Last weekend, my mom and I tackled another DIY project for my wedding. My mom has made really cool cake stands and tiered tea-cake stands in the past using thrifted dinnerware. She gets really creative with it. So, when it was time to design the look of my dessert table, I knew I wanted to make cake stands with her.
We're going to have a small wedding cake on a stand at the center of our dessert table with a variety of tiered stands of all heights surrounding it, displaying key-lime tarts, powdered donuts, clementines, and assorted candies.
We made a lot more stands than are shown here (but I've got to keep some surprises for the wedding!), and just think how much prettier they'll look displaying treats at my wedding (instead of the random assortment of Oreos and marshmallows that I pulled from my kitchen cabinets for these photos).
It's a really simple process. Basically, you need to select a smattering of plates and trays for the tiers. Then you need some pieces to use I bases and risers. I've found that small bowls and teacups turned upside-down make really good (and sturdy) bases, and that glassware makes good risers. Candlesticks make great risers, too, and can make good bases if they're sturdy enough.
Once you've decided how you're going to match up your pieces, just glue them together using a strong ceramic glue, and let them cure for a good 24-72 hours (or as long as your glue directs you).
If you're making a lot of stands, we've found that the creative process works best if you overbuy a bit. You really need a good assortment of objects in front of you for maximum variety potential. And, since everything is so cheap, it's okay if there are a couple pieces that you don't end up using. Just donate them back to the thrift store for some other lucky person to find; it's the circle of life.
A word on making these sturdy:
The biggest challenge here is making sure that your creations are sturdy enough. Obviously, you want to keep larger tiers at the bottom, selecting smaller ones as you move up, but I have a few other tips and tricks that might be less obvious.
01. In general, single-tier cake stands should have elevating bases, whereas multi-tier stands should be grounded with a plate.
02. Make the bottom heavy and the top light. If you've got a candle stick with a marble base (like the ones pictured), use it as a base for a stand, not as a riser three levels up on a multi-tiered stand. Basically, use gravity in your favor, not against yourself.
03. Use your best judgement. If something feels precarious, it probably is. See if you can rearrange the elements you love together in another way that's sturdier and just as cute.