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Monday, August 09, 2010

How to Make a Homemade Cake Stand

How to Make a Homemade Cake Stand 1

It's been several months since I promised a tutorial on how to make a homemade cake stand. I finally got around to doing it when I made a cake stand as a bridal shower gift for my friend E(L).

(Look away E(L) if you don't want to see how little I spent! Actually, we've been friends for so long I know she doesn't care about things like that. Besides, the cooking lesson is worth waaay more. :P)

Anyway, the plates were finally washed and the photos are somewhat styled so you should get a better idea of the possibilities. Think of how pretty afternoon tea can be!

This was the cake stand I made for E(L). I figured simplicity was best so I chose a plate with silver trim and silver leaves on the inside rim. Glued onto a glass candlestick.

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The cake stand was modeled with banana caramel cupcakes made by lil' sis.

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Let's get started shall we? How to make a homemade cake stand for less than $1 (or $3 if you're not as good a bargain-hunter :P .)

How to Make a Homemade Cake Stand
Inspired by Design*Sponge

You'll need:
Candlesticks and/or heavy glasses or goblets
Epoxy, industrial-strength adhesive
Books, cans, or anything heavy to weigh the plate down
Ruler or measuring tape

I hit up the Salvation Army Thrift Store during one of its 50% off store-wide clearance sales and scored the candlesticks and glasses below for about 45 to 60 cents. Upturn the glasses and make sure they're straight and solid so they can hold up a plate and food. Obviously, wine glasses or similarly thin goblets would not be suitable. The plates ranged from 45 cents to $1.74 (that would be for the fancy Limoges).

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Epoxy is an industrial-strength adhesive that can be found at most hardware or craft stores. I bought mine at Jo-Ann for about $4. Make sure it's the invisible, transparent kind.

A measuring tape will help you make sure the plate is centered on the stand.

And you'll need heavy stuff to weigh it down.

Then it's a simple matter of applying the adhesive to the candlestick and putting it on the plate. The glue won't stick right away, so you have time to measure the distance between the candlestick and the plate to make sure it's centered. Epoxy can be toxic, so make sure you're in a well-ventilated area and that you're not gluing a surface that will touch food.

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Then carefully flip the cake stand over. I added tuna cans to evenly distribute the weight. Then a few books on top of that. Then my cast iron enameled tomato pot. Probably excessive, but I wanted to make sure it stuck.

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Leave overnight to make sure the glue sets.

And you get this.

Ooh. Ahh.

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Of course, the trick to making a nice homemade cake stand is choosing just the right candlestick or glass to go with the right plate. Also, make sure you scrub every last bit of candle wax from the inside rim of the candlestick.

The view from on top.

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Of course, there are endless combinations.

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So let's look at some of them, shall we?

A smaller plate with shorter candlestick.

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Perfect for mini cupcakes or cupcake balls. This combo was 90 cents, 45 cents for each.

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A heavy glass goblet to support a heavy glass plate. This one cost a little more than $2, mainly for the plate.

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A short vintage goblet for a slightly smaller plate.

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The plate cost $1.74 but it was Limoges. Funny thing. At the thrift store, the goblet was quite yellowed, which I thought fit well with the plate since it made the whole cake stand look vintage. Turned out, the glass just needed a good wash.

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I still think it's a pretty combo.

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A more typical goblet, but quite heavy and sturdy.

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Which I paired with this awesome Chicago souvenir plate that cost $1.74.

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There's the cake stand in its entirety.

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And styled with leftover store-bought cookies. (I didn't buy the cookies mom! They were a gift and I obviously didn't eat the sweets since they're still all on the plate. OK, OK. I ate one, but only one! :P )

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Cupcakes were courtesy of E(L)'s bridal shower.

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Now, don't you want to rush out and make some too?

Oh yeah, and while epoxy is very strong, hand wash the cake stand just to make sure it lasts. Although, Lan of Angry Asian Creations used a glue gun and said she had no problem with hers.

And if a single cake stand isn't enough for you, I also have a post on How to Make a Homemade 2-Tiered Cupcake Stand or How to Make a Homemade 3-Tier Cupcake Stand.

Other craft projects can be found on my quilting page. Ha! Yeah, I know. Random.

If you'd like to purchase these handcrafted cake stands, check out my Wandering Chopsticks Etsy Shop.

1 year ago today, Banh Mi Thit Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs Sandwich).
2 years ago today, spicy Sichuan cuisine at Chung King Restaurant - San Gabriel.
3 years ago today, one of my most popular recipes, Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef).


  1. Wow, this is a great idea! Really inexpensive and fun to make. :) Thanks for sharing, I would have never thought of it myself. Too bad it can't be swiveled so that you can frost a cake on top of it. But wow, I love it!

  2. hi wc - what great ideas! thanks for sharing them! i have a bunch of old candlesticks and little plates from when i used to scour thrift stores back in the day. i really like the chicago plate you have - very cool! the possibilities are endless.

    all i need to do is buy some epoxy. or maybe i can go the glue gun route...

  3. very neat idea, and best of all, they are unique designs :D

  4. x3baking,
    I had a fun time trying to come up with various combos of which plate would look best with which stand. If you want a swivel stand, just buy a cheap lazy susan from IKEA.

    See? You had a purpose for all those plates after all. I think the epoxy is a lot more sturdy. Glue gun tends to not hold as well for other projects for me. Unless you want this to just be a temporary cake stand anyway.

    That's the best part! No one else will have one like it.

  5. Inventive and beautiful looking! Plus, they are one-of-a-kind.

  6. Wow, hey - I couldn't help repeating "(insert obscenity)-ing rad" while looking at this. I've been drooling over the thought of having a kitchen full of cake stands, but cried a little every time I looked at them in department stores - boring and (AND) over priced.

    Thanks a million for posting.

  7. hi wc - i love DIY projects.

    i will have to buy some epoxy soon. it will last longer than glue gunned stuff anyways.

    i can't wait to do this! i bought a few cake stands for half off years ago during target's after xmas sale...i have a cake stand in the living room with a plant on top. i have one in the kitchen that i put a bowl of fruit on. i also use a smaller one to put napkins on when we have people over (when setting up my buffet table).

    making your own is so much better than buying some boring @$$ thing at the store that everyone else will have.

  8. awesome! i cant wait to do this i love cake stands. the purple one you posted is my favorite of the bunch

  9. This is awesome! Major props on making something beautiful and affordable. Guess what everyone is getting as a housewarming gift from now on (with a cake of course)!

  10. 5 o'clock tsp,
    Thanks! Imagine all the possibilities for afternoon tea!

    Food Gal,

    X Melissa,
    I've found plenty of nice cake stands at TJ Maxx/Marshall's and Target for less than $10. No pricey department store versions for me. But yeah, now I have even more to add to my kitchen.

    I have two from Target, one from TJ Maxx, a tiered one from the Salvation Army thrift store, and a metal folding one from eBay and now all of these. :P

    That's my favorite too. And the Chicago one.

    Haha. I was just thinking about all the bridal showers I'll be going to in the future. :P Besides, with a cake to go with the cake stand, I don't think anyone will complain!

  11. Thanks for this great idea. I have collected plates for years, what a great way to show them off.

  12. you are so creative...these are really cute!

  13. what an awesooooomeee idea! :) thanks for sharing!

  14. Amy,
    I've collected plates for years too!

    Haha. Are you going to make these and hunt for tea sets too? :)

    Chocolate Cup,
    You're welcome. Great ideas are meant to be shared. After all, that's how I stumbled upon this idea.

  15. I did this project a while ago but recently got a ceramic marker. I was wondering if I could draw on my already made cake stand, because i have to set the ink at 150 degrees celsius in the oven for about 35 mins. Will the epoxy burn?

  16. Kellviete,
    The epoxy label says to keep away from heat or flame, so I definitely would not stick it in the oven. I would just make a new cake stand. Draw on it first and then glue it together.

  17. These are gorgeous! I make them too with beautiful things I find at thrift store. My fave one is all milk glass. I like your mini ones for cupcakes.

  18. I have wanted a cake stand for a long time, and this is the perfect way to get one that is unique. Thanks for a great idea.


  19. Natasha,
    Ooh, I like milk glass. I just haven't found much that I like at my local thrift store.

    No problem! Cake stands are so expensive and this is such an affordable way to get some.

  20. And this is PERFECT! Just trying to figure out how to make some cake stands for a wedding I am planning. The bride wants vintage centerpieces. Can I just say how much I love this post? Yes? I LOVE THIS POST! Thanks!

  21. About Twig & Vine,
    I think making homemade vintage cake stands are perfect for weddings and bridal showers!

  22. I've been pondering this homemade cake stand business for a few days now - getting married and instead of one big cake, I want a few smaller (and differently flavored!) cakes, but I wasn't sure how to tie them together into a cohesive-looking bunch. This is great! There's a Salvation Army near me I always need more reasons to patronize.

    I read a tip from another site - the candlesticks/glasses/vases that make up the support could be filled with pretty things for even more flair. So many possibilities!

  23. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

    Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

  24. Travelin' the ways,
    You can definitely get similar looking or colored plates and do it. I've seen where some brides spray painted the plates so they'd all look the same.

    Do try. They're inexpensive and fun.

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this. I bookmarked it and showed my mom. For months we have been collecting candle stick holders, wine goblets, plates, bowls and vases. I love how fun it was to put together, mixing and matching them. My mom and daughter and I put them together tonight. We have several more goblets and vases left so we will be on the lookout for plates and make more!! Thanks, again!! Love it!!!

  26. These are great ideas...but I'll make mine out of plastic for my fake cakes!

  27. Bridgett,
    I didn't even think of what a great family activity this is to do. I'm glad you had a great time making them with your mom and daughter. I've made several since then for bridal showers. All my cousins wanted cake stands.

    Haha. I love it. Fake cake stands for fake cakes! :)


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