DIY: How to Fake a Cake Stand

Or…how to make your own cake stand if your cake is too dang big for a glass or ceramic one.

Image via My Sweet and Saucy


Among the many things I love, I would like to officially add pedestal cake stands. Especially those of the milk-glass variety, yes siree. And though they can be a bit pricey, they elevate your cake with such visual oompf that they are so worth it. Regardless of whether you’re dishing out a lot or a little dough*, adding a pedestal cake stand always seems to make it cry, “Look at how beautiful I am!” I bet you didn’t know that cakes could talk, but that is exactly what any cake would say if it had such a throne.

(*haha, silly cake pun)

Image via Potluck Studios

When we booked our cake vendor, I mentioned that I really wanted to incorporate a pedestal for our cake. I was told that I would need a stand that is at least 16 inches in diameter, preferably 18 inches, so that our cake base would have enough stand to sit upon. So off I went on my merry way to find the perfect stand. I searched thrift stores. I searched antique stores. I searched online. I searched ALL OVER and could not, for the life of me, find any sort of ceramic or glass stand that was large enough, let alone made of milk glass. I’m convinced they don’t exist. (I later learned from our cake lady that glass or ceramic may be too fragile for 20–30 pound cakes, so keep this in mind if you’re having a full cake.) And while Etsy has some beautiful handmade ceramic stands, they were all way over our budget. This is where you call me a hypocrite, because I just finished telling you they were worth the price. OK, I take that part back.

But they ARE worth finding a way to DIY, and Mama Bunting had just the solution. She found a large wooden pedestal at a thrift store and thought, “Hey, this is pretty neat!” And neat it was, but the top was nowhere near large enough for anything more than a cupcake. So then she thought, “Hey, why don’t we attach a Lazy Susan to it?” BRILLIANT. Lazy Susans are pretty easy to find, so we picked up a cheap one and then set Daddy Bunting to work on the project.

Unfortunately, I forgot to ask Daddy Bunting to take progress photos, but with the help of online photos and my “after” photos, you’ll be able to get the idea.

What you’ll need:

Personal photo

  • Lazy Susan
  • wooden pedestal base
  • ruler and pencil
  • countersunk screw and drill
  • all-purpose adhesive caulk (Make sure that it is also paintable.)
  • primer spray paint
  • spray paint in color of choice

Step 1:

Image via Quality Butcher Blocks

Image via The Bridal Shop

Acquire a wooden pedestal and Lazy Susan. Try searching for the pedestal at your local thrift stores and home and decor departments. Make sure the pedestal is sturdy enough to support a cake, which may weigh a lot. (If you’re still unsure, better to be safe and ask your cake caterer than be sorry and have a tipsy tragedy.) Lazy Susans can be found at most department stores, or places like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Step 2:

Image via Kitchen Fantasy

Remove the spinning underpart of the Lazy Susan so you have the large, flat circle. This should only take a screwdriver, though it will depend on the type of Lazy Susan you get. Prep your pedestal if you need to, as well. We had to saw off a small candleholder/knob on the top of ours to get a flat top.

Step 3:

Personal photo

Using two rulers positioned in a cross, find the center of the Lazy Susan and mark it with a pencil on the TOP of the surface. (Note: if you have a different technique for finding the center, by all means go for it!) This is where you’ll drill a screw into the top circle to secure it to the pedestal. Don’t forget to double check that your center-point is indeed at the center by confirming that all distances are the same from center to edge no matter how you rotate the ruler. Don’t worry if it’s off just a tad; as long as it looks centered no one is going to be taking a ruler to it. Or will they…? No, no, just kidding—there’s going to be a cake on top, remember?

Now flip over the Lazy Susan and place the pedestal facedown on top of the Susan, so you have a cake stand that is upside down. Take some time to re-position the pedestal until it is centered. This is key to making a cake stand that is well balanced and sturdy, so take your time. Once you’ve got it shifted right, trace around the diameter with a pencil so you have an outlined guide drawn on the bottom of the Lazy Susan.

