All of the awesome people I know like food. Yet how many of those people have an awesome cake stand on which to serve their food in a hip and appealing way? With this project, you can create a fabulous gift for the next wedding, birthday, housewarming party, or graduation on your calendar AND help to curb this frightening epidemic. Oh, and by the way, the multifunctional part means that your cake stand can serve everything from crackers and cheese to hot wings to pizza. Just don’t tell the cake. It might get territorial.
The other day, as I flipped through one of the many magazines my mother gives me each month, I spotted a lovely glass cake stand – for $325.00. Somewhere in the middle of snorting, I realized that it must be a magical cake stand that does laundry, pays the electric bill, and prevents root canals. This cake stand won’t do any of those things, but it will look fantastic – at about a hundredth of the price. What’s more, you can give your cake stand personality with original Alice in Wonderland art from wonderstrange! (Like this!)
Before I delve into the instructions, allow me to explain why I am providing wonderstrange line art for this tutorial. It’s not that I don’t like your art; it’s that I have a pet peeve. I hate it when projects in magazines show some wonderful hand drawn creation, followed by a piece of instruction like, “Step 1: Draw a vintage Santa and four elves holding sprigs of holly delicately edged with frost.” Seriously?! There are a lot of people in the world who don’t feel ready to whip out a drawing like that! So for all of those people – and all of the times I wanted to punch a craft magazine in the face – I am providing drawings that you can print out and color with paint, markers, watercolor pencils, or whatever else you like to use. Plus, with the line art provided, you can concentrate on making an awesome background! Like this!
- A glass plate. You can usually find glass plates at Goodwill for $0.99 or $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.
- A candlestick, vase, sundae glass, or similar object to serve as the base. Make sure that it has a good, flat surface where you can apply super glue.
- Loctite or other super good super glue
- Krylon or other sealant or fixative spray
- Mod Podge or other decoupage glue
- A drawing (one of yours or one of ours, available at the bottom of the tutorial)
- Paints, markers, or whatever you plan to use to color the drawing
- A Zig or other thin black marker for going over the lines
- A pencil
- Measuring tape
- Spray paint (completely optional)
- Ribbon, string, beads, and other embellishments for the base (optional)
Making Your Cake Stand
1. Clean your plate and your base. Scrape away any wax or price tag residue, and wash everything thoroughly. Set the base aside.
2. Create or print the line art of your choosing. If you’re creating your own drawing, be sure to use a piece of paper at least as big as the bottom of your plate. If you’re printing one of our drawings, you can use regular old printer paper or a piece of card stock; either will work. You’ll find the downloads at the bottom of this tutorial.
3. “Trace” the bottom of your plate onto your paper. Your “canvas” for this project is a circle the same size as the bottom of your plate. Unfortunately, you can’t just trace the bottom of your plate onto your paper, because the rim is in your way. That means you have to be a little tricksy and follow a process like this one:
- Lay your drawing flat on your work surface. Put the plate on top of the drawing and decide where you want your Alice to be located. Burn this decision into your brain. Seriously. You should smell smoke.
- Now lift the plate and remove your drawing. Turn the plate upside down. In a second, you’re going to be pressing your paper against the hard rim (see picture, below) to create an impression of the center of the plate.
- Place your drawing face up on top of the plate. Remember that decision you burned into your brain a few seconds ago? Position Alice where you want her, keeping in mind that you’re now creating a mirror image. (In other words, if you decided you want Alice to appear a little to the right of center, you should put her a little to the left of center.)
- Hold the paper in place with your non-dominant hand. Press the paper against the hard rim, running your thumb or finger around the entire circumference. This will make an impression in the paper.
- Take your pencil, and using the side of the lead, shade over the hard rim. Use the impression you just made to guide you.
- Phew! Now you have an exact outline of the circle you will later cut – plus a little extra shading, which you can easily erase as needed or desired.
4. Color, color, color! Grab your paints, markers, and pencils. Fill in your Alice and then get to work on your background.
Here’s a fairly simple background, created with a mix of acrylics and watercolors:
You can also go for more detailed layered look – but please note that in decoupage, actual layers create problems. You’ll need to make a color photocopy of your work and decoupage the copy to the plate, which is what Cindy and I did in these examples:
5. When your work dries, spray it with a coat of Krylon, which will dry in about 20 seconds. If you don’t spray your work with Krylon, the ModPodge may trash what you just worked very hard to create. And that would be sad.
6. Smear the front of the drawing with ModPodge. This part is super fun because you get to dip your fingers in a jar of ModPodge and pretend you’re finger painting.
Do the same thing to the back of the plate where you’re going to place the drawing.
7. Press the drawing to the underside of the plate, then smear more ModPodge over the back and all of the edges, smoothing the paper from the center out . Your object here is twofold: First, you want to remove all of the air bubbles, which are your sworn enemies. (You will be able to feel the air bubbles, even when you can’t see them. It’s kind of cool, so don’t get distracted. Bubbles. Enemies. Ferret them out!) Second, you want to saturate the paper with the glue to get the best possible bond between the paper and the glass. If you’re using printer paper, be gentle but thorough. If you’re using card stock, you can be slightly more vigorous.
The front of the plate, by the way, will look goopy under the glass – and that’s okay. That’s the way it’s supposed to look.
8. When you’re finished, gently wipe away excess glue from the plate with a wet paper towel or sponge.
9. Once the ModPodge dries, apply a second coat. Allow that coat to dry.
(Step 9.5, a.k.a. The Totally Optional Step. If you wish, you can spray the back of your plate with spray paint, as I did with one of my samples. It creates a very nice look, as you can see below.)
10. Spray the back of the plate with two coats of Krylon.
11. Measure the back of the plate from top to bottom and side to side so you can mark the middle. Don’t give up and eyeball it because you can’t find your measuring tape. I have wrecked three cake stands that way in the past, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Measure and measure again, then mark your center.
12. Apply super glue to your base, and adhere the base to the plate using your mark. Apply pressure for 30 seconds, or whatever amount of time your brand of super glue recommends, then set your fabulous creation aside and admire it. A lot.
13. Embellish the base as desired with ribbon, raffia, a tag, beads, etc.
Care & Preservation of Your Amazing Cake Stand
You may want to let the recipient of your cake stand know that the cake plate cannot be microwaved, put in the dishwasher, used as a camping tent, or submerged in water. The top can (and should!) be washed between uses, but the underside won’t fare well if it gets wet. Krylon is water resistant, but definitely not waterproof.
We are delighted to provide this artwork to you, with the following understanding: By downloading any of these files, you acknowledge that they are still protected works. You may create gifts for your lovies or items for yourself, but you may not sell those items. Don’t make us send the minions after you.
(Click any image to see a full-size version. Click the orange link to download that image.)
Be sure to send a picture of your cake / hot wings / pizza plate to firstname.lastname@example.org!