Semi-DIY Cake/Cupcake Stand

During one of my many visits to, there was a vintage china cake stand on the front page that I just adored. Alas, a bit too pricey so I decided to give it a semi-diy try.




  • Plates of varying sizes (check Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, your local thrift store/estate sale)
  • Cake stand center handles with washers (I found some on eBay)
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Drill
  • 1/4 inch Bosch glass and tile bit
  • Water
  • Safety goggles
  • Optional: ear protection, dusk mask
  • Optional: foam or cork pad

If you like searching thrift stores for goodies, this can be a fun project. I found all my plates for $.50 to $3. Be sure to check for cracks and buy extras in case one chips/breaks during drilling.

Using measuring tape, mark the center of each plate with tape and a pencil. (You can also make it off-center if the top plate isn’t too heavy.) Tape the back of each plate as well.

Place the plate on a stable work surface (I used a foam circle for support and to avoid drilling through the table). Put on your safety goggles, hold the plate, and slowly drill through the center with medium pressure. Pour a little water on the plate as you drill to keep it from overheating. Drill for 2-3 minutes and rest the drill for 2-3 minutes. The water will start to get cloudy.

The drilling definitely requires some patience (for one plate, it took me 10 tries while another, only 3). I started with a cordless 12V Black & Decker drill, but the battery kept dying and it didn’t seem to have enough power. I switched to a corded Rigid drill and that worked better although louder.

When the drill goes through the other side, it will sound like the plate is cracking, but just go slow and steady. My plates mostly chipped on the back side when I lost some control, but the washers hide most of the imperfections.

Lastly, screw in the cake stand center handles with washers in between and you’re done!

A pretty simple project after you find your plates and can maneuver a drill. Plus you can change the number of tiers or switch out plates as you please.

If you don’t have access to a drill, you can also use vintage candlesticks/cups/vases and glue them to the plates like La Belle Bride.

Now…to plan another event where I can actually use this.

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7 Responses to Semi-DIY Cake/Cupcake Stand

  1. holy smokes that turned out well! Great job!

  2. Mindy S. says:

    Looks great! Now you get to put some fun treats on it LOL!!!!!!

  3. Jenny says:

    So awesome and adorable. This makes me wish I owned a power drill…

  4. andrea says:

    that looks great! you make everything look so easy 🙂

  5. Melissa says:

    SOOOOOO timely. I am trying to plan an afternoon teas shower for my sister and I really wanted those stands, but I am with you…way out of my price range. Thank you soooooo much!! I will get my hubby and his power drill on the job for sure!!

  6. Pingback: 30th Birthday Bash – Sumo-style Food | Semi-DIY

  7. LC says:

    Awesome, Linda! Thank you. 🙂

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