I’ve been on the hunt for a tiered stand for quite some time now. I found many different styles online, but the ones I liked were a bit pricey – story of my life! As it wasn’t a “need” but just a “want,” I couldn’t justify spending $80-90 on a tiered stand. Time to make one myself!
I searched on Google and Pinterest to find a tutorial for the type I wanted, but I had no luck. Generally all tutorials were using round or square cake pans (or bowls) and a spindle cut in two or three depending on how many tiers you wanted. A little glue or a couple of screws, and you are done. They are indeed all beautiful if you are looking for a real farmhouse decor. But our house is nothing close to a farmhouse, so anything like that would stick out like a sore thumb. The ones I like and that would match our house decor are more like the ones below:
A couple days later, convinced that there were no tutorials for the type I wanted, I decided not to waste any more time on searching, but get on with the work and make it as I go. I grabbed 2 plates from the kitchen and went to Greg’s basement
Using the plates as forms, I drew 2 circles on a piece of 1/2 inch plywood. These were going to be the platforms.
Once I was done drawing, I asked Greg’s help to cut the wooden circles for me. First he cut the plywood in to a manageable size…
…then he cut the circles out using the band saw. While he was at it, he also cut the spindle I was planning to use into 2 pieces.
Once both platforms were cut, I sanded the sides to avoid getting splinters in my hands while working on them. A little note here: If you don’t have appropriate tools for cutting the circular platforms you can find pre-cut circular platforms at any crafts store or Amazon.
All the tiered stands I liked had ornate metal sides. To create the same look, I bought this decorative metal strip in Hobby Lobby’s floral section for $6. If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby nearby, Amazon also sells decorative nail-on metal strips.
These decorative metal strips turned out to be the perfect material for my intended purpose, and they were so easy to work with – thin enough to cut with scissors or bend into any shape you like but strong enough to form a nice boundary for the platforms.
I cut 2 pieces of metal strip, each measuring 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of its platform.
One by one, I primed them with spray paint, then I brush-painted with my homemade chalk paint in white color.
While waiting for the paint to dry, I marked the center point of the platforms in preparation for the initial assembly. I prepared that tutorial as a separate post (How to Find the Center of a Circle) since that method can be used in any project that involves a circle, such as tiered stands, clock projects, et cetera.
Now everything was ready for creating the main body: The bottom tier was a no brainer – I attached the spindle to the bottom platform with a screw and some wood glue.
For the upper tier connection, my options were either to use a double sided screw or a dowel and wood glue. I didn’t consider using just glue, because my spindle was too thin, so the cut ends didn’t have enough surface to create a strong bond if glued. But if you are using a thicker spindle either wood glue or E6000® would definitely work, because you would have that wider bonding surface.
Since we didn’t have any double sided screw in hand I again asked Greg’s help with that connection: first, he cut a dowel long enough for the purpose. Next, he drilled a hole in the center of the upper platform and glued the dowel in making sure both ends of the dowel sticking out. Then he drilled holes in both of the spindles, bottom one and upper one. [ed. note – drilling straight holes in the exact center of a tapered spindle is a gigantic pain in the @$$!) Once all the holes and the doweled upper platform were ready, he glued and placed the upper platform on top of the bottom spindle…
…and again glued and placed the upper spindle on top of the upper platform.
Phew!.. No wonder why I asked Greg’s help with this doweled connection. Even trying to explain the whole process is like a nightmare for me, let alone doing it! I hope the pictures are speaking for themselves. Anyway, once all the tiers were put together, it was time to paint. Using my homemade chalk paint, I gave it 2 coats of paint.
Next, using DecoArt Antiquing Wax, I antiqued the spindles and the metal strips.
After antiquing, I attached the metal strips to the sides of the platforms using E6000® glue and small nails.
While the E6000® was drying and creating a stronger bond, I started to looking for something to use as the feet. I found these drawer knobs in our basement, and I thought they could make the perfect feet – they were heavy and short which would help with sturdiness, and the shape was great. I spray painted them with Rust-Oleum Heirloom White.
Once the paint dried and cured for a day, I glued them to the bottom of the tiered stand with E6000 glue.
As the finishing touch I applied some Rub ‘n Buff Antique Gold Metallic Wax on the nail heads and on some of flowers of the metal strips.
Finally I have a tiered stand to decorate!
Not bad at all for a homemade one and a great way put those old spindles and discarded drawer knobs in use.
As we had the wood and paint in hand, my expense for this little beauty was only $6.00, which I spent on the metal strip. Considering they are sold for $80-90 (minimum) at several online stores, I think it was well worth my time.
I really am pleased with the way it turned out. Doesn’t it look pretty with the bunnies in it?
I can’t wait to dress it up for each season.
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