Interchangeable Summery Cupcake Stands

07.21.11

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to share recipes, gift ideas, pretty wrapping ideas, and whatever else is on my mind. I also own an online chocolate shop, The Ticket Kitchen. Stop by if you get a moment!
Are you ready for a peek at how my new stands turned out? I’m more than a little thrilled with them. It’s great fun transforming a set of thrifted candlesticks into bright summery treat stands for the next shindig. (See the first set I made right here).

Being able to take these apart to switch out plates is a big deal for me. Even though my kitchen now is roomier, much much roomier, than the apartment and condo kitchens I’ve somehow squeezed into through the years, space is still at a premium. Plus I like picking a melamine plate whenever I find one I like and being able to put it to use with the stands I already have.

Best of all, I figured out a new trick that will let you use any candlestick you fall in love with at the thrift store. Not just candlesticks that have a hole through the center.

The shopping is really the best part. (You can get glimpse here of the first set of these I put together.) But for this time around, here’s the list of what I picked up.

Supplies & equipment:
1. Set of thrifted candlesticks. I often find candlesticks at the thrift store that can be disassembled and have a hole all the way through the middle. To find out if a candlestick can do this, just pick one up at the thrift store and try to unscrew. But hole or no hole, any candlestick will work. On my last thrifting trip I fell in love with some sticks that did not have a hole through the middle, I discovered I could still make my stand interchangeable. Here’s my big trick. Are you ready for it? All you need to do is find a…
2. Cork that fits snugly into your candlestick. (You need this only if your candlestick does not have a hole all the way through the middle).
3. Drawer pull that lets you take out the screw. I picked up mine at Lowe’s this time around. Don’t you love the crystal knobs?
4. Allthread that fits your drawer pull. This just looks like a really long screw with no head or point. To make sure it fits my drawer pull, I try screwing it in right in the isles of Lowe’s.
5. Nuts and washers.
6. A few fun melamine plates. I picked up mine at Target.
7. Primer and paint, if you choose. I love Krylon.
6. A hack saw and drill. A wood bit works perfectly for drilling into melamine.


Here is a candlestick I took apart and found I could dissasemble and have two pieces with a hole all the way through the middle of each.

Yea for Krylon. So many possibilities with this stuff.

Now comes the easy part… Here is the how-to for putting it all together, whether your candlestick has a hole through the core or not.
1. Paint. If you’re planning to paint the candlestick, disassemble it, prime, and paint.
2. Drill. Tape the plate in the center and drill through your taped spot. Take it slow and easy, I’ve cracked a couple plates by being in too big of a rush.

3. Cut your allthread. If your candlestick has a hole through the center, use a hack saw to cut your all thread to the length you’ll need to go from the bottom of the candlestick to the top to screw into your drawer pull. Cut carefully so you don’t ruin the thread and are still able to screw a bolt or your drawer pull onto the end. If you are using a cork, cut a tiny piece of the allthread so it is just long enough to screw through the cork and into the allthread.
4. If your candlestick does not have a hole through the center, add a cork. Wedge in a cork where the candle would go. Make sure it is a super snug fit. Cut off any overhang. You want to make sure the plate will rest evenly against the top of the candlestick. Drill a small hole in the center of the cork where the drawer pull will screw in. Make the hole just smaller than the allthread, so it screws in snugly.

Here is a set I assembled by screwing an all thread through the center.

Here is a set I made by using a cork.
3. Assemble.
 Now you get to thread your whole creation together. If your candlestick has a hole down the middle, put the washer and screw at the bottom, then thread the allthread through your candlestick piece, then add the plate, and finally, screw on the drawer pull at the top. If you are using a cork, simply screw one end of the allthread into the drawer pull, then put the other end through the hole in the plate and screw it into the cork in the candlestick. That’s it. Now your stands are ready to party, or to fit neatly in your cupboard.Good luck! If you make a set, I’d love to hear how it goes.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa July 21, 2011 at 8:43 am

I like that they’re interchangeable! Great idea.

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mekei July 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

you’re brilliant!

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Dacia July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Super cute! Love that they’re interchangeable.

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Sherry July 22, 2011 at 8:19 am

LOVE!

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Martine July 24, 2011 at 3:25 am

I still love this idea! Such a shame I’m not the bakingprincess I’d like to be, nor the entertaining godess I’d love to be….

Just a little shortcut: wouldn’t it be faster to use just the corks and doorknobs, and skip the part of the alltread? Or do the alltread ones just look better?

Keep up the good work, I love your posts!

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AmberLee July 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

Hi Martine,

Thanks for the note! For the drawerpull, it definitely depends on the one you have. If it doesn’t have a screw head on the back, then yes! Skip the all thread and just screw the drawer pull right into the cork.

Thanks for the note and kind words!!

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sweetsugarbelle July 26, 2011 at 12:47 am

Superduper cute!!!

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BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} July 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

What a fabulous idea!! I’m excited to make my own on of these days!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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Jane S. July 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Those are great! I love melamine plates but the rest of the family doesn’t…I bet they’d change their tune if the plates were holding cupcakes and were all fancied up. Gonna have to have a go at these for sure.

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Ali July 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Amberlee! I loved your post for the Interchangeable Cupcake Stands and I will be featuring a link to your blog tomorrow on my Notepad Features. Thank you for sharing!

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Courtney August 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

Oh this is quickly becoming one of my most favorite blogs! Thanks for sharing your fun ideas! :)

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Jane August 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

These are soooo cute! I can’t wait to make one for myself. I don’t have access to a drill, but is it possible to melt/burn a hole through the plate using a hot screwdriver or nail? Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

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AmberLee August 11, 2011 at 6:26 am

Hi Jane,
This is a great question. You could definitely give melting a try. I’m not sure how tricky it would be, but it just might work! I’d love to hear if you try.

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Jane August 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hi Amberlee!
I just wanted to update you on the my melting a hole in the plate experience. It can be done but is super smelly, messy, and more of a hassle than drilling. It took forever for it to melt the small hole…once the melamine melted, the displaced parts of it just oozed out to the other side, so I had to try to file it down which was difficult when trying not to scratch the plate. I’m going to hunt around for a good deal on a drill so I can give this project another try! Thanks!

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Keri September 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

How do you put a cake on it if it has a big old knob on the center of the plate?

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AmberLee September 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Hi Keri! I actually have used mine just for cupcakes, bowls of snacks, and other treats. I think you’d have to glue that plate down if you’d like to use it for a cake. Unless you have a brilliant solution?? If so, let me know!

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Kolchak & Jodi October 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

~*~ Brilliant idea ~*~ These are adorable and I will absolutely be making a set PDQ. Thanks!

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monica October 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Keri September 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm
How do you put a cake on it if it has a big old knob on the center of the plate?

I just made one of my own!! super excited to use it..
I am putting a cake on mine, but I’m using a bunt mold…so it works perfect w the knob….

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AmberLee October 13, 2011 at 7:04 am

Hi Monica,
These are definitely cupcake stands, good point! But you can screw in a disc of thicker wood instead of a plate and set a plate on top. I just tried this a month or so ago and it worked well.

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Jen Lossing, The Consigner Designer January 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm

These are adorable. I saw you featured on Nifty Thrifty Things. Great job!

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JoAnne February 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

I find myself wondering if I could use these melamine plates with the IKEA stacking stand I already own. This: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40101733/

I could use two matched Target plates, the larger on the bottom. Hmmm. I love this idea, btw. I have some thrifted candlesticks and am itching to try this.

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Jean @ Flower Hill May 1, 2012 at 4:49 am

I love these! Not only are they interchangeable, but easily washable!

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Marcheline July 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

This all sounds great, except the part about drilling the holes in plates is A LOT harder than it sounds. I bought a drill press and a drill and diamond bits (which were supposed to be perfect for ceramic plates) and I have yet to make even a small dent. The drill bit walks all over the place, can’t keep it centered, even in a drill press! Tried it by hand – it’s a nightmare. I would really like to hear more tips about the hole-drilling process and the ACTUAL best way to do that. All the rest is pretty much common sense. Thanks.

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Lisa December 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

AmberLee–what a wonderful idea! I have been looking for a three tier cake stand for bundt cakes for a wedding. Do you think this would work? Any suggestions? I saw that Keri was going to use this for bundt cake. You mentioned using wood, please tell me more!! Thanks

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kathy January 5, 2013 at 4:48 am

How lovely! In regards to the comment about screwing the pulls directly into the cork, may I suggest carving out a small area in the top of the cork larger that the screw hole, and deep enough to allow you to set (recess) the nut that may be on the bottom of the pull into the cork. Does that make sense? Also I lOVE the idea of using this as a cake plate for bundt cakes!!

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