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How to make a cupcake stand

Posted by  ·  March 18, 2018  ·  Last Updated: March 18, 2018

This cupcake stand can match any party decor! With just a few supplies from the home store, you can make a cupcake stand with plastic plates.  The best part is that it easily comes apart and can be stored flat. There is also another bonus.  This project uses inexpensive plastic plates. You can even use bowls.  For sure this is an easy way to make a tiered serving tray that can easily be interchanged with different plastic plates and bowls.

how to make a cake stand

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 Cupcake Stand

  • 2 plastic plates
  • one knob that fits a 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 the end of the 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 cupcake stand step by step

Cut aluminum tube with a 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 the 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 the bottom plate and put a nut underneath the plate.

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

Place next plate, a rubber washer, 3″ aluminum piece and then screw knob tightly to the top. The pieces can be easily removed and interchanged with other plastic plates to fit any party theme or color scheme!

cupcake stand


If you a cake to display along with your cupcakes here is an easy way to make a wooden cake stand.  It would also be a great cupcake stand.

How to make a Cake Stand

how to make a cake stand


Filed Under: DIY Projects, Make, Party Ideas

Leave a Comment


  1. Friday, July 20th, 2018
    Most glaziers work a standard 40 hour workweek.
  2. 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??
    • Cindy
      Friday, February 23rd, 2018
      Anna, there was a raised edge on the bottom of the plate. The happened to be just above this so no wobbling.
  3. 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!
    • Cindy
      Friday, February 23rd, 2018
      Thanks Clarissa!
  4. Kari
    Thursday, December 29th, 2011
    Thanks, I have been wanting to make a tiered tray, now I know how it is done.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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?
  8. Brooke lol
    Thursday, September 29th, 2011
    wow wonderful
  9. 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!!
  10. Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
    Wow, this is amazing! I just love it!
  11. 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!!!!
  12. 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!!
  13. 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??
  14. 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. ;)
  15. 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!
  16. Thursday, January 6th, 2011
    What a great idea and so easy to make.
  17. Emmy
    Thursday, January 6th, 2011
    This is so cool! Thanks :)
  18. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    Well how clever are you?! I love that!
  19. 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!
  20. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    I love the fact that now your favourite dishes can be turned into something with the "wow" factor!
  21. 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! :)
  22. 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 :-)
  23. 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.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
  28. 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
  29. 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!
  30. 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.
  31. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    such a great idea!!! i love you!
  32. 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?
  33. 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!
  34. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    AWESOME tutorial!! I am going to share on my fanpage, I know everyone will love it!!
  35. BrendaDe
    Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    so stinkin' cool! I love this!
  36. 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...
  37. 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!
  38. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    Nice Job! I'm totally going to steal {I mean borrow} this idea.

    Heather from WhipperBerry
  39. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    I LOVE this!!! Printing it the shopping list right now! Can't wait to make it :) THANK YOU!!!
  40. 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
  41. Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    I love this!
  42. 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!
  43. 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!
  44. 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.
  45. Jenny
    Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    Wow, this is a great idea and tutorial! So cute and I love that you can interchange the plates!
  46. 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! :)
  47. 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.