Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY Tiered Dessert Stand For Christmas Entertaining or Gift Giving

I had been wanting to make a tiered stand for some time now, and was keeping my eyes open for the perfect pieces to use.  As I was shopping in one of my favorite antiques malls a few weeks ago, I happened across these "sticks" with chippy blue paint.  I loved them, and didn't think of the tiered stand immediately, but I knew I needed them for something!  I mean, they were just $2 each, and with that blue chippy paint, who could resist? So, I purchased several sticks and brought them home.

A couple of weeks later, while driving downtown in Mobile on a Sunday, I noticed a sign that said "Estate Sale" and another one "Final Day"...Upon entering the door of the great old mansion on Government Street, I was told everything was half off.  I made my way to the dining room where the table was filled with silver and silver-plated pieces.  The prices were good.  I immediately thought of the tiered stand in my mind.  I really did hate the thought of drilling holes into perfectly good silver pieces, but I really wanted to make the stand and the prices were right, so I purchased a few round plates of varying sizes.

It wasn't until after I got home with the silver pieces that I remembered the blue chippy painted sticks. They would be perfect together!  I went to work on the piece.  It was SO EASY- anybody can make one.  Note:  Before I started anything, I painted on a thick coat of polyurethane since I wasn't sure if the old chippy blue paint had lead...don't want chips of leaded paint falling off into food.  I simply found the centers of the plates and marked them with a Sharpie pen.  Using the drill press, I drilled holes.  I then measured the sticks and cut them to a size that seemed good, using the chop saw.  I think I made a 6" piece and a 5" one.  I decided to use the fat stick for the bottom and the skinny one for the top.  And at the very top, I planned to crown it with a mercury glass knob that I thought would look pretty with the silver.  So, following the plan in my head, I drilled all the holes and then started putting it all together.  To hold the center sticks securely to one another, I glued dowels into the holes that had been drilled.  Once the glue had dried, I inserted the pretty knob into the top, again adding glue for a secure hold.


On the bottom, I used a screw that went through the plate and into the dowel.  Since I couldn't countersink the screw into the metal, I needed to put little "legs" on the bottom so that it wouldn't rock on the screw head in the center.  I used clear bumper pads that go on the back of picture frames...(I had these in the studio left over from my days in the custom picture framing business, but they can be purchased in any hardware store.)

Bottom of tray showing screw...

Bumper pads

It worked nicely and provides a nice little lift to the bottom.

We used it during our Thanksgiving Dinner on the dessert bar.  It held cookies that someone had baked, and it did me proud!  I know I'm going to have to bake some more cookies now for Christmas, because it actually works with my 2014 Christmas decor- it's blue!

I still have enough sticks to make two more, so now I'm on the prowl once again again for plates.  If I can find them within the next couple of weeks, they will make nice gifts.


Now, I need to go bake cookies!

Thanks for stopping in...I hope you'll come back and see what I'm working on next time.


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  1. This is ingenious! Cookies will taste better when displayed here!

    1. Thank you! That's a sweet comment, but really, have you ever tasted a bad cookie? lol I need to find a recipe for a wonderful cookie that has no calories...let me know if you run across one. Otherwise, this tiered tray is going to cause me to gain lots of weight over Christmas if I keep it full of cookies!

  2. Judy,
    This is so pretty! I love all that chippy blue goodness and it works perfectly with the silver in the trays! You are so creative!

    1. Well, thank you! I was so lucky to find those chippy blue sticks...can't believe someone hadn't already snatched them up. I appreciate the sweet comment.
      It was good seeing you today.

  3. Judy,
    I LOVE IT!!! You had such a good idea mixing the silver with the pretty blue sticks.