I made the 4 levels with 1/4″ thick boards. Not sure exactly what types of boards they were… not particle board, and not plywood. They were sort of light-weight but would withstand the weight of the cupcakes without too much give.
Dimensions of each levels:
24″ x 22″
20″ x 18″
16″ x 14″
12″ x 10″
The center support was a 4″ x 4″ post that was cut into three 7″ pieces (they did this for me at Home Depot – they actually found scrap posts and they cost me about $1)
I secured this by screwing the post into the bottom of the top three levels. The stand is actually 4 separate pieces. For the first post, I placed 4 brackets around the bottom to stabilize. I wrapped fabric around the brackets to disguise them. The other pieces were able to use the the 4″ x 4″ posts for support and therefore I did not have to use any other brackets.
For the decor, the barn is actually a birdhouse turned around and painted. I found the fences and some of the farm animals at Michaels. I found other farm animals Hobby Lobby.