DIY Shanty Cupcake Tower

I am soooo excited about this Cupcake Tower!  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″

Then 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.  Then 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 cupcake 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. 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


  1. Kelly on January 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Update on link for the candle holders at hobby lobby

  2. Sheila Belveal on December 5, 2012 at 2:48 am

    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.

  3. chill285 on December 3, 2012 at 3:44 am

    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!

  4. carole on October 24, 2012 at 7:11 pm

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

    • Shanty2Chic on October 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm

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

  5. Bro4shoe on September 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

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

  6. Maria on August 31, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I love it!

  7. Shelly L Nemeth on August 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

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

  8. vintagegypsy on August 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

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

  9. Christine Lalonde on July 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

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

  10. Crissy on July 16, 2012 at 6:21 am

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

  11. Whitney B on July 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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

  12. Rod on July 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    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.

  13. Jen on July 1, 2012 at 7:23 am

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

    • Shanty2chic on July 1, 2012 at 9:56 am

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

  14. Virginie on June 10, 2012 at 6:59 am

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

  15. helen john photography on May 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

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

  16. Jessica on May 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

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

  17. shantel on May 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    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 on May 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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

  18. andrea on April 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    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…

  19. Stephanie on April 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    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!

  20. mcvick on April 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    love this!

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