Graduation season is here and with multiple parties happening in the next month I wanted to help my nieces and nephews celebrate in style with a DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand and Cake Plate! Simple supplies that can be found at craft stores merge with supplies from my stash to create fun graduation cap decor pieces that showcase school pride. Customize the graduation caps with colored tassels made from embroidery floss, then just switch them out from party to party. We've now used these stands for one college and four high school graduation parties and counting!
How to create a DIY Graduation Mortarboard Cupcake Stand and Cake Plate
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Here's what you need to make a Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand:
- Americana® Acrylics by DecoArt – Lamp Black, Tuscan Red, and Bright Blue
- Americana DECOR® by DecoArt – Speciality 1″ Angle Paint Brush
- Therm-O-Web iCraft Ultra Bond Adhesive Liquid Glue
- Zots Adhesive Dots from Therm-O-Web
- Embroidered, self-adhesive letters and numbers – Varsity 3″ Red and White, BHS/2022; Varsity 3″ Blue and White, RVHS/2022 found at Michael's
- Terra Cotta Pots – Cupcake Stand 10″; 8″; 6″ and 4″ (one each); Cake Plate 10″ (one); Graduation Cap Accents – 4″ (four) from the hardware store
- Wooden Squares – Cupcake Stand 12″; 10″; 8″ and 6″ (one each); Cake Plate 12″ (one); Graduation Cap Accents – 6″ (four) found at Michael's in the artist canvas section
- Embroidery Floss – red (4 skeins); blue (1 skein); black (2 skeins)
- Buttons – black 1″ (5); red 1″ (2); blue 1″ (2)
- Scissors – I love my Fiskars!
Here's how to create a DIY Cupcake Stand:
Apply a base coat of Lamp Black on the two 10″, one 8″, one 6″ and one 4″ terra cotta clay pots and the two 12″, one 10″, one 8″ and one 6″ wooden squares. Use the 1″ DecoArt Angle Paint Brush to make quick work of the painting! Allow the paint to dry completely and then apply a second coat, if necessary. I love DecoArt Acrylics because on most surfaces they provide a one-coat coverage, using less product than other paint brands.
To make the large tassels for the cake and cupcake stands, measure and cut one (1) 24″ length and one (1) 12″ length of floss from the red and blue skeins. Thread the 24″ length through the folded end of the skeins. Tie the 12″ length around the skein in a knot. Wrap the ends around several times and then knot again. Trim ends with scissors and then tuck the knot into the center of the tassel. Trim the folded end that is not tied to create a large tassel.
To create the small tassels, measure and cut two (2) 24″ lengths and two (2) 12″ lengths of floss from each of the two black skeins. Thread the two 24″ lengths through the two folded ends of the skeins. Tie the two 12″ lengths around the skeins in a knot. Wrap the ends around several times and then knot again. Trim ends with scissors and then tuck the knot into the center of the tassel. Then cut the skeins in half to create two tassels from each skein.
Apply the embroidered letters by peeling off the backing paper and applying them directly to the base of the painted terra cotta clay pot. I placed the school initials on one side and the year on the other side of the two 10″ pots.
Attach the red and/or blue tassels to the center of each of the Lamp Black painted wooden squares with a Zot Adhesive Dot and then place a black button on top. Adhere the black tassels to the center of the Tuscan Red and/or Bright Blue painted wooden squares with a Zot Adhesive Dot, and then place a coordinating red or blue button on top. The Zots are moldable and super strong but are not permanent, so you can take the cupcake stand apart for storage!
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKE STAND
Stack the terra cotta pots and wooden squares on top of each other using Zots Adhesive Dots to secure the layers from largest to smallest. Trim the tassels, if necessary. Pivot the square graduation cap tops, so that the cupcakes will be easy to reach. Using four Zots evenly spaced around the top and bottom edges of each of the clay pots will keep the tops and layers securely in place. The cupcakes are in paper liners, so they can be placed directly on the painted surfaces.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE PLATE
Stack the 12″ wooden square on top of the 10″ terra-cotta pot using Zots Adhesive Dots. Trim the tassel, if necessary. Using four Zots evenly spaced around the top edge of the clay pot will keep the top securely in place during the cutting of the cake. Since this is a 12″ square a 10″ round cake will fit nicely on top, just lay down a paper doily first.
ASSEMBLE THE MINI GRADUATION CAPS
Since these are permanent decorations, attach the 6″ wooden squares to the top of the 4″ terra cotta clay pots with Ultra Bond Adhesive. Allow the glue to dry for at least 2 hours and then trim the tassels, if necessary. I'll tell you a secret, I have painted over these graduation caps four times now since 2015. They went from red to blue, to purple, and back to red.
Create a DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand and Party Decorations
I hope that you have enjoyed my tutorial to create a DIY Graduation Mortarboard Cupcake Stand and Cake Plate and you will use my project as inspiration to make something TODAY! Switch up the colors, school initials, and numbers to create a design that is custom to your graduate! Our family has been using these decorations since 2015 when my niece graduated from high school.
When finished with the cupcake stand, clean with a damp paper towel, carefully remove the layers, and then wrap in tissue paper to store. I like to remove the embroidered letters, which might leave some marks on the paint, but you can touch up the paint colors before the next use. I also remove the buttons and tassels and store them in small plastic zipper bags.
Sharing is Caring!
Too busy to make this DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand and Cake Plate right now? Pin it for later! I'd love for you to pin this project to your favorite craft board on Pinterest and then it’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.
If you cannot find the exact size of terra cotta clay pots and wooden squares, then use what you can find to make the cupcake stand. Pair a wooden square that is 2″ larger than the diameter of the terra cotta clay pot. Just make sure that the sizes are graduated and you have at least a large, medium, and small set to stack.
More Graduation Inspiration
If you enjoyed this tutorial, DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand please check out my blog post 16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas that the Grads ACTUALLY want to receive!
Thanks for stopping by!