Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The dishes are piling up...

Stacked china serving towers certainly aren't my invention, but every time I take treats to a potluck on them they get a lot of attention, and I get a lot of requests for how to make them. 

stacked china serving plates
First, spend way too much time at garage sales and thrift stores, accumulating china that you can use for this, china mosaic, or just to mix up on your table.  You can make these as single pedestals, or two or three-tier servers, and consider a bowl for the top tier, to hold dips and spreads.  Also keep your eye out for shorter wine glasses, glass or silver candle sticks, and other spacers with level tops.  Check carefully, as mouth blown pieces aren't always level, and it's magnified when you balance a plate on it.
Clean everything well, and allow the glasses or candlesticks to air dry for awhile, to insure you don't trap condensation inside.  Once dry, wipe the parts you will be gluing together with denatured or rubbing alcohol, if you want to really be sure they will stick.
Test fit everything, then mix up a small batch of five-minute epoxy.  So far, I have had the best luck with Loc-tite brand, followed by ACE hardware brand.  Some of the others have been inconsistent in bonding, clouded up if refrigerated, or turned very yellow upon hardening.  I use flat wooden floral picks for mixing and spreading, as I happen to have an abundance of them, and they are just the right size for good control, when spreading. 
Put a thin, even bead of glue on one of the two pieces that will be bonded.  More is not better.  More simply makes a wider band of plastic between the glass and china, which will be the weakest point.  Quickly press the pieces together.  If your pieces balanced easily without glue, you can probably do all the bonds at once.  If you are using candlesticks with small tops, you may need to allow each tier to set up before adding the next. 
These are great to give as gifts, so make up a few extra, and even if you don't have time to do the gluing up, you can still raid your stash of plates for a pretty vintage china one, instead of delivering those Christmas cookies on paper or plastic plates.  It adds a lot of charm to a simple gift, and yet the recipient can keep it, or pass it along guilt-free, since it's not that precious.

Store stacked china serving plates in plain sight, holding everyday items.
Care and storage:  These can be hand washed.  I don't submerge mine, as there is a chance that water could seep into the wineglasses.  Some women almost passed up buying these when I had the boutique, because they didn't think they had a place to store them.  If you make them from plates that match your everyday style, you can keep them in plain sight on a buffet, a bookshelf, or someplace unexpected.  In between parties, I keep two in my studio, one holding spools of ribbon, one holding rubber stamps.

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