A while back I found this curious object at the consignment store. I thought it was some kind of office equipment, since it had several clips attached to it, and the three baskets spun around. The baskets looked like flowers with big petals to me, and I thought with some upcycling love it would make a cute cupcake tower for the wedding.
A little research revealed that the object was, in fact, a shoe rack in its previous life. Inspiration comes from curious places sometimes! I set about rehabbing it with a new paint job first.
I disassembled the rack, then sanded the old paint off with steel wool—whoever had painted it the first time hadn’t primed the metal, so the paint came off easily. After priming with an anti-rust primer by Rust-oleum, I spray painted all parts with a Krylon paint in “Ocean Breeze” that adhered to both metal and plastic, since the basket supports were plastic.
Because the baskets were a little deep for cupcakes—I had visions of wedding guests reaching in and accidentally poking fingers in the frosting—they needed a boost, a shelf for the desserts to sit on. I purchased four 8 x 1-inch styro-foam rounds from the floral department at Michaels (four so I could use the first one as a test, which was helpful). I determined the center of each round and using a set of foam carving tools, cut each in half, then carved out a center hollow for the rack’s center pole.
After cutting, I painted each of the rounds I planned to use. I’d hoped, at first, that the paint would smooth the surface, but the styro-foam texture showed through. I looked for some pretty papers to cover the rounds, selecting a handmade blue paper with a silver filigree design for the undersides. It was a greater challenge to find something for the tops. Initially, I went with a solid deep coral.
Then, I gathered other supplies for inspiration: beads, trims, ribbons, tulle. To cover the awkwardly-shaped clips anchoring the baskets, I wove strips of orange tulle through the small inner rings of the top and bottom baskets, and strips of cotton polka dot fabric through the middle basket’s inner ring.
After layering the blue-and-silver paper under each round, I then glued the two halves of each together with hot glue. The first coral paper didn’t work, so I searched my stash and came up with two other papers to use for the tops of the rounds: the flower print is from Heidi Grace Designs’ “Cartwheel” collection, the coral print from Michaels’ “Recollections” line, in “Orange Floral.” Then I wrapped each round with one of two different orange polka dot ribbons (by Offray) and hot glued the ribbons in place.
Then it was time for the finishing touches. I added some tulle and ribbon to the top handle, and dressed up the base with more tulle and turquoise daisy trim.
And, of course, no cupcake tower would be complete without cupcakes!