Cake Pop Stands

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Project by Matt Przybylski posted 05-12-2012 08:06 PM 21615 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone. This is my first official project on LJs (and first non-shop project that I’ve ever done since starting woodworking in October 2011). My sister-in-law is a baker and she makes cake pops, basically lollipops made of cake for those that aren’t aware. She was making some for a wedding that was being held on May 5th and asked me to make some stands for the cake pops to sit in while drying (after being made) as well as for presentation at the wedding and other upcoming events. She sent over some pictures of cake pop stands from “professional” cake pop stand makers and I got to brainstorming and designing my own version.

I was originally going to use plywood for the top/bottom but after speaking with a few LJs in the finishing forum I thought it best to use MDF instead. The top and bottom are made of 1/2” MDF (top is about 10” x 12”, bottom is about 14” x 16”) and the sides are made of 3 1/4” pre-primed pine moldings. Each stand holds 30 cake pops (the holes are 2” OC). They were finished with an Earlex HVLP 5500 (awesome sprayer, my first time using it). There are 2 coats of Zinsser BIN shellac based primer followed by 3 coats of General Finishes Enduro Pigmented Poly (white gloss). I sanded in between coats with 220 grit (between the primer coats) and 320 (after first top coat) and later 400 (after second top coat). They are very smooth to the touch which was exactly what I was going after.

I used bondo to fill gaps in the miters as well as where the top/bottom sits with the moldings. After sanding some of the bondo started to come off (it wasn’t too easy for me to work with, my first time using bondo, kind of a rude awakening) so after the first top coat I decided to reinforce where the top/bottom meet the moldings with paintable silicone caulk. This probably would have been the better solution from the start as it made the transition nice and smooth and almost seamless which was the desired effect.

The inside of each unit has 2×4s around the edges to help it all come together (don’t have a picture of this, unfortunately, but they basically lean up against the inside edges as well as give me a place to glue to the bottom MDF portion) and some styrofoam on top of the 2×4s which the top portion of MDF sits on. This not only allows me to space the MDF properly to sit inside of the top but also puts a kind of stop to the cake pops sliding down through the holes (although the holes fit the sticks perfectly and they probably aren’t going anywhere anyway).

The first image shows the bondo applied to the miter before sanding. This actually worked out better than I expected and you can’t really tell there were gaps in the miters on the finished product.

The second shows all five of the moldings completed (I made five stands for a total of 150 cake pops to be made at once).

The third shows the stands put together before glue up.

The fourth shows one completed stand.

The fifth is a close up of one of the mitered corners. The reflections of the glossy paint job kind of make it look a bit odd but trust that they are very smooth and come together very nicely. You can, however, see a bit of the silicone caulk that was kind of applied last second and some very very small holes in it (at this zoomed in size, normally when looking at them not this close with a camera those aren’t visible, really).

The sixth image shows the stands in use as they were intended.

I’m very happy with how these turned out. Unfortunately they ended up not being used in the wedding as there was a last second change of plans to the theme of baked goods but I’m sure they’ll be useful in the long run. Total time to build these was way longer than expected (about two months time-wise, but actually probably about 4 days actual work time), probably due to the fact that I’ve never worked with Bondo before and that I’ve never sprayed anything before.

I’d like to thank a couple of people who helped me along the way here on LJ:

Everyone in my original “Help with finishing decision on plywood” thread.

From that thread, Kenny, for all the help you offered not only in that thread but in private messages as well. Your responses and thorough explanations really helped me along in my journey on this project.

Earlextech (Sam Hamory) for not only answering my questions in the thread but also putting up with me in emails when I emailed, oddly enough, Earlex tech :) Didn’t realize you’d be the one to help me there as well.

Thanks everyone and I’m happy to finally be able to post my first project here on LJ. I’ve got some of my shop projects nearing completion (don’t we all always have “just a bit more” to finish on the shop stuff?) which I hope to post shortly.

-- Matt, Arizona

11 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4838 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 12:40 AM

well move over wheel and mouse trap

cake pop stands are here

what will we they us
think of next

great work matt
and a good step by step
explanation of the build
and finishing

keep ‘em coming

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View waho6o9's profile


9203 posts in 4074 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 03:09 PM

Turned out great Matt, thanks for posting.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

584 posts in 3875 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 03:42 PM

Thanks for the kind words, I had alot of fun making them.

-- Matt, Arizona

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3962 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 03:51 PM

So, the ultimate question is, did they come in cheaper than the retail ones that your sister wanted ?

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

584 posts in 3875 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 04:00 PM

@Crashn: absolutely! The only thing I messed up on was pricing out the finishes. Since I’d never sprayed before I ended up buying a gallon of primer and gallon of the poly “just in case”. I only used roughly 1/4 gallon of each so alot of that cost was lost. I told my sister in law to only pay for what I used but she ended up being very generous about the whole thing and paid for everything. The BIN I found on sale for $33 locally at menards and the GF Enduro Poly I could only get from Jeff Jewitt directly (not alot of places stock this poly, and even more don’t stock the colored version). It was quite expensive ($63 + $15 shipping) but in the end I think it was worth it as the finish looks exactly how I wanted it. I may have been able to get away with spraying something else and then putting a clear poly on top but still I’d probably end up buying a gallon each of that so price might have ended up buying the same. In the future I’ll know better how to estimate my finishes and how much I’ll probably end up using on a certain sized piece. This was definitely a good learning experience.

-- Matt, Arizona

View Heathers's profile


1 post in 3582 days

#6 posted 09-10-2012 03:18 AM

Wondering where you got the beveled edge mdf that you used on the top of the cake pop stand…..having a hard time finding them
thanks so much
great stand and instructions

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

584 posts in 3875 days

#7 posted 09-10-2012 03:23 AM

@Heathers: It’s just regular MDF with a roundover routed on it. Inside of the mouldings there is a 2×4 thats a 1/4” lower. The MDF is 1/2” MDF with a 1/4” roundover on it and it just sits on top of that 2×4 so it looks like its floating and is even with the top of the moulding.

If you end up making these please post a pic. I’d love to see how yours turn out!

-- Matt, Arizona

View Corinne's profile


1 post in 3503 days

#8 posted 11-28-2012 04:01 AM

Wow- these look great! I actually have a cake pop business in Toronto- I would live to buy these! Shame they weren’t used for the wedding!

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

584 posts in 3875 days

#9 posted 11-28-2012 03:11 PM

@Corinne: Thank you! It just so happens that I’m about to make another batch of these for some more people. If you’re interested you can get in contact with me and I can make some for sale for you as well. It’s always better to make them in batches than one at a time.

-- Matt, Arizona

View Sammo's profile


81 posts in 3167 days

#10 posted 09-22-2015 11:42 PM

Matt…..great job…..I am actually researching this very subject and I am glad I ran into this thread. I have made cupcake stands and cake stands in the past for family only. I was recently asked if I could make a cake pop stand for a wedding next month. I agreed and now I am in full planning mode. They are asking for a 3 tier stand with a capacity of 150 pops. I will use much of the generous information you posted here to help me.

Thanks again!

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

584 posts in 3875 days

#11 posted 09-23-2015 02:07 PM

Sammo, thanks and I hope everything goes well for you. Please do post some pics of the finished stands when you’re done, I’d love to see them!

-- Matt, Arizona

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