DIY: Colorful Dessert Stands

March 31, 2011

Hello friends, happy spring, the sun is shining today, at last!  There’s just something about sunshine and bright colors that is making me happier this week.  I even painted my toes a bright coral yesterday ~ that’s me, livin’ on the edge. 

Last weekend, I made these sweet little dessert stands for displaying spring and summertime treats when guests come over.  They’re frugal, festive, and fabulous ~ my kind of project!

cg pink and orange cake stands


Pretty Dessert Stands from Goodwill Plates & Glasses:

What You’ll Need:  Miscellaneous stemware and dessert plates; household silicone sealant (the kind used for aquariums); frosted glass spray paint; colored spray paint; paper doilies.

First, make a stop at your local Goodwill or thrift store.  There are always plenty of glasses and miscellaneous plates for sale.  Often, you can find matching sets, but among those sets are the equal amounts of hodge podge and mismatched stemware.  Grab a few of those,  the ones with no mates.  They’re the cheapest, always less than a buck.  This is a great way to repurpose your chipped china too (like the one below).

Old fashioned (wide bottom) champagne glasses and martini glasses work well, but go crazy!  Pick whatever you like.  The more variety in shapes and heights, the better!

goodwill glasses


Remove any price tags and clean your stemware and plates.  Center your stemware on top of your plate.  You can use spray paint designed for glass, but some are not designed for it (or at least they don’t say ‘can be used on glass’ on the can).  The way to use any color spray paint you want, even those not designed for glass, is to first ‘prime’ your glass with frosted spray paint.  It dries in less than 10 minutes.

Give each side of your plates and stemware a good coat, both tops and bottoms.  Make sure you don’t bump your stemware, you need a clean ring for your silicone.  [I chose to paint first to use the ring as my guide, and also because paint doesn’t stick to silicone and you’ll have a slight residue, see below.]

frosted glass primer


Next, spray paint away, two to three light coats for the best most even coverage.  Never spray painted before?  Check out this article on spray paint FAQs.  For these two dessert stands, I used Rust-Oleum’s ‘Painters Touch’ in Real Orange and Berry Pink. 

spray paint upside down


Once your paint is fully dry (at least a few hours) it’s time for the silicone sealant.  Use the ring where there is no paint as your guide, and apply a good layer of adhesive sealant around the edge.  Lay the rim of the stemware right on top of your ring of silicone.  There may be a slight amount of residue around the outside as you press down.  It’s your choice whether to scrape it off, but because it’s hidden underneath, I left mine thick for the best grip between the glass and the plate.  It takes about 12 hours or more for the silicone sealant to fully cure, but read the package.



Once your silicone sealant is fully cured, you can do this! 

sealant under water

Yes, your stands are completely hand washable!

Sorry hot glue, silicone’s got ya beat there.


Be sure to use layers of paper doilies, parchment paper, or other food safe papers to display your edibles.  Direct contact between food and spray paint, even why dry, is not recommended.

cg orange and pink dessert stands


I made both of these plates for under $10 dollars total, including the cost of the spray paint and glassware.  I had the silicone and frosted spray paint on hand, but you’ll pay an extra few dollars for them at the hardware store. 

I’m thinking you could make tiered versions too.  Wouldn’t a series of these dessert stands be perfect for a whimsical cupcake party?  Or a bridal shower?  Or for little trinkets or favors on display?  Great for jewelry or business cards too!  

If you want the recipe for my orange cake, you’ll have to wait!  Sorry, I’m such a tease. 

orange cake


The marvelous Ms. Layla has an upcoming Spring eZine all about color inspiration, so you’ll see it appear there next month. 


cg pink orange dessert stands


That fabulous fabric is from my patchwork picnic blanket, I found it at Joann’s, but the receipt doesn’t show the maker or name of the pattern*.  I’m off to the fabric store tomorrow, so I’ll update the post with the name of it when I find it. 

‘Till then, toodeloo! 

I can’t believe I just said that. 

** Thank you Elz for finding the fabric!  It’s the Fresh Fusion Large Spring Floral by Legacy Studio.



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137 Responses to “DIY: Colorful Dessert Stands”

  1. Maureen says:

    Oh I absolutely ADORE that pink one! How fun!

  2. Angie C says:

    L O V E these! My daughter will be 5 in Nov and I will definitely be using this idea. Perfect for her princess tea party.

  3. keriann says:

    I’ve had my eye on that exact fabric at joanns for sometime…I’m thinkin it would make a fun skirt! As for these plates…YUM!! And not just the desserts on them! I love these! One question, how did they hold up to the weight? I was looking at some glasses and plates but I was concerned that the martini glasses I saw were to think at the brim to hold the plate with a desert. How did yours work out?

  4. Kimberly Temple says:

    How perfect! I love cake stands but I can never find ones I really like, not enough variety. I’ve wanted to know how to make my own and these look so perfect! :D

  5. debora says:

    eu adorei a sua idéia. parabens!!!

  6. […] so incredibly innovative and clever that only artistic geniuses could conceive of them. Take these Colorful Dessert Stands, for example. Who would have thought they were made by gluing together old china and champagne/ […]

  7. Ashley says:

    I loved your idea so much that I went to the thrift store on a hunt for plates and I chose to use candle stick holders. Thanks for the idea!!

