We had a birthday party for my in-laws recently and I made a couple of cupcake stands for the event.
I started with 4 boards.
The biggest was a 12'' square and I chopped off an inch and a half off of each of the other boards
tiering up to the smallest.
I also cut (3) 5'' pieces of PVC pipe for each stand.
The size of the boards and the length of the PVC can be adjusted to fit your project,
just make sure that you have enough room to comfortably display your cakes.
I found the center of the boards by tracing diagonal lines across each square.
I eyeballed the position of the PVC pipe and traced it.
Tracing the pipe gives you a guide line for your glue.
I used E-6000. I was a somewhat skeptical that it would adhere to wood and PVC,
but I let it dry for 24hrs and it was completely solid.
My SIL had some old wooden napkin rings that she was getting rid of, so she let me use them for my feet. You could use wooden dowels or whatever you can find to raise the stand up off the ground an inch or two.
After painting, I hot glued ribbon around each board.
Of course it's not possible for me to tie a decent looking bow, so these are made with 4 different pieces of ribbon. One big loop with a smaller loop glued around the center and two separate pieces trailing from the back.
Each of them can easily hold 30 cupcakes.