DIY Shanty Cupcake Tower

I am soooo excited about this project!  It took about an afternoon of work and $15!

This was so easy to put together!  Here’s how you can build your own:)

I purchased 2 1×4’s and cut them down:

4 @ 14.5″

3 @ 11″

3 @ 8″

I used my Kreg Jig to attach the boards but if you don’t have one you can use wood glue and clamp them together until they dry:)

Here’s the bad boy that made this cupcake tower possible ~ The Dremel Trio ~ This is by far the coolest tool I have ever used!  You really need no building experience to use it.  Just read the instructions, plug it in and get to work:)  It has this awesome attachment that guides you through perfect circles.  It allowed me to cut all three circles in about 10 minutes!

Diameter cuts:

large circle: 14″

medium circle: 10.5″

small circle: 7.5″

Ooooo ahhhh!  I lightly sanded them to soften the edges and that was it!

Here are the rest of the supplies:  1 bag of small candle sticks and 2 tall ones from Hobby Lobby.  You can find these on the unfinished wood isle but we are learning that these are very hard to find in stores now.  You can purchase them online at Hobby Lobby HERE but you will have to pay shipping although you can use a 40% coupon.  I purchased the finial at Lowe’s.  It comes in a bag with two for about $2!

I chose to use the Vaseline technique to finish this piece.  You can get a detailed tutorial HERE.  In short, I painted my base coat color where I wanted to distress and then used a very small amount of vaseline to cover the brown.

After I sprayed 2 coats of Rust-Oleum Heirloom White and distressed the edges with an 80-grit sand paper, it was time to construct the tower:)

I used Gorilla Glue Epoxy to build the entire piece.  I started by glueing 4 small candle sticks to the bottom of the large circle.

I used the tall candlesticks in between the tiers

and for the top I attached the finial to one small candlestick.

That was it!

Whit was great and brought me cupcakes to break the new tower in:)  We made a play date of it and my kids loved their surprise after school:)


I got to thinking that this would make such a cute centerpiece even without the cupcakes so I played around with it a bit while I was waiting on my cupcake delivery:)

Now for some exciting news:)  One lucky winner will be the new owner of their very own Dremel Trio!  We will have a giveaway tomorrow so in the meantime, get your creative juices flowing and be thinking about what you would use this nifty tool for!

If you love my new Shanty Cupcake Tower I would LOVE pins below!  Thanks so much:)  ~Ashley

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  • Kori Levine

    Do you still recommend the dremel trio? It seems to be discontinued but they have some on eBay. Thx

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  • stephanie

    i was super bummed! i made one perfect circle for the smallest circle and for some reason the bits just kept breaking for the next two, i even got a few additional bits just in case. 3/4 seems to just burn up the bits. has anyone else had this problem with the dremel trio?? i researched the bits breaking and someone else with a different project said that 1/2 inch wood even made the bits break and the motor burn.

  • Monica

    The stand is great! I love that it is so versatile! Question- do you have a favorite saw that is easy to handle for projects like this? I think you may jave mentioned one beforw but I can’t find the post. Thanks!

  • This is awesome love it!!!

  • Brooke Simmons

    So cool! Love this project. Thanks.

  • Shanon

    how tall are the long candle sticks?

  • Cecilia

    Muy lindooo!!!

  • Kelly

    Update on link for the candle holders at hobby lobby

  • Sheila Belveal

    Love the cupcake tower…that would be great for the grand kids birthdays! Going to make one myself…such easy instructions. I’ve been wanting a Dremel tool to use…even told the hubby that I’d like one.

  • chill285

    Love it! I would never have the patience to make it; I’d rather just buy it like that, but I admire all of you who are creative in this way. It’s gorgeous!

  • carole

    Great design! I really love it, but I personally wouldn’t use Rustoleum. Not food safe.

    • Thanks! It’s a cupcake tower and the cupcakes have wrappers so no worries there:)
      Sent from my iPad

  • Bro4shoe

    So cute. How many standard size cupcakes do you think could fit? I want to make a few for my wedding!! 🙂

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  • Maria

    I love it!

  • Thanks I made one. You make the instructions very clear. Thanks again!