  8. Josee says:

    I was going to suggest the same thing as Content Ewe…use a clear glass plate and just paint the back and base to make it food-safe.
    I think it would look great, to see color through the top.

  9. Hey Kate! I know this project was done a while ago, but I’ve always loved it and thought of it when I was working on using a little spray paint to give new life to a severely tarnished silverplate bowl recently. Also, loved your post on creativity the other day :)

    If you want to see my little silverplate bowl makeover, it is right here:


  10. Wendy says:

    Love the idea. Once again recycle/reuse. You could even hand paint or stencil on these then recoat with clear sealer, or add some bling with silicone!!! Make them Diva-licious!!!

  11. Amie says:

    I love the colored plates. I have made these kind of serving trays before but not with color! You can make them food safe by spraying on a coat or three of polyurethane, also available in spray cans in the paint dept. I mod podged paper onto tray and made it waterproof by using this stuff and it is just fine. just coat them after your paint dries.

  12. marnie says:

    Thanks for the great Idea, sugarbelle posted it and I have made many of these already. What a creative mind you have. I love it!!!!

  13. Whitney R says:

    These are darling! Not sure if you still get these Replies, but I could never get the recipe for your orange cake on Lettered Cottage E-Zine. It looks amazing!

  14. Heather Walker says:

    Krylon Triple Glaze can be sprayed over the spray paint for a gorgeous “glass like” layer. I usually do two layers and then you can put food directly on the plate if you like. The Krylon will also prevent the inevitable scratching of the plate.

  15. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thanks Heather, hadn’t heard of that!

  16. kg says:

    I suppose the clear plate could’ve been left unpainted on the part that touches food to make it food-safe… I wonder if that would’ve looked as pretty, though… such a cute idea. I didn’t know there was such a thing that could adhere dishes together. Brilliant.

  17. kg says:

    @HeatherWalker – are you sure that Krylon Triple Glaze is food-safe? I couldn’t find anything on their website about it, and the MSDS sheet doesn’t give me a good feeling about it.

  18. […] Centsational Girl creates pretty dessert stands from Goodwill plates and glasses… […]

  19. Hi! I’m wondering what clear sealer you might recommend when making these? Thanks!!

  20. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Ashley, I didn’t seal mine with any protectant, the gloss spray paint was hard enough, but there’s nothing I’m aware of that would make these food safe for direct contact, which is why I used the paper doilies. Is that what you were thinking?

  21. Marsha says:

    i will be visiting your website often! LOVE so many of your ideas! Thanks

  22. sue says:

    dollar tree has a good selection of plates and glasses, too”)

  23. Victoria says:

    How fabulous!! I saw this last year, but I had to share it on my blog for some spring ideas:

  24. Kat says:

    Hi, there! These are so adorable! I want to make these for my daughter’s birthday party. I’m wondering how you spray painted them before you glued them together? That seems difficult to me…? Could I glue the pieces together & then spray paint it all? Thanks ;-)

  25. CentsationalGirl says:

    Yep you sure could glue them first Kat!

  26. Rebekah Behn says:

    I like how you painted them, such bright colors. When I made some (years ago) I glued the bottom of the glass to the plate which made them a bit more stable. I wish I had thought of painting them. Thanks for sharing.

  27. KathyG says:

    I did this project today and everything turned out beautiful. I painted a cheap plastic cupcake stand pink, I painted, glued and sealed a glass & plate cupcake stand, and then I did the same with an old copper candle stand and used a glass plate for the top. I now have 3 great cupcake stands to use at the Farmer’s Market! Everything was items that I planned to put in the yard sale this Saturday. LOVE this project and thank you for showing how to do this. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow!

  28. Maenwyn Rati says:

    My thought is to use whatever paper you like and decorate with ahole punch or fancy scrapbooking punch, whatever you have already, say to match the wrapping paper on gifts.

  29. chris says:

    Kate, how is the finish on this? It looks smooth but seems like the frost would make it rough to the touch. So excited to try this for the 4th!

  30. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Chris, they’re very smooth, the frosted spray paint is really very thin and pretty smooth too!

  31. […] Colorful Dessert Stands | Centsational […]

  32. Susie says:

    I have done this with colored melamie plates from Target. Dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl and used clear glass candle sticks from Dollar Tree. I also used E6000 glue. No painting needed. They are great on a dresser for jewelry, pocket change, etc. or for holding makeup, etc. in the bathroom.

  33. Cassidy says:

    Made these today!! They turned out great!!! Thanks for the ideas!! (:

  34. Jeannie says:

    Great idea! My daughter made these over the weekend, when she went to touch up the paint all of the paint cracked. Any idea what might have caused this? Any suggestions to keep this from happening again? Please email reply if possible.

  35. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jeannie, I”m so sorry that happened to you! Wondering if it’s temperature…. I still have mine and the paint is still intact. Did you use the frosted spray paint underneath?

  36. Love this tutorial….I see treasures all the time to make these. They are absolutely darling!!!

  37. Ashlea says:

    This is just a suggestion. For people who want to be able to eat off the plate just use a clear plate and only spray the bottom of it so you still see the color and it is safe. You could also glue a pretty plate on top with similar colors. Just a thought.

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