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. Jackie on January 22, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Love this! Where can I find the stemmed trio?

  2. Theresa Maher on March 9, 2020 at 9:42 am

    I know this is an older post but I am finding that the Dremel Trio link doesn’t work or maybe it’s called something else?

    • Ingrid on October 3, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued. There are some on Ebay. Not sure if there was another product that was introduced after this was discontinued.

  3. Lisa on March 2, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Can I see a better picture of the finials you used for the feet? I looked at my Lowe’s and could not find those.


  4. Stacy on January 20, 2019 at 8:44 am

    What are the finished dimensions, please?

  5. Stevie on May 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    What was the final size of the entire piece?

  6. Kori Levine on October 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

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

  7. stephanie on June 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    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.

  8. Monica on May 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    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!

  9. Donna Mayes on May 9, 2013 at 7:38 am

    This is awesome love it!!!

  10. Brooke Simmons on April 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    So cool! Love this project. Thanks.

  11. Shanon on March 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    how tall are the long candle sticks?

  12. Cecilia on February 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Muy lindooo!!!

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

    Update on link for the candle holders at hobby lobby

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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!! 🙂

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

    I love it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  22. 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!!

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

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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

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

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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:)

  30. 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…

  31. 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!

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

    love this!

  33. Raven on April 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

    This absolutely fabulous…Love it

  34. Lana on April 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

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

  35. Chantee Willis on April 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm

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

  36. julie on April 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

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

  37. Tara @Urban Hoot on April 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    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!

  38. Rachel on April 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    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!

  39. Serena on April 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Love it!! I want to make one.

  40. Jessica Wilcox-Modern Moments Designs on April 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    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!

  41. Henrie Marie on April 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

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

  42. Amanda S. on April 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

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

  43. Christee on April 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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

  44. Michelle on April 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

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

  45. Peggy on April 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I meant to say Beautiful!!

  46. Kassi @ Truly Lovely on April 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

    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! 🙂

  47. Mrs Mike on April 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

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

  48. Niki on April 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

    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

  49. Nicole @ scrap me baby on April 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

    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!

  50. Ester on April 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

    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!

  51. Anne Rodrigues on April 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

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

  52. Anne on April 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

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

  53. Heather on April 20, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Love it!!!

    • on July 29, 2018 at 11:41 am

      ? I’m so so happy with how mine turned out! I used the plans at www. to build mine – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha ?????

      ????? Check it out! Go to www. – click the pink link above for some more plans! Best of luck on your building adventures! ✨✨✨

  54. Margo on April 20, 2012 at 7:17 am

    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)

  55. Charlotte Mc on April 20, 2012 at 6:53 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 7:05 am

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

  56. Lolly on April 20, 2012 at 6:26 am

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

    • Kathy on April 15, 2022 at 6:16 am

      I love this, just found this post 10 years later but this week be perfect for something in doing this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  57. Kasey on April 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 7:06 am

      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!

  58. Suzie on April 20, 2012 at 6:13 am

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:31 am

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

  59. Beverly Ebersole on April 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:31 am

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

  60. Martha on April 20, 2012 at 5:57 am

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:09 am

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

  61. Lisa Hallmark on April 20, 2012 at 5:55 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:09 am

      Thank you Lisa:)))

  62. Kellie on April 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:09 am

      Great idea Kellie:) Thanks so much!

  63. Debbie Leschisin on April 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

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

  64. Emily on April 20, 2012 at 1:55 am

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:11 am

      Thank you Emily:)))

  65. Brandi on April 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:11 am

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

  66. Jessica on April 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:12 am

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

  67. Angela on April 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Wow. Love!!!!! Great post. Thx!

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Thanks so much Angela!

  68. Liz Prince on April 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:13 am

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

  69. Jenn @ One Thrifty Chick on April 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    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 on April 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

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

  70. Dawne Pace on April 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:15 am

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

  71. Anjie B. on April 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm

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

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:15 am

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

  72. Karen @ The Quaint Cottage on April 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I love this project. Must. Make. One.

    • Ashley on April 20, 2012 at 6:16 am

      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!!!

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