I am practicing making these and How in the world do you ladies get your cupcakes so nice and tight together? I tried and I just keep on bumping them and messing the icing up. How big is your bucket or container you put them in?
I have used a 4 inch and a 5 inch ceramic pot, and have done them with mini and reg size cupcakes. What I did was I made all the cupcakes and iced all of them with a crusting buttercream first. Then I assembled the toothpick on the syrofoam ball in the pot. By the time I was ready to mount the cupcakes my icing had crusted so it was easy to place them on without messing up the icing.
I have done the same thing. I have found that the little bit of icing that come off when it is crusted is not really that noticable.