Monday, February 2, 2009

DIY Cupcake Tower = Death of me.

Total cost: $35, compared to renting one for $200.

Ok so this was fun, but tiring. My back was killing me at the end of the night. Its definitely a few hours of work.. and if you're a perfectionist like me, about a day of work. I couldn't find larger foamboard, so I had to buy 20"x30" and cut and glue some pieces together to get the right size. I will put the steps on building the tower in this entry, and then the wrapping technique in the next. Good luck! Hopefully you have a great FI like mine who was willing to help me when things were out of reach (I'm 4'11" aka have short arms)


  • 8-10 sheets of 20"x30" foamboard (if you can find the 32"x40" stuff, you can get 4-6 sheets)
  • Exacto Knife (I love my retractable CutterBee because I'm clumsy)
  • Hot glue gun and lots o' glue sticks
  • Yardstick (You're working with pieces 30"+, so you'll need something larger than a regular ruler)
  • Clear packing tape (used as a shortcut to hold the pieces in place while you glue)

Please note:
Foamboard is quite thick, and it will take more than one try to cut through it. Please be safe and take it slow while cutting. Coming from a former architecture major, exacto blades slice through skin like butta!

Will hold approx. 100 cupcakes, depending on cupcake size.
Feel free to expand the size of the foamcore for more cupcakes, or minimize it for less.
  • On your foamboard, measure one each of the following:
    30"x30" base, 22"x22" base, 14"x14" base, 6"x6" base
    If you can't find 32"x40" foamboard, and have to settle for 20"x30" like I did, you are going to have to cut additional pieces from another piece of board and glue it on to supplement the size.
  • Measure FOUR EACH of the following:
    30"x5" side pieces, 22"x5" side pieces, 14"x5" side pieces, 6"x5" side pieces.
    I used a 5" height, because not many cupcakes are taller than 5" and you can cut a 20" board into 4, 5" pieces perfectly.
If you have a large table and would prefer working there, feel free. I'm a floor worker.
  • Lay out your 30"x30" base and grab one of your 30"x5" side pieces.
  • Tape side piece along one end of the board, it will form a perfect right angle. Tape as much as you wish in order to hold it in place.
  • Run a line of hot glue along the interior of the side piece where it meets the base. Hot glue dries very quickly, so no need to wait and let dry before continuing.
  • For the second piece, tape the short side to the already glued piece, and the long side to the base board (just like you did with piece one)
  • This time, run a line of hot glue where it meets the base AND the short side where it meets the other piece.
  • This piece will hang off the edge of the base a little bit (due to the thickness of the foamboard in the first piece). Position the box so the longer piece is flat on the table/floor. Using your ruler and knife, trim off the excess.
  • Attach third piece exactly as the second piece, including the trimming of the excess.
  • The fourth and final piece of the box is a little tricker. You are going to have to hold up the piece to the gap and mark off where you will have to trim before gluing it on. Once you have to size right and the piece in the space, tape the sides and bottom to the rest of the box. Glue to the base AND BOTH previously glued side pieces.
  • You can sand any rough edges with a nail file.

Do the same with all pieces, and stack. DO NOT GLUE THE BOXES TOGETHER. You will need them to stay separate in order to wrap.

Wrapping instructions coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Hey! It's selinacv from the Oct09 board. Your cupcake tower is looking good! I was reading your previous post and I hope you get the job! As a fellow unemployed Knottie, I feel your pain about sitting at home. Good luck!!