A Trolley Cake Stand is the perfect addition to any Daniel Tiger birthday party. It’s easy to make from items found around the house.
Tyler is obsessed with Daniel Tiger. Everything we do in our house is based on a Daniel Tiger special song. Seriously, we know them all. So of course, his third birthday is going to be Daniel Tiger themed. I wanted to build a trolley for the cake stand, looked some ideas up online, and went from there.
We had a lot of Daniel Tiger decorations around the house. I purchased some plates and napkins with Daniel Tiger. We decorated the house in colors that matched the show and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Tyler asked for a way to do trolley rides for his friends but the best I could do was a trolley cake stand. I thought about trying to set up some locations from the show, such as the post office, the crayon factory, Dad Tiger’s clock factory, the castle that Prince Tuesday and Prince Wednesday live in with their family, and the neighborhood library. But, then I remembered it was a bunch of three-year-olds and they just wanted to run around and play.
My favorite piece was the DIY Trolley Cake Stand that I made. I wanted a way to display his cake and this was perfect in the middle of the dessert table. I used it to hold a small cake, but it would also work as a cupcake stand, too.
Originally, I wanted to make cake pops and was going to poke them through the trolley as a holder. But those didn’t turn out well the first time so I quickly made a small cake and cupcakes. It was just a small cake, like his first cake, but enough for a few pieces. Then the rest got the cupcakes.
This was a big event for us, though, because it was the first party we held in our new house.
Originally Published On: June 3, 2016
Last Updated On: August 8, 2023
The Trolley Cake Stand Template
There is a tutorial with some great ideas on the PBS Kids website: http://www.pbs.org/parents/birthday-parties/daniel-tiger-birthday-party/decorations/trolley-box-dessert-stand/. I made mine my own way, though, since I didn’t have all the right supplies. It’s easy to work with what you have on hand and find different things that will work. For most of the cake stand, I used things I found in our recycle bin. It was a great way to reuse those items, and it didn’t cost me any extra money.
Starting the Project
I started with an empty diaper box. Really, any box will do as long as it is rectangular. I originally tried to paint the box, but it wasn’t sticking well and just didn’t look good. I think if I had gotten some spray paint it may have been better. But I didn’t have any and was doing this all from things I found around the house. So I went to all my scrapbooking supplies and found some red scrapbooking paper that was enough for what I needed. I wrapped that around the box and taped it all on. It was so much fun to try to make this work for Tyler.
After the sides were done, I added two pieces to the top that were big enough to hang over the sides. This was fun to put together. It reminded me of doing a school project as a kid.
I printed out the printable windows off the PBS website and attached those to the sides and front. Then I cut some wheels out of black paper to put underneath. They weren’t perfect, but since it was lifted they’ll never know it would be a bumpy ride! I used the hot glue gun to glue the trolley on top of an old blackberry container. This would lift it up a little bit so it doesn’t rest on the paper wheels.
The last thing I did was cut a small circle out of yellow paper to be the light. Tyler insisted that Trolley had to have a light because that’s what makes it say “ding ding”! I put that on one side, then also cut the corners of the top piece and glued them in to give it a bit of an angle. It may not be the greatest out there. But Tyler thought it was so cool, and that’s what matters since it’s his birthday!!
I purchased a set of characters to use for the decorations, including Daniel Tiger and all of Daniel’s friends: O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Prince Wednesday, and Katerina Kittycat. And, of course, there was a Trolley cake topper, too.
Happy Birthday, Tyler!
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