Friday, April 15, 2011

Tiered Plate Stand

This was my week 2 entry for One Month to Win It contest. Thanks to all those that voted! The contest started with 12 contestants and each week 3 are voted off. I just found out that I not only made it to week 3, but I was the winner for week 2 with this entry! Besides sewing and crafting I also really enjoy baking (yes, I did make the cupcakes above). So I decided to make myself a spring/Easter inspired tiered dessert tray using Mod Podge, which was the required item for the contest this week. This ended up being a lot more work than I was expecting so I came up with an easy method option for those without access to a workshop. The great thing about making one of these is that you can customize it for a special event or match it to your decor. And if you don't bake you can always use it for displaying decorative items!

Easy way: Buy melamine plates and short (around 6") table legs or candlesticks. Paint the table legs or candlesticks if necessary. Use epoxy to glue it all together. Our local Target has a nice selection of everyday and seasonal melamine plates and bowls that can be individually purchased. I think this would be fun with a bowl as the top piece that you could fill with M & Ms, nuts or candies.

Hard way (also known as the way I did it):
Materials list: one 8 oz. jar outdoor Mod Podge, three ceramic plates, two 6" table legs, one can of white enamel spray paint, one piece of 1/4" all thread, one 1/4" bolt that fits the all thread, one 1/4" T nut (it's the lower left item in the photo), a rubber washer, enough fabric to cover your plates, six self- stick 1/4" rubber feet (or three 1/2" if you can find them), 1 bottle white puffy paint
Other supplies: pliers (depending on your table legs), drill, 5/16" ceramic bit, wood saw (optional to trim down table legs), hacksaw

The photo below shows my plates (I started with two of each just in case any broke during drilling but none did) and the rubber washer, all thread, T nut, and bolt.

1. Remove any hardware from the table leg with pliers. 2. I cut the 2" ball off the top of one of my two 6" table legs with a wood saw. Then I drilled all the way through my 6" and 4" pieces, and drilled 3/4" into the bottom of the 2" ball. 3. Drill a 5/16" hole through the center of each plate (the photo shows only partway drilled through). Make sure to wear eye protection and a breathing mask to protect you from ceramic bits and dust. 4. Hammer the T nut into the bottom of the ball.

Next, clean any dust and dirt off the plates and table legs and spraypaint them all white. Do several light coats of paint.

Then, working on one plate at a time, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the bottoms of the plates. That will help hold the fabric in place as you brush more Mod Podge on top of the fabric to permanently hold it down. I found it easiest to 1. Brush Mod Podge on the fabric around the bottom of the plate 2. Mod Podge the sides 3. Add any pleats if necessary to keep the fabric from wrinkling 4. Trim off any excess fabric.

When the bottoms of the plates have dried, flip them over and do the same process on top. For the top two plates 1. Brush the plate with Mod Podge first then place the fabric on top 2. Brush Mod Podge on top of the bottom of the plate 3. Work your way up the sides 4. Trim any excess fabric.

For the bottom plate 1. Brush the bottom of the plate with Mod Podge 2. Position strips of fabric touching but not overlapping 3. Brush on a heavy coat of Mod Podge so you don't disturb the edges of the fabric and cause them to fray 4. Use an x-acto to trim excess fabric.

Adding the border to all 3 plates was done the same way just with different widths of fabric. 1. Use a brush to put a line of Mod Podge around the edge of the plate. 2. Attach the fabric. You can choose to fold under the edges or leave the raw edges. I tried both and both ways worked. 3. Mod Podge around the edge of the plate in sections, adding pleats as you go to allow the fabric to lay flat. 4. Cover the edges of the border and inside the pleats with several coats of Mod Podge, allowing it to dry between layers.

Once all your Mod Podge has dried 1. Use white Puffy Paint to add a circle of little white dots just inside the fabric border of each plate and let that dry. 2. Cut the inside of rubber washer so it fits around the T nut. 3. Use an x-acto knife to cut an X over the hole you drilled in the top and bottom layers of the fabric on each plate then put the all thread through the bottom plate and screw the bolt onto the bottom side of the plate Then (not pictured) affix the rubber feet to the bottom of the plate. If necessary, stack up two rubber feet to raise the plate high enough that the bolt isn't touching the table top. 4. Stack everything up to the top plate then mark the all thread 1/2" above the top of that plate. Remove it and use a hacksaw to cut it. Then stack everything back up again and screw the ball you prepared in step 2 of this segment on top. Once the ball is tightened everything should be very sturdy.

Now stand back and admire your work! The outdoor Mod Podge is wipeable and water resistant so with a thick enough layer covering the fabric this should hold up well to food serving. Both the Mod Podge and puffy paint are non-toxic.

Project was also submitted to: