Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How to make a cake stand from vintage china

There is something so wonderfully exciting about dining al fresco but sadly it’s often a style free zone. If like me you long for the days of Victorian decadence where tea was served in china regardless of the location and slumming it might mean forfeiting the finger bowl but never napkins then this craft project is for you. Nothing makes a party look as elegant as including a cake stand. A pretty cake stand can lift even the most humble shop brought pastry into something worthy of a Parisian patisserie. Here’s my guide to making one of your very own for under a tenner.

You will need:
Selection of plates
A 3 Tier cake stand fixing (these can be found on ebay and many online craft stores they usually cost about £6)
A fully charged cordless drill with a tile drill bit. This is important, as a normal drill bit will break your plates.
A screwdriver
A pen
A tape measure

Step one

Probably the most time consuming part of the process is sourcing your plates. Charity shops, car boots and jumble sales are great for this. Remember the plates don’t have to match; in fact it can look prettier and more unique if they don’t. I always try and tie the plates together in some way whether it be a theme (birds, flowers or toile for example) or by complimentary colours but this is entirely up to you.
You will need a dinner plate for the bottom, side plate for the middle and either a saucer or teacup for the top. Be warned very occasionally if a plate has a hairline crack or is especially delicate it will break when you drill it so this is not a project to do with your grandmothers irreplaceable dinner service.

Step 2
Make sure your plate is clean and dry. Take your tape measure and measure the diameter of the plate and use your pen to mark the middle. This will act as your drill guide.

Step Three
Time to put on those safety goggles. Before I start I put a little bit of water in the plate to keep the drill bit & plate cold. Always drill your plate somewhere it won’t slip and where you are not going to drill into something precious underneath. A workbench is ideal but if like me you don’t have one of these put it on the grass in your garden. Slowly drill where you have marked the middle until you have gone all the way through. Repeat until all three plates have holes in the centre. It’s worth noting that the glaze on some vintage plates makes it impossible to drill through. When this happens just choose another plate.
Step Four
Start with your bottom plate. Put your washers on and then poke the bottom screw into the plate. Put a soft washer on the topside of this plate and then apply the cake stand fitting. Repeat until all three fixings have been attached. For your top tier you can either opt for a small saucer or for a more Alice in wonderland feel put a china cup on top. Perfect for putting pretzels or lollypops in.

Step Five

Hold the most magnificent tea part with your new cake stand taking centre stage.

Toodle Pip


  1. increeeeeeeeeeeeedibleeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  2. Beautiful! Perfect for cakes but also perfect full of crafty things. Excellent tutorial. x

  3. Wow! This is such a fun project and it looks awesome with the cakes on it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is super lovely Miss Beautiful Bee!! My boyfriend recently made me lamp from a teacup & Saucer, I should take a photograph to show you, perhaps a new project for you too? I know you would LOVE it!! x

  5. I would love to see that Alice-Im always looking for new ideas xx

  6. Thanks so much for sharing..I have a good excuse now to buy some more china plates..off to the boot sale :)

  7. This is gorgeous. Someone told me you have to use a diamond drill but and when I asked about a tile drill bit, she said it wouldn't work. So you proved her wrong! Ha!
    Also she said to use lots of water when drilling.....so you don't do this?
    Do you have to drill partly through one plate and then turn it over to do the other side or not?
    Best tutorial yet!
    Gem x

  8. Hi Gem
    You can use either type of drill bit. the tile drill bit is a bit cheeper than a diamond one and is a bit messier but ive found it works fine. I do actually wet my plate very slightly before drilling to keep it cool (might add this actually)n but dont use lots of water but each crafter will have their own approach so whatever works best for you. I just drill through the plate from one side, so no need to turn it over and in fact I would think it would be more likely to crack if you did this. Have fun trying and let me know if you make one. Would love to see the results

  9. Have the raw materials and am now raring to go; although I shall ask my husband to drill the holes - being a novice I don't want to break them! Love your look, and the fact your teapot matches your outfilt! A girl after my own heart, except I'm a pink lady...... !

  10. LOVE these! Thank you for sharing the "how to"! I had googled for instructions and your site came up...I'm so glad it did!
    Have a most beautiful day...and enjoy your al fresco dining in elegance & style!
    ;-D Kathleen

  11. Lovely! Just came here via the Guardian and am 'favouriting' as we speak.

  12. Thanks Skybluepink, kathleen and Lucy. Its such an easy craft project and the end results always impress and they make even Mr Kiplings look fancy xx

  13. This is awesome! I'm going to post this and you on my blog tomorrow if you don't mind? :)

  14. Hi Josie-That would be fabulous-whats your blog?

  15. Only just noticed you replied to my above comment on your blog so sorry if you thought I was rude not not thanking you for your above advice. Sorry!
    Just came back on this post after reading your party post for your other half's 40th!
    Still not got round to the cake stand but I will and promise to show you if it is a success.
    Come and visit my blog sometime if you fancy. I am mad about vintage plates, charity shops and shove a bit of hectic family life in there too.
    Gem x
    x x x

  16. Hi gem
    I am already a reader of your lovely blog xx Good to meet a fellow vintage china botherer xx

  17. Ooh are you? I didn't know that! (spring in step, all of a sudden).
    Can't wait to hear about your Hallowe'en plans as thinking of having a tea party for my kids and their friends as well!
    x x

  18. Great idea..But how will somebody manage to have something in it??I think it would be uncomfortable..have you tried ever??

  19. Dear Diamond Core Drill bit. Im not sure I understand the question. I have filled cakestands with both snadwiches and cakes and they looked very "comfortable"

  20. nice idea to make tasty cakes and breads.
    Diamond Core Drill


  21. I want to to do this with my china dishes. Where can I find the gold part that connects the plates?

    Thanks Betty!!!

  22. I get mine from ebay. Just put "China plate fixings" into the search and you should find a seller. Happy drilling!

  23. My vintage china collection would be IDEAL for this!

  24. This looks amazing. I can't wait to make some for my daughter's Fancy Nancy Tea Party Birthday. Thank you for sharing!!! : )

  25. Recent years have shown a tremendously growing popularity in the number of people who are remodeling their homes on their own, without hiring a professional.cordless screwdriver


Skimlinks Test