Monday, May 24, 2010

Adorable Cake Plates (if I do say so myself)

I love to bake, so it will come as no surprise that I also love anything having to do with baked good presentation. Little boxes, tiny doilies, baker's twine, ribbon, labels, serving platters, fancy toothpicks; I love them all. So when a friend threw a baby shower for Max's mommy and had dozens of cupcakes displayed on brightly colored, many-tiered dessert stands, I had to ask her where she got them. And the shocking answer was that she made them with stuff she bought at the D.I. (For anyone not in the know, the D.I. is just like the Goodwill.) Plates and candlesticks that didn't even match or look cute to begin with were magically transformed into the most adorable cake plates with a little glue and some spray paint. Of course I had to make some too, but I couldn't limit myself, oh no, so I made 6. And I only spent $39 total, including 4 different colors of spray-paint! Here's how you can make some adorable cake plates too:
  • Go to any second-hand store and look for plates. They don't have to be very cute, but if they have a nice, raised design or a scalloped edges or something interesting going on along the edge, it'll turn out really cute. Also look for candlesticks. Make sure they have a nice, fat bottom and a flat top. I didn't pay attention to the tops when I bought mine, and one of my trays is wonky because the top of the candlestick wasn't flat to begin with. None of your pieces have to match at all!

  • If you don't already have spray paint, go buy some in the color of your choosing. I bought a bunch of Krylon for $3.27 a can at Walmart.
  • Remove the price tags and all of that nasty adhesive with Goo Gone, then wash all of your plates and candlesticks in hot, soapy water. Let them dry.
  • I skipped this step, but it probably would have been helpful, which is why I'm including it: using a measuring tape or ruler, find the center of the bottom of your plate and mark it. I'm a notorious eyeballer. I never measure anything if I don't have to. And pinning when I sew? Let's just say I've had to pick out many a crooked seam. Ahem.
  • Get some really tough glue. I LOVE E6000. Seriously, I use it all the time. Crafts, home repairs, you name it. Anyway, carefully squeeze a thin line of glue all the way around the top of your candlestick. With your plate face-down, place your candlestick (glue-side-down) on the plate. Let it all sit, untouched, for the amount of time prescribed by the glue bottle. If you want to make a tiered cake plate, make several individual cake plates and glue them together after the initial application is dry.
  • Take your cake plate into the backyard, put it on something like an old cardboard box that you don't mind covering with paint, and spray away. Continue adding coats of paint until you like how your cake plate looks. Let the paint dry completely before touching.
  • If you want to put food directly onto your plate, you need to seal it with something, but I didn't have any luck with that, so I can't help you there! The clear acrylic I put on my lovely turquoise stand made the paint blister. My plan is to use my stands for things like cupcakes where the food doesn't directly touch the cake plate, or to put a cardboard cake circle or a doily or something between the cake stand and the food.


  1. Wow what a great idea. Thanks for posting the steps.

  2. Looks beautiful! I love what some good quality spray paint can do! :)

  3. Isn't it amazing what a can of spray paint can do?!!! I made two cake stands ... I used a recycled Starbucks Frap glass bottle for the one. Super cute. I'll have to send you a pic or show you the next time you deliver yummy red velvet cupcakes to my door!!! KV

  4. A friend and I just made some of these...but oh how I love the spray paint idea!

  5. beautiful idea! i was just looking for cake stands and now i can go and make my own! THNX!

  6. Hey there. I love this idea and plan on doing it for my wedding. I'm a guest blogger for affordable utah weddings and was wondering if I could link this DIY project on that blog.

  7. What a transformation, not to mention, a terrific project idea!