  • vintagegypsy

    I love love love this Cupcake Tower!!!! Its fantastic!!!!!

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  • I love this project so much I am trying it now. Great job!

  • Crissy

    Love this look, great job!!! Thanks for sharing tge tutorial. Love your blog, so many great ideas and tutorials!!

  • Whitney B

    This is amazing. You rocked it out!! I’d love to own one!

  • Rod

    Great design! I did a bit of modification. Instead of using the tall candlesticks, I used two shorter ones and glued them together. Also, I didn’t glue the candlesticks to the discs. I wanted to be able to disassemble the holder so I used hanger bolts and insert screws, both available at Menards.

  • Jen

    Did you pull out the brass grommets from the taller candlesticks? Or, how did you attach with the grommets sticking up?

    • Shanty2chic

      Yes! I use a flat head scenes driver to lift up the edges and needle nose pliers to pull them out.

  • Hi, love this cupcake tower. I just featured it on my blog at
    Thanks for sharing the tutorial

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  • i absolutely LOVE This!!! will you make one for order, and how much!!??

  • Jessica

    I so love this project! It is the Craft featured today on One Good Craft: Congratulations!

  • shantel

    omg these are fantastic! i have already gathered my supplies and begun! what department in lowe’s did you get the finials? i found some at hobby lobby, but love the ones you used MUCH better! thanks for the great idea!

    • Ashley

      Thank you Shantel. You can find the finials, at MOST Lowe’s stores, with the decorative wood and corbels:)

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  • andrea

    What bit did you use. i got a trio for christmas and found it hard to cut through anything thick like a 1 x 4. please tell me what i’m doing wrong…

  • Stephanie

    Hello. This is such a cute idea and I am in the process of gathering materials to make it but am having trouble finding the wooden candleholders that are used at the feet. I went to michaels and the hobby lobby website but was unable to find them. Do you know what brand they are so I can search it by that? Thanks so much!

  • love this!

  • Raven

    This absolutely fabulous…Love it

  • Lana

    AAHHH… Oh my goodness… GORGEOUS!!! and your photograghy is amazing as well!!

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  • I have been wanting to recover an antique highchair, but I need a circle cut… this would be PERFECT!

  • julie

    I love this. I wish I had seen a tutorial like this last year – I would have made one for my wedding!

  • Wow! It looks amazing! I have had my Dremel Trio for over a year now and have never even used the circle attachment. That is going to change right now! Can’t wait it make this cupcake stand! You are so inspiring!

  • Rachel

    I absolutely LOVE this! I’ve been looking for something to display cupcakes I have to make for a bridal shower that wasn’t going to cost me a fortune, I’ll have to make two and it will be less than what I have budgeted so it is going to be GREAT!

  • Serena

    Love it!! I want to make one.

  • Can you tell me the brand name or where I can buy the mini candle sticks? I’d love any information from size, etc? I live in Oregon and don’t have a Hobby Lobby (gasp, I know)!!

    I am going to make two of these!

  • Henrie Marie

    Absolutely Stunning-will be making this soon, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Amanda S.

    I love how this can be multipurpose! Your projects inspire me 🙂

  • Christee

    I love this!!! I would also love a Dremel Trio so I could make one myself—-and finish many more projects too!!

  • Michelle

    So cute! What are the cream colored balls in the picture with the candles?

  • Peggy

    Beautifu, must make one for my daughter and I saw a stool at Target the other day that the circle technique would be perfect on! Thanks for the tutorial.

    • Peggy

      I meant to say Beautiful!!

  • I really like this!! I am loving how you only stain the areas you’re going to be sanding! Saves on time and product I’m sure! 🙂

  • As always, another FABULOUS project!!! You are one of my favorite bloggers!! 🙂 This will be another on my to do list

  • Niki

    LOVE this! Soooooo cute, and looks very easy. I’m going to have to look into that dremel trio. I hate cutting circles with a jig saw

  • L.O.V.E
    That is so fab it’s crazy!! I wish I had tools…any tools! Lol, I am so overwhelmed about where to start so I just avert my eyes…and usually end up back in the paint section!

  • Ester

    I’ve been wanting to make one as well, thought I would just wing it and figure it out as I go but you just saved me time and money. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this design, especially using it with the candles. Great job!

