight and not leaning. I think I just need to get the hang of centering the washer and the pole. ;)
    36. Thursday, January 13th, 2011
      ADORBS. On every level.
    37. Michelle
      Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
      This is great! I loved those plates at Target, and have been wanting a cupcake/treat stand for a while - how much were all these supplies in total??
    38. Melissa
      Sunday, February 13th, 2011
      Thank you so much! I need cupcake stands for the center pieces at my wedding and they are SO expensive to buy or rent. This is perfect for us!!
    39. Gramma Connie
      Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
      Love this! Am so excited, Christmas presents here I come!! And an excuse to go yard saleing!! Always a good thing. My dh's boss had him buy a drill bit for ceramics when I needed a planter drilled out. So can use "real" plates. Off to print this off. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!
    40. Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
      Wow, this is amazing! I just love it!
    41. Monday, April 18th, 2011
      Wow! Love this idea! I've been wanting a fun tiered stand for tea parties with my girlies and this is the PERFECT SOLUTION! Not only that, but now I can easily and cheaply change out the plates so we can enjoy different ones for different seasons. Thank you so much for sharing!!
    42. Friday, September 23rd, 2011
      That was cool and quite unique you only needed a great design of plastic plates. Thanks for the tutorial. I can customize now a great cupcake stand. I've been looking for it at some times now and I can't see designs that suites my taste. Thank you again.
    43. Brooke lol
      Thursday, September 29th, 2011
      wow wonderful
    44. Meaghan
      Thursday, November 17th, 2011
      Fabulous idea, and so simple! Love that you can change up the plates. Maybe one design for each season?

      One question - is it level? With the nut on the bottom of the plate, how do you keep it from wobbling?
    45. Kellee
      Thursday, November 17th, 2011
      What makes this idea so genius is that it can be unscrewed, taken apart and stored flat! Just genius! I live in a condo that has a dinky little kitchen and very little storage and I'm put off from buying cute serving ware like this because I have nowhere to put it. This is a fabulous solution and I love that it can also be interchangeable. I will definitely be trying this one :) So crafty!
    46. Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
      Im so glad I found this! I have been trying to find the thrifted pieces forever without luck! I'm having an hors d'oeuvres NYE party this year, and was looking for inexpensive ways to make my tiny treats verticle. Found it!! THANKS!
    47. Loretta
      Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
      Thank you for this pattern I am starting my own Tea & Fondue party business & was looking for ways to make tiered trays inexpensively. I am having my brother drill some glass plates with holes also.Thanks again for sharing.
    48. Kari
      Thursday, December 29th, 2011
      Thanks, I have been wanting to make a tiered tray, now I know how it is done.
    49. Thursday, January 5th, 2012
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    50. Friday, March 30th, 2012
      Oh my gosh, where was this tutorial three years ago?! I bought two plates with holes in the center on clearance from Marshalls planning to make them into tiered serving plates, but could not figure out where to find hollow rods in the middle. Now I know I can actually saw them! Thanks for the great tutorial!
    51. anna
      Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
      With the nut on the bottome of the first plate..... how do you keep it from wobbling?? maybe attach little "feet" to the bottom plate??
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