put a bar on it

one of the best christmas presents i received last year (yep, even better than the bbq) was grace bonney’s design*sponge at home hardcover, full of the best sneak peeks, diy projects, and before & afters from the design*sponge blog. since unwrapping the book in december, i’ve spent several sunday nights with a glass of red wine in one hand and design*sponge at home in the other, leafing through pages, trying to pick my favourite sneak peek (i’ve managed to narrow them down to a top 5), and dogearing the diy projects i want to try.

one project that jumped right out at me was the easy step-by-step “recycled cake stands” project from editor kate pruitt on pages 176-7. i remember from the wedding registration process that cake stands and those three-tiered dessert trees used for afternoon teas are not cheap. but this project was really cheap (about $10 for two stands), really quick and easy, and resulted in unique and pretty decorations that i’ve received tonnes of compliments on already — win, win, win.


i bought the two candlestick holders and two china plates from the valu-village at woodbine and danforth for about $10 — and if you go on half-price monday it would be, well, half the price. you might even be able to do this project for free by checking your cupboards or basement for unused plates and candlestick holders — we all have them lying around, except me. if you’re buying from a thrift store and so have whole shelves of choices, look for candlestick holders with flat tops and wide bases, and bread- or salad-sized plates. test the pieces you want to put together; the plate should be able to balance on the base without any glue or you holding on to it.


you’ll need a couple other supplies besides the candlestick holders and plates:

  1. epoxy glue
  2. a throw-away container for mixing the epoxy
  3. marker
  4. something to apply the epoxy with (cheap paintbrush or popsicle stick)
  5. a rag
  6. a bit of goo-gone if you need to remove stickers from your plates and holders

first step is to clean your plates and candlestick holders and dry thoroughly. use the goo-gone at this stage if you’ve bought the items from a thrift store and they have $2.99 price tags stuck to them.


then, measure the back of each plate with a measuring tape (or just eyeball it) and mark the centre with a sharpie. mix up the epoxy according to the package directions and coat the flat top of each candlestick holder in the glue.


place each candlestick holder upside down onto the back of each plate, centreing them over the dots.  wipe any excess epoxy away with your rag and let dry overnight! that’s it!

this project was so easy (and so pretty!) that i’m in the process of making 40 more for guest favours for my friend kate’s wedding shower. her mother, my mother, my grandmother, and most especially her fiancee’s mother, have all rallied and found me 40 candlestick holders and china plates… so if you’ve rsvp’d “no!” to that shower you are missing out!

some of the candlestick holders and plates they’ve found me are so pretty that i may swap one of the two that i’m featuring in this post with one that i plan to make for the shower. although it’s hard to beat a cake stand featuring a 1970s toronto skyline…

anyhow, if you’re a fan of the recycled cake stands too, just think of how great they’d look piled high with nanaimo bars!

ps: if you do attempt this project too (and pile them high with sticky nanaimo bars), keep in mind they’re not dishwasher safe! wash by hand in some warm water.

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2 thoughts on “put a bar on it

  1. you are getting craftier and craftier each post! i feel like i can’t keep up with your bubbling creativity 🙂 these look amazing–i’m certain the shower guests will love them just as much as you enjoyed making them.

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