The Homemade Cupcake Tower

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Do you know how I know that my husband and I are absolutely perfect for each other?

Because whenever I tell him, “I want to make (insert any “much easier to just go to the store and purchase” item), he says, “Okay,” and then marches his cute little self on out to the shop to search for materials.

A perfect example – the cupcake tower.

Because the girls are having a joint birthday party this year with more guests than we usually have, I thought that it would be simple and easy to just make cupcakes for everyone. Naturally, I wanted to display them in a fancy way, so I looked at cupcake stands at various stores, but being the stubbornly frugal person that I am, I didn’t want to pay $20-$25 for something that looked so simple to make. I gave the matter some thought, and I told my husband that I needed 5 circles – 16, 14, 12, 10, and 8 inches in diameter. I originally thought that I would make them out of double thickness, corrugated cardboard, but we had a sheet of masonite (a very inexpensive, thin, wood hardboard) leftover from another project, and we thought that it would be more sturdy. My husband cut the circles with his jigsaw, and painted them with a partial can of cream-colored spray paint (leftover from when we painted DJ’s name letters for his room).

The girls wanted an iCarly theme this year, and I found iCarly party supplies dirt cheap at Birthday Mania. I decorated the cupcake tower in coordinating colors- purple, green, turquoise, and pink. I anchored the tiers together with (full) 28-ounce cans of tomato puree for the larger tiers, and 15-ounce cans of kidney beans for the smaller tiers. You could also use clean, empty cans if you have them, provided that they have a wide enough base to support the weight of your tiers.

I covered the cans with scraps of decorative paper and ribbons, leftover from various scrapbook projects. A few dollops of hot glue on the can rims holds the entire structure together. This could also be easily and inexpensively assembled with round cake boards (available at Micheal’s, or you can cut your own cardboard circles with a template). Just trim the unfinished edges with ribbon.

When the party is over, the entire thing can be quickly and easily dismantled. The cans will go back into the cupboard, and the tiers will lay flat for storage. When we need a cupcake tower again, I’ll just dig them out and reassemble it.

And the cost? FREE! (My favorite).


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Heather is a minimalist in love with a recovering packrat. 7 years ago, she and her husband sold pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down in order to pay off their mortgage, and they've been living happily debt-free ever since. They have 3 hilarious little kids who were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, and they haven't had a good night's sleep in the last decade. Heather is an anglophile who loves all things British, and spends her free time looking at real estate listings in Cornwall. Every day, she and her family work toward a simpler, more meaningful life. Some days are awesome, some are disastrous, and you can read about all of them here.

Have a question? Need a listening ear? Contact Heather, or visit Want What You Have on Facebook.

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