Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rustic Wood Cake Stands

Tree Slice Cake Stand

I am very excited to put up this post of Wood Cake Stands. Cake stands are my recent obsession. So when I found rustic wood cake stands being sold on etsy, I fell in love with them. I knew I had to get one, but it was super expensive.  People were buying it for their weddings and grand occasions, and I could not justify buying one just to satisfy my obsession for it. So, I dropped the idea of buying it. But no one was stopping me from making one.. right?  So that's exactly what I did..

Here is the Tree Slice Cake stand I made...

And here's the Pedestal Cake Stand.. 

Pedestal Cake Stand
Warning: Long post. if you want to skip reading about my struggle to get the wood logs, please feel free to jump directly to the tutorial halfway below.

Once I knew what I wanted, I started my long search of finding the perfect log to make it. I not only needed a good size tree limb for it, but also a thick broad slice of log, as I wanted to make both tree slice stand and a pedestal cake stand.  Trips to park were a failure. Then a tornado hit our town, but I still did not find what I want(no one was hurt, thankfully). A month passed, and I had almost lost all hope, until one weekend, as we were driving down in our neighbourhood for a nice Sunday brunch, I saw some folks taking down the biggest tree ever. Leaving a hungry toddler in the car(with dear hubby, ofcourse), I ran to see what I could find. And yes, there it was.. lots and lots of logs of wood in all sizes. Guys cutting the tree were nice enough to cut a tree limb and a big log for me. And they were quick too, so I could hurry back to my hungry, now crying son.

Then started the long process of levelling the logs. Its probably very easy for most people out there, but we don't have many tools at home to get this job done. Regular sanding did not work, as it was way too unlevelled. Borrowed a power sander from one neighbor, that did'nt help either. Then other neighbour not only offered their power saw, but came over to help with it. Log piece was too small to work with power saw. Then my brilliant husband thought of a Planer... And yes..... Planer did the job. Yippeee... I could'nt believe how close I was getting to making this cake stand(with the help of entire neighborhood..lol). So here are the steps I followed for making these stands..

Tutorial 1: Tree Slice Cake Stand

Stuff you’ll need

A Cross-Section of a Tree Log 
Polyurethane or Butcher block oil
Brush to paint(for polyurethane)
Cloth(if using Butcher block oil)

Step 1. Level the wood log so that the top and bottom are parallel. Use a planer tool to level it, if it needs a lot of leveling.
Step 2. Remove the moss(if any) from the bark on sides, very lightly with a sand paper. Don't go overboard with it.
Step 3. Sand the top surface to get a smooth finish and wipe the surface clean. 

Now, you can decide to coat the top surface with either butcher block oil or polyurethane.  If you use polyurethane, you cannot keep food directly on the stand surface as its not food safe. But butcher block oil is food safe. As I was making 2 cake stands, I decided to do a polyurethane layer on this one, and butcher oil on pedestal cake stand.

Step 4. Put on a coat of polyurethane on all sides-top, bottom and all around the bark. Let it dry for couple of hours, and apply a 2nd coat. Polyurethane seals the wood and prevents it from splitting, and the bark from peeling off.

If going with butcher block oil on top,  apply the oil with a clean cloth all over the surface. Let it dry for 20 minutes, and apply another 2 coats of it. 

Step 5. You are done. Now bake a cake to display on it, or use it display it as a show piece, a candle stand.. whatever you fancy..

Tutorial 2: Pedestal Cake Stand

Once the tree limb was cut and levelled, I followed the tutorial on OnceWed for the cakestand, adding few extra steps to seal the wood:

Stuff you’ll need
A Cross-Cut Wood Plaque (round or oval)
A Cross-Section of a Tree Limb   (Make sure the top and bottom are parallel. Use a planer tool to level it)
Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue (or a similar extra strong wood glue)
A Large Wood Clamp, or some sets of books(or something heavy)
Butcher Block oil(You can get this from Home Depot/Lowes)
Brush to paint


Cross-cut wood plaques from can be found in your local craft store or online at Hofcraft. I got mine from Hobby Lobby (Large size).They are clean, sanded and ready to use.

Step 1.  Take your tree limb section and wipe the cut surface clean. Put on a coat of polyurethane on all sides-top, bottom and all around the bark. Let it dry for couple of hours, and apply a 2nd coat. Polyurethane seals the wood and prevents it from splitting, and the bark from peeling off.

Step 2. Seal the Cross-Cut Wood Plaque by applying a coat of Butcher block oil using a cloth, on both sides. Let it dry for 20 minutes, and apply another 2 coats of it. Seal the bark of this wooden plaque by applying one coat of polyurethane(on just the bark).

The butcher block oil is a mineral oil and is completely food safe. So, you can keep your cake and other food items, directly on it.

Step 3: Once the tree limb and wood plaque have dried completely, put a generous amount of extra strong wood glue on the surface of tree limb. (see figure 1)

Step 4.  Place the limb section in the center of the back side your wood plaque and press down firmly.  Wipe away any excess glue with a clean, damp cloth. (see figure 2)

Step 5.  Place the two joined pieces in a wood clamp and let dry for at least one hour.   As I didn't have a wood clamp, I stacked few heavy books on top of the pedestal until it was dry.   (see figure 3)

Step 6.  Use your pedestals to display cakes and desserts (see figure 4) or use as a base for a centerpiece.

I made multiple stands in different sizes.  Here is one in medium size.

Happy Woodworking!


Henna Tangri said...

Beautiful!!!! All the stands are so gooood.... When I visit you next plz teach me how u made, I will help u pakka.... But I will make one tooo :)

Yamini Kaur said...

Tania, you are in the wrong profession.. you should be doing something more artsy-crafty :)
Love your determination and the final product !! Awesome !!

Anuja Krishnan said...

awww! how cute is the final product pic....super Tania! I am sure that takes tons of patience, perseverance and creativity...you jus proved you got it all :)

maha... said...

neat work...i always wanted an end table with a tree truck and a glass top.....never could think of a cake stand with a tree trunk...luv ur creativity

Tania Tangri said...

@Henna: Thanks dear. Yes. I'll make one for you and bring it over when I come...
@Didi: Thanks Didi.. Maybe some day I'll be able to take it up as a profession :-)
@Anu: Thanks.. Not sure if I have all that you mentioned... :-)
@Maha: Thanks. A tree trunk table sounds like a great idea. Would like to see whenever you get/make one.

Kimberly said...

Do you make and sell these? If so, I would be all about buying one for my wedding cake....


Tania Tangri said...

Thanks for visiting the blog Kim. I am sorry I don't sell these cake stands, I don't have this wood on a regular basis. I made mine from the log I happened to find by chance.
If you want to make your own, you can email me for any help.
Congrats on your wedding...

Tania