Step 4:

It’s caulking time! With your adhesive caulk, draw a line around the perimeter of the pedestal base that will be attached to the Lazy Susan. Now flip it over caulk-side down, position it to fit within your drawn outline (on the underside of the Lazy Susan), and press down! Use enough pressure to get the pedestal flush with the Susan.

Step 5:

Image via DIY Doctor

Carefully flip over the cake stand so it’s right-side up. It’s starting to look like something now, isn’t it? But the caulk won’t be enough to hold the two together, so we’ll attach them using a countersunk screw. Countersinking will allow you to drill from the top of the Lazy Susan while still maintaining a flat surface for your cake. Using the center-point you marked with a pencil, drill your pilot hole through both the Lazy Susan and pedestal base, then follow by drilling the countersunk screw until it is flush with the surface.

Step 6:

Gap free! (personal photo)

You’ll probably notice that there’s a gap between the pedestal base and the Lazy Susan piece, but that’s easy to fix. Flipping the stand so it’s upside down again, take your caulk and draw a very thin line around the perimeter of where the two pieces are attached. Now smear this into any gaps, and wipe away the excess for a clean finish. We used our fingers, but you can use something else if you don’t want to get that dirty.

Take this time to dab a little bit of caulk or wood putty in the part where the screwhead is on the top. Again, wipe away any excess. Once it’s had time to dry, you can even sand away any excess residue if needed.

Step 7:

After letting the caulk sit for the appropriate time, prime the entire piece by following the instructions on the can. We did a few coats of primer to make sure it was evenly covered.

You’ll have to wait for each coat to dry before moving on, but once it’s all primed it’s time to paint! We used a semi-satin-finish white spray paint to give a nice, finished look. It may be no hobnail Fenton, but it will certainly get the job done!

Personal photo

Did anyone else find a way to incorporate a cake pedestal without reducing the size of the cake drastically?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Bunting

Birthday:
December 23
Location:
Grand Rapids, MI
Wedding Date:
June 2011

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  1. Member
    MassageBee 166 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:53 pm

    FAB!

  2. Member
    freckles4819 12 posts, Newbee @ 7:17 pm

    That’s really resourceful! I love it!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Jamie, Guest @ 7:47 pm

    SugarDerby had a DIY article on making cake stands as well as party platters out of old china. Saves you a few steps.
    http://www.sugarderby.com/blog/2011/1/28/the-2nd-best-thing-to-do-with-a-plate.html

  4. Member
    LeDayz 37 posts, Newbee @ 7:54 pm

    THANK GOD, we really need this with the planned 18″ base layer we want :-D

  5. Member
    alicatinthehat01 11 posts, Newbee @ 7:54 pm

    Awesome! I LOVE the navy and yellow at the top! Nautical is my fave!

  6. Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 7:55 pm

    @Jamie: Thanks for the link! We’re doing that with some china to use as cookie platters, but unfortunately our cake lady says that china and porcelain isn’t strong enough to support a 20-30lb cake. They’re perfect for mini cakes and pies though!

  7. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:04 pm

    This is brilliant! Why are large cake stands nonexistent?

  8. Member
    geminidream 113 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:47 pm

    For DD’s cupcake/cake tower I am doing something very similar but it will be 8 layers and in between will be a big fat curvy turned-wood piece that is the middle of a floor lamp I thrifted. Can you imagine paying for a custom stand like you got? It’d be outrageous and yours is one-of-a-kind and made with love. Plus not being a hobnail Fenton you’ll be able to use it safely for years and not have to store it instead.

  9. Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:04 pm

    Great way to get what you want when you can’t find it in the stores! Can’t wait to see it in action.

  10. Member
    magic 640 posts, Busy bee @ 10:14 pm

    Awesome tutorial!

  11. Member
    blanket 211 posts, Helper bee @ 11:15 pm

    Beautifully done, team Bunting! That ended up gorgeous looking and I can not wait to see your cake screaming “Look at me, I’m so pretty!” on top of it. I too, was set on getting a cake stand and couldn’t find one that pleased me. Plus, I was getting frustrated because all the bakers I met with kept telling me it would not hold the cake and that they would just not risk it. I did have to go for a smaller cake (“10), but that was pretty much what I had in mind anyway. I totally would have settled for a “9 or even an “8 just to be able to use the stand, though. It was very hard to find a perfect glass cake stand “10 or bigger in my area. Cake stands just aren’t common around here, especially in weddings. Cakes just tend to go “Hey, how’s it going. Some party huh…”. Anyhoo! I finally fell in love with a $20 stand from Amazon that could not be shipped to my country, but luckily my brother from the US bought it and then had it shipped to me. Victory! It was perfect and my baker ended up using it for me (I had told her to AT LEAST try it before dismissing it, and boy did she!). Now my bakery sister has a cake stand she absolutely adores (and I, my pictures!).

  12. Member
    quiche 3150 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:04 am

    I love this! I also thought the same thing about the stands made from china & glass – not strong enough! Yours will definitely be sturdy enough for a tiered cake. :)

  13. Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:58 am

    Nice, Bunting! :) Can’t wait to see your cake on it.

  14. Member
    Miss Canaras 75 posts, Worker bee @ 8:32 am

    oh man, that blue and yellow at the top is amazing! and awesome that you and your family are all crafty enough to make your stand!

  15. Member
    Zinzerena 4207 posts, Honey bee @ 9:17 am

    Very awesome!!!! It’s GORGEOUS!!!!

    See, this is why I love having a brother who’s a carpenter… I can manipulate HIM into doing these jobs for me!!!!

    Kudos to Daddy Bunting for doing such an awesome job!!!

  16. Member
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:48 am

    we have our cake design meeting in a few weeks, and I’m hoping it works out so that we can use one of the baker’s stands. but if not, now I know where to go for a great tutorial!!

  17. Member
    BreeninBoston 160 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:20 pm

    I love this tutorial- so creative!

  18. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 4:24 pm

    Great tutorial, funny that I just stumbled upon your post of this – I have spent the last 2 days (well actually, the last six months, but intensively the last 2 days) scouring the internet for silver-looking cake pedastals, with little luck. I may have to switch to a white base and use your tutorial, it would probably look much less professional to spray paint on silver. But, on another note – are you worried at all that such a large cake might tip over with a small pedastal base?

  19. Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 9:26 pm

    @geminidream: Very true! Your stand sounds like it will be awesome, too!
    @blanket: Haha, you crack me up! I’m glad you got to use your cake stand afterall! I was -this- close to settling for a smaller cake just so we could use a pedestal stand before we came up with this baby.
    @Ryna: Yessss, delegate to the carpenter!
    @lisaelanna: They’re elusive buggers, aren’t they? You could always try spray painting a scrap piece of wood silver to see if it looks good or not. Oh, and I did have to have the bottom of the base sanded down to make it more level (and thus more sturdy), but our cake will have a Styrofoam/fake bottom tier so that will help keep the weight down. The cake table will be against a wall, too, so people will be less likely to accidentally bump in to it.

  20. Member
    gazelle 1019 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:31 pm

    That is a great DIY project!

  21. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:02 am

    That first picture makes me want cake for breakfast!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Tami, Guest @ 7:46 am

    I have seen pre cut wood rounds at local hardware stores…at OSH and Home Depot…some even have smooth rounded edges rather than rough edges. And they are available in larger sizes than most lazy susans.

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    LJ, Guest @ 3:31 pm

    If you don’t mind me asking, about how much did all the materials cost you? I’m thinking about doing this, but want to make sure it’s doable with my budget :)

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Angee, Guest @ 8:30 pm

    I’m having trouble finding a pedestal base. Any suggestions?

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