Our Vintage Tiered Stand tutorial shows how to use thrift shop finds to assemble a beautifully styled centerpiece for any occasion.
This complete step-by-step tutorial includes:
- Materials needed for Vintage Tiered Stand
- How to assemble, paint, and treat tiered stand for stylish vintage look
A stylish, vintage tiered stand for any occasion
A vintage tiered stand is a great addition to the kitchen or dining room table, for aesthetics as well as functionality. It’s especially useful when serving and entertaining a crowd, but don’t just limit the styling possibilities to the kitchen. These vintage tiered stands are truly versatile, either as decor throughout the home or centerpieces for a special occasion.
This tutorial shows how to use thrift shop items to assemble a vintage tiered stand. I constructed six (6) stands for my daughter’s wedding last weekend (if you’re following my posts—yes! I have TWO daughters getting married this spring). Finding materials to make six identical stands at the thrift shop was an impossible order but we welcomed the idea of each one being unique. This is what makes this whole journey fun and exciting. Finding what you need at the thrift store is a gamble so don’t be afraid to supplement recyclable items from your home.
Gathering the materials
- Bottom Tier/Base: large tin platter, pizza pan, cake pan, or extra large plate (preferrably wooden)
- Top Tier: medium tin platter, pizza pie pan, cake pan, or medium/large plate (preferrably wooden)
- Stands/pedestals: candlestick holders, old spindles, dowels, or small vases
- Decorative top: place card holder, spindle, wire, candlesticks, or wood finials
- Feet: Wood finials or dowels
- Gorilla Construction Glue and Caulk Gun
- White or Off-White Chalk Paint
- Gray Antique Wax (Dixie Belle)
- 120 Grit Sandpaper
- Paint Brushes
- Clean linen cloth
Don’t be afraid to get creative. The material list is just a guideline for what shapes and sizes you should be looking for at the thrift shop. Some pieces you might have to purchase at a craft store. I purchased some wood finials for the decorative top and feet from Hobby Lobby.
Assembling the bottom tier
Clearly mark the center of the largest platter/plate. Squeeze a generous amount of construction glue onto the top of the candlestick and adhere firmly to your mark on the platter.
Note: I use Gorilla construction glue for this project because the tiered stand pieces must be joined by something extremely strong or they will easily pull apart when moving the stand. This glue hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve tested it with some pretty heavy projects. The Gorilla construction glue will require the use of a gun, which can be purchased at a lumber/hardware store for about $4-5.
Think of all the pretty things you will display on your vintage tiered stand while the glue dries for a few hours.
Add a second tier
Find the center on the bottom of the second tier. Place glue on top of the candlestick already adhered to the bottom tier. Flip the bottom tier upside down and glue to your center mark on the second tier.
Note: I prefer to have the heavier/larger end of the candlestick holder glued to the bottom of the second tier and the lighter/skinnier end adhered to the bottom tier. Essentially, this means that the candlestick is “upside down” but it creates an aesthetic, balanced look to the tiered stand. And it creates more room to display food or decor on the bottom tier.
Think happy thoughts while waiting for the glue to dry.
And for the whipped cream topping
Unless you found something pretty cool at the thrift shop to decorate the top of your tier stand I suggest doing the following: purchase Woodpile Fun! finials & candlesticks from Hobby Lobby (or something similar). Glue the two pieces together with the construction glue. Now whistle while you wait.
Don’t forget the cherry on top
Now for the crowning detail. Glue the joined finial firmly to the center of the second tier. While allowing it to dry I snipped off the glass bases from my place card holders (the ones with the wire hearts) and discarded the bases. When the finials were dry I drilled a small hole into the top of each one and inserted the wire heart into the finial with some construction glue. Now I have the option of using a photo, a name tag, some ribbon, or flowers to add some additional styling for special occasions.
Now for the really fun part
It’s time to paint! Apply a couple of good coats of Rust-oleum metallic paint. Sing a merry tune and let it dry.
Then apply a couple of really good coats of white chalk paint. I prefer an off-white, creamy color. You choose what shade of white suits you. There’s no right or wrong here.
We’re at the end – whew!
So, I have to admit that I didn’t really think about adding feet to the bottom of the stand until almost the end of the project. It worked out just fine but if you happen to read through this tutorial before starting your project you may want the option of beginning with the feet.
Measure out a center mark on the bottom of the tiered stand and mark out four equidistant points for the feet. Your platter will be a different size than mine, but I measured out four inches from the center for each point. Use construction glue so it’s very sturdy and be sure to paint it before continuing with the next steps.
SANDING & WAXING
When the paint has tried take some 120 grit sandpaper and gently rub the areas that you want to look aged. Sand the chalk paint down to the underlying coat of metallic spray paint on some of the elevated or intricate areas of your platters and candlesticks. This will create the desired vintage look.
Thoroughly clean off the residue of dust from the stand and prepare to wax. I use grungy gray antique wax from Dixie Belle, but any gray wax will do. You can use brown wax but I wanted to maintain a cooler hue to this particular project and brown would have warmed it.
Apply the wax with a brush or slightly damp cloth. Work the wax into the cracks, creases, and intricate details of your tiered stand. Wipe away the excess with a damp cloth until you are happy with the results. You are welcome to finish off with a coat of matte sealer but I left my stands with a coat of wax.
Stylizing your tiered stand
As I mentioned earlier I made several tiered stands for my daughter’s wedding last weekend. They worked out beautifully and created the perfect centerpiece for each of our round dining tables. We served large chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries on the bottom tier and mini cheesecakes on the top tier.
Now I get to figure out how to use one in my own home (the rest will be stored away for other weddings and special occasions). I love how perfectly it fits my love of French country decor. It also fits nicely into vintage and farmhouse decor, too. The details of the candlesticks and the tin platters are so flattering and create such a beautiful compliment to whatever is displayed on the stand.
(My dog, Atticus, is being such a gentleman. He’s trying to keep his distance and turn his head so he can’t “see” the treats on the stand. Hahaha! I love him.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking a bunch of old discarded items and creating something so functional and so stylish. These stands have become a treasure for me. I hope they find a place in your home, too. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below and if you want more great ideas please subscribe. We would love to have you join the tribe! xo Jayme
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