  • This is the cutest thing I’ve seen on Pinterest. can’t wait to make one for myself.

  • Heather

    Love it!!!

  • OH MY! I have been wanting to make a cupcake stand for so long just never got around to it. I think you have given me the kick I needed along with the instructions. Thanks so much for sharing. :O)

  • Charlotte Mc

    This is so cute. Love it. Can’t believe you cut all three circles in 10 minutes! Looks like an awesome tool. Need to try this project.

    • Ashley

      Thank you Charlotte! I did and it cut them so smooth:) I only had to sand them very lightly at the end!

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! One of my most favorite projects! You did a great job!!!

  • Kasey

    This is so perfect!!! Thank you for the inspiration! I have learned so much in this one little post! I can’t wait to read through everything else!!! I am itching to try this!

    How does one enter your contests???

    • Ashley

      Thank you Kasey! Please email us pics of your finished version so we can share them with our FB friends:) We will host the giveaway later today and give you all the details!

  • Suzie

    Love it! This is going to look amazing for my 1 yr old son’s birthday party in June!!!!

    • Ashley

      YaY! Thank you Suzie! Please email us pics of your finished version so we can share with our FB friends:)

  • I love the cupcake stand. I would like to try this project. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Ashley

      Thank you Beverly! Come back later today when we share the giveaway details and you can enter for your chance to win:)

  • Martha

    This looks beautiful! I would use it for birthday parties to show off the cupcakes or small treats.

    • Ashley

      Thanks so much Martha! Love that idea! I’m excited to use mine for a serving tower at a baby shower:)

  • Lisa Hallmark

    So cute! I just made your apothecary jars you posted awhile ago for a bridal shower. And yes, candlesticks (unfinished) are hard to find. Michael’s has some too-FYI! I had to order my finials from Hobby Lobby online as you said. Keep up the Awesome Ideas 🙂

    • Ashley

      Thank you Lisa:)))

  • Kellie

    This is AWESOME!! I just love seeing what you come up with! I would love to use it for parties in my son’s class. Keep your wonderful projects coming! Pinning this! 🙂

    • Ashley

      Great idea Kellie:) Thanks so much!

  • Debbie Leschisin

    This would be a great project to make for my niece’s graduation party. She wants cupcakes instead of a big cake.

    • Ashley

      Fun Debbie! It is such a fun way to dress up cupcakes!

  • I love love love your cupcake stand!!! It looks perfect, I would love to make one like that if I had the right tools and access to cheap wooden candlesticks. I love all your projects, they are always exactly my style!

    • Ashley

      Thank you Emily:)))

  • Brandi

    You girls are keeping me busy! Just finished my Spring Wreath yesterday. It was a hit at our bible study tonight. : ] Guess I’ll have to make a cupcake stand next. Thinking it might be the perfect gift for my bestie’s bday.

    • Ashley

      It would make a great gift Brandi! Thanks so much:)

  • Jessica

    So cute!!! I would use it as a centerpiece on the kitchen table, I think.

    • Ashley

      Thank you Jessica! It would look great on a kitchen table!!

  • Wow. Love!!!!! Great post. Thx!

    • Ashley

      Thanks so much Angela!

  • Liz Prince

    For real?! You girls did it AGAIN… this is the 2nd comment I have left you this week. That means I am impressed 😉 LOOOVE your version of the cupcake stand. Can’t wait to make one for myself!

    • Ashley

      Thank you Liz! That is so sweet of you! Please share yours with us:))

  • This is adorable! I have been thinking of a fun cupcake display for my sons army party next month, and now I want to do this in a different color. It’s just too cute!!

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Ashley

      Great idea Jenn! Please share your version with us so we can share with our FB friends:) Thanks so much!

  • Dawne Pace

    I think it turned out great! I may have to try it- thanks for the tutorial!

    • Ashley

      Thank you Dawne! Go for it and share you pics with us:))

  • I love this! I am pretty sure I could use this every single day. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ashley

      Thank you Anjie! It is my favorite accessory in my house by far:)

  • I love this project. Must. Make. One.

    • Ashley

      Thank you Karen! We’d love for you to email us your pics so we can share with our FB friends when you are done!!!