DIY cake stand tutorial
Or…how to make a DIY 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 make a DIY cake stand, 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:
- 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
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.
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.
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 face-down 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 your DIY cake stand! 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!
Did anyone else find a way to incorporate a cake pedestal without reducing the size of the cake drastically?