My Material Life

Make Your Own Mix & Match Cake Stands

Have you ever wanted a tiered cake stand, but thought you didn’t have room to store it? I did. But before we went to Vancouver last month I found a wonderful project in Peter Fehrentz’s book, Made by Yourself (from my local library). It was a four-tier cake stand made from mismatched plates that he connected with various pieces of metal hardware from the hardware store that were painted neon pink. (Click here and use the bar at the bottom to scroll to the right to see it.) I decided that old plates would make the perfect souvenir for the trip and I would follow his lead to create my own cake stand when we got home. I also realized that if I could put a stand together I could take it apart again and my storage problem would be solved.

Only I couldn’t find any old plates – not singles, anyway. I’m sure they were out there somewhere, but I only encountered antique shops with entire collections of plates behind glass cabinets. I did, however, find a lovely little plate in the gift shop at Butchart Gardens. The two plates that complement it – one in content (flowers) and one in color – came from a local shop. And because I was in charge of this cake stand, I could use all three of my plates or only two or even just one.

I love the people in this scene. I get an early 1970s Van Camps Pork & Beans

I love the people in this scene. I get an early 1970s Van Camps Pork & Beans “simple pleasures are the best” kind of feel from them.

Once I had the three plates I decided to go online and see if I could just buy hardware for my cake stand rather than have to cut metal tubing for the rods between the plates like in the Fehrentz book. Indeed I could; I found the best selection at an Etsy shop called myEroom. I purchased the green set, a silver metal set, and an instructional set that included a drill bit for plates, a template for finding the center of my plates for drilling (did I mention that you need to put holes in your plates for this project?), and an additional set of hardware. Inspired by the neon pink hardware in the book, I decided to color the silver set of hardware with some yellow Plasti-Dip. I’ve been wanting to play with Plasti-Dip for some time now; that can has been in the garage for at least a couple of years.

The hard part of making the stand was getting the drill to bite into the plate. I couldn’t keep the drill bit steady; it was sliding everywhere. Then my husband offered to take over – and I let him. He suggested I use a piece of masking tape over the spot I want to drill next time. Other than that, putting the pieces together is simple. Just follow the instructions that come with your hardware. And I do recommend myEroom for the selection, tips and value – even though the shipping (from Australia) was high for me.

To store your stand, you can remove your hardware and stack your plates to save space. If you have a sewing machine handy and some felt and ribbon, you can even make a storage roll to hold your hardware as well as some felt circles to place between your stacked plates.

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