Cake Stands: Innovation When Experiencing Desperation

by Jenny Bryde 11. August 2010 00:18

Hello all, I've calmed down from my mini temper tantrum from last week.  Turns out, all I needed was a project, and boy do I have a good one for you this morning.  Today I am going to give you a play by play account of how a mildly frustration situation resulted in a really fun project that I got to do with my fiance that turned out spectacularly! 

A long time ago when I was first searching around the blog world, I came across this picture.  I thought it looked so cool to have multiple smaller cakes...very homey...very cool.  I loved the pedestal cake stands which seemed to make the cake look like giant decorative candles of some sort. 

So I started the hunt for pedestal cake stands.  You can find some really amazing ones out there if you're willing to fork over the price.  Check out this adorable 12" cake stand that is made by Vessels and Wares for $160.  It's beautiful, but $160 is really outside of my price range when I could just suck it up and rent a silver one from my rental company for like $20. 

So I kept thinking.  Then one day, another blogging bride posted this picture of her cake table which made me gasp for a couple reasons.  1)  Not only did she have awesome large pedestal cake stands, but they were also bright yellow which just so happened to be our color.  2)  I looked to see where she had purchased these lovely bright yellow pedestal cake stands only to find out that her father actually made these out of wood and painted them for her!  Awesome! 

So I started drawing some pictures and making a list of what I would need to make my own super cool yellow pedestal cake stands.  Then I super sweetly asked my fiancé if he would help me with cutting the wood as power tools give me the heebie geebies.  He was happy to oblige. 

So here we are.  We started with this sheet of pine (I think) that we got from Lowes.  I was going to buy a smaller piece, but my fiancé insisted that we get extra in case of mistakes.  I also bought some pre-cut and routed circles from Hobby Lobby, and some short staircase spindles from Lowes. 


Turns out that we ended up using all but about three inches of this stuff, so I’m glad we did.  We wanted to make one stand that was 16x16” and two stands that were 12x12”.  We also wanted to put a second smaller layer under the first layer to add some depth and some additional sturdiness to the top of the stand, so we also cut a piece that was 13x13” and two that were 8x8”.  (I didn’t take pictures when we were cutting the wood because I was being Helper Girl.  J)

Fast forward to where all the pieces are cut to size.  Now we are ready to make the edges pretty.  A raw cut piece of wood is just flat, and I wanted to add a curved edge like you see on molding pieces.  To do this, you need to use a router.  Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is because I had no idea.  Apparently my fiancé is some secret carpenter because he had all these things ready to go.  Basically a router takes a sharp metal bit and spins it around really fast which, when moved along a piece of wood, carves out the nice molded edge. 



This is what it looked like when we were done.  See all that feathery stuff?  Don’t worry…it won’t be there for long.  That’s where I come in.  Helper Girl took off her glasses, donned her cape, and became Sanding Girl.  Some simple sanding along each edge and side (don’t forget the nooks and crannies) will take off all the “feathers” and will make your edges nice and smooth and ready for painting.  I used 220 grit sand paper. 


Ooops!  How’d that happen?  To this day, I’m still not sure.  Don't worry...we'll fix it...



My fiancé came to the rescue again with some wood putty which is kinda fun to use.  You use take a putty knife or your finger and mush this stuff into any hole or gouge in the wood.  Then it needs to sit overnight to dry.  Then you need to go back over it with the sanding paper again. 



Okay!  We have perfectly cut, routered, sanded, and repaired pieces of wood that are ready for paint.  Before I put a drop of paint on these bad boys, I needed to get any leftover dust or debris off of the wood by running some tack cloth over all the surfaces.  Have you ever touched tack cloth?  It’s tacky.  I mean, you’ll need to wash your hands afterwards…it’s weird, but it does the trick.  Think of it like the ultimate Swifter. 

Now we are ready to prime.  This step is super important!  Wood is a porous material which means that it will suck moisture in rather than leaving it on the surface.  Have you ever seen an untreated deck verses a treated deck after a good rain?  An untreated deck looks soaked while a treated deck has water beaded on the surface.  Lots of people try to skip priming, but don’t you dare be lazy!  You’ll be happy in the end that you did.  Anyhoo, this is the can that I used.  I got it at True Value, but you can find it just about anywhere.  I can vouch for this brand that it worked really well.  In fact, I had started out with another brand that did not do very well, so I had to go out and spend more money to get this brand.  Gr… learn from my mistake and get the good stuff.


Here’s my wood all primed and ready for paint.  And this is where my awesome step by step picture taking ceased to exist.  My camera went through a melt down and refused to work, so let me just sum it up.  I used two entire cans of Valspar gloss yellow spray paint and one can of double glaze gloss finish paint.  I wanted to make the surface glossy like a ceramic platter and also food safe.  Note:  My stands are not glossy like ceramic, but they are pretty shiny.  Also, spray paint is toxic, so I plan on putting down a piece of wax paper between my stands and our cakes so that I don’t poison our guests.  Don’t eat paint chips. 

Then after all the pieces were painted, my fiancé came back in to play by attaching everything by predrilling holes and then using long screws to attach all the layers.  It’s important to do this carefully because this step will make your pedestal stands either steady or totally topsy-turvy. 

Here is our finished product!  They are exactly what I had envisioned, and I’m so happy with them!  I told my fiancé that we should quit our jobs and start a square yellow pedestal cake stand business. 




If you’re interested in making your own custom cake stands, here’s a summary of the materials that we used to make three cake stands: 

·         Pine plank from Lowes ~ $15

·         Saw/Router/Drill – If you have these, great.  If not, maybe you can hunt for pre-cut and routered pieces…I’m positive that they exist somewhere.  Or maybe you’ve got a friendly neighbor that would help you if you mowed their yard or baked them some cupcakes.

·         Sand Paper ~ $5

·         Tack Cloth ~ $2

·         Primer ~ $5 each can (I used two.)

·         Paint ~ $5 each can (I used two.)

·         Glaze ~ $5 each (I used one.)

·         Screws ~ $2

 So that’s it folks.  We are set for our desert table! 

But, I’m curious…where have you turned frustration into innovation by creating something for your wedding??  Share on the message board!    

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Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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