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Wooden Tiered Serving Plates & Pedestal Dishes (Tutorial)

February 17, 2012

This last year I started making and selling pedestal dishes that I put together with various vintage plates and candlesticks/upside down goblets etc.  On one of my thrift store outings I came across a stack of large wooden plates (6 for a dollar) and had an idea I could do something cool with them.  I began picking up other wooden pieces and pretty soon I had enough to come up with some really fun configurations.  Knowing that glue wouldn’t hold up well enough for what I wanted to do with them, I consulted my husband (also known as “He-who-has-much-knowledge”) about the best way to go about this project.  After a trip to the hardware store I got going on some super fun wood pedestal and tiered serving dishes. 

Aren’t they awesomeness itself?  Wanna make some for yourself?

Here’s what you need: Miscellaneous wooden plates, candlesticks, and finials.

It doesn’t matter if they match because you are going to paint them later. You also need some Dowel Screws or Hanger Bolts. They are both about the same thing. They both have screw threads on two ends turning in opposite directions so that two things can screw into each other meeting in the middle. (Does that make sense?) Here’s a picture to clarify. I found these at Lowe’s.

Here’s how you are going to put together a tiered serving dish.

Only reverse those numbers because you will be working from the bottom up.

First drill a starter hole that is slightly smaller than the dimension of your dowel screw into the center of your base then screw one end of the dowel screw into the base. (Sorry no picture of this step.) Next you are going to drill a hole through the largest plate. This hole needs to be slightly larger than the diameter of the screw because you are going to slip it over to sit on top the base. Then you are going to drill a starter hole into the bottom of the candlestick (piece #3) that is slight smaller than the screw diameter. This gives the screw threads something to “bite” into.

Next you are going to drill another starter hole in the top end of the candlestick and screw in the dowel screw.

The smaller plate gets a hole drilled through it so it can slip over the dowel screw from the top of the candlestick.

Drill another starter hole for the finial (it may have a hole or screw already in it – the screw should be removed.) Screw the finial on to the the top of the small plate.

Now you just need to prime and paint (I recommend spray paint.)

To make a single pedestal dish you would do the same as step one by putting a dowel screw into the top of your pedestal base. Then you need to carefully drill (not all the way through!) as deep as you can into the plate without compromising the surface so you can screw the plate on the other end of the dowel screw.  Prime and paint!

A reader’s comment just made me realize that I forgot to mention about paint and food!  Okay, the final step after painting is to seal it with a poly sealant.  Give it a couple of good coats.  Here is a paragraph I borrowed from Chowhound that explains about food contact surfaces…

The FDA publishes guidelines on what it considers safe for food contact surfaces. It’s a huge document: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/pdf/21cfr175.300.pdf  From what I can tell, every consumer-grade clear finish available at your local hardware store meets these standards once the finish has dried.

After all, there are a lot of painted dining room tables out there and we don’t think twice about it, right?  That being said, I personally, would probably use something like doilies and cupcake liners to put food on the pedestal dishes.  This will not only keep food from coming in contact with something that might be harmful but help keep them cleaner and look cute too!

What have you been putting together lately? Tried any fun new projects?

I’m linking up over at House of Hepworths, Saturday Spotlight at Craft EnvyTatertots and Jello and Talent Tuesdays at Vintage Wanna Bee

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2012 9:43 am

    Going to have to try this !

    • Sandy permalink*
      February 18, 2012 5:27 pm

      Yes! Send me a picture when you do! They turn out so cute. You can do all kinds of configurations. I’ve even done some with bowls (they sold before I got pics of them.) Just browse thrift shops for different wooden elements. I didn’t spend more than a few dollars to make any of these. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. February 18, 2012 10:07 pm

    visiting from Tatertots & Jello party- great tutorial!! and I love that this would look great either painted or left natural 🙂 the wood plates are such a great idea!

    • Sandy permalink*
      February 19, 2012 1:57 am

      thanks for visiting my blog! you definitely could leave the pieces natural if you didn’t mind them being different finishes. that would make the process a few steps simpler too! 🙂

  3. February 23, 2012 7:44 pm

    Totally love this project and I so inspired by it. I hope you don’t mind, I will be sharing it on my blog tomorrow as well. Thanks so much, Laura

    • Sandy permalink*
      February 23, 2012 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much, Laura! That is very sweet. I’m honored.
      Have a great day!
      Sandy

  4. Danielle permalink
    February 25, 2012 4:40 am

    Is spray paint food safe?

    • Sandy permalink*
      February 25, 2012 5:46 am

      Thanks for bringing to my attention that I forgot to mention the part about the paint and food. I don’t leave my spray paint unsealed for one. I give it a couple good coats of poly sealant. I copied this paragraph from Chowhound for explanation because it is concise…(The FDA publishes guidelines on what it considers safe for food contact surfaces. It’s a huge document: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/pdf/21cfr175.300.pdf From what I can tell, every consumer-grade clear finish available at your local hardware store meets these standards once the finish has dried.) After all, there are a ton of painted dining room tables out there! That being said, I would probably use food safe papers, doilies, cupcake liners anyway just to keep them cleaner and besides they look cute.
      Hope this helps answer your question and I will add an addendum to my post. Thanks! Sandy

      • Danielle permalink
        February 25, 2012 6:25 am

        Sandy, great info & link!!! Thank you for the quick response. Ps. Love the color palette.

      • Sandy permalink*
        February 25, 2012 4:46 pm

        Thanks!

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