DIY Cake Stands: Tutorial

My sister is graduating from KU in May. She graduates a year early with an exceptional overall GPA (The highest in her school!) and a 4.0 GPA in her major. She will also be speaking at her graduation ceremony. Basically, she is awesome. The graduation reception is hosted at our place. We were going to do cupcakes, but after perusing Prydes and finding awesome cake pop baking pans, we decided cake and brownie pops were the better options.

Of course, we had to test out the pans that night. Dustin did all of the baking.

Dustin Baking

Instead of buying a cupcake/cake stand, we chose to make some ourselves.


Here’s what you need:

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks


Fabric (Three fat quarters would probably work.)

Three burner covers

Three candle stands


We found candle stands at Hobby Lobby. If you are going to do a tiered stand, I would recommend cylinder-like candle holders with small bases. These take up too much space to stack. Also, I think the different heights look the best.

Candle Stands

For the plate part of the stand, you could use cardboard or any other sturdy material. We chose to buy burner covers because we wanted something with a lip to hide the fabric better. We bought a package of four from Target, but you could probably find them cheaper at Wal-Mart or a dollar store. Two were large and two were small. We ended up using the two large ones and one of the small ones. If you can find three different sizes, that would probably be the best.

Burner Cover

We chose KU colored fabric. The yellow, in case you were wondering, represents the beak of the Jayhawk.


Lay the burner cover on top of the fabric with the flat surface down. You will want to cut the fabric into a square (or circle if you really want to go to that much trouble). There needs to be enough extra fabric to fold over the top and down into the bottom of the cover. We will trim later, so don’t worry about the excess.

Upside Down Burner Cover

Using a hot glue gun, put glue around the inside edge of the burner cover. I only did two to three inches at a time. Then fold the fabric over the lip. This took three people, but you could manage with one. I did the gluing. My sister did the folding. And my dad held the other side of the fabric taught so it was easier for my sister to fold. If you are doing it by yourself, just make sure the fabric is not loose when you are gluing the opposite side.


There are going to be some puckers, but you can smooth them out by folding the fabric and tacking it in place with some glue. The underside can be as ugly as you want…nobody is going to see it. If you want the bottom to look pretty, there are some ideas below.


When you have all of the fabric glued down, turn the cover over and make sure the fabric is smooth. If it’s not, you can pull up the fabric and re-glue it down so the fabric is smooth.

Fabric Covered Burner Covers

Turn the cover back over and trim any excess fabric. You might also want to tack down any fabric that is not laying down.

Untrimmed Fabric Covered Burner Cover

Trimmed Fabric Covered Burner Covers

At this point, if you didn’t like the underside being unfinished, you could cut a piece of paper, cardstock, or cardboard and glue it over the trimmed fabric. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could use decorative paper. We just decided to leave it unfinished.

We thought about not even gluing the covers to the stands since they balance nicely, but when you have cupcakes or cake pops or whatever balanced on the stands, you don’t want the balance to be interrupted by people taking the items only from one side. It would be sad to watch any sort of dessert fall.

You could just eye ball this part and stick some hot glue on the candle stand and then glue it in the middle of the bottom of the burner cover. However, if you want to be more precise, lay the burner cover upside down again and center the candle stand in the middle. Draw a circle around the candle stand. Then hot glue the top of the candle stand and place it on the drawn circle. Let dry and then turn upside down. 

Ta da! You have a beautiful cake/cupcake/cake pop stand!

Finished Cake Stands

Finished Cake Stands

Obviously, the fabric could get messy and gross, but hot glue comes off pretty easily, so you can recover the covers again and again and again. Another/easier option would be to top it with a clear vinyl circle or cover it in clear plastic wrap.

To make a tiered stand, just stack and glue two or three of the completed stands together. The bigger covers should be toward the bottom to give the stand the proper tiered effect. I suggest planning out the tiered stand before beginning to glue the covers onto the stands.

The next part is the hardest part. Make enough cupcakes to fill the stands and try not to eat all of them yourself.

  1. Sharon B’s avatar

    Great idea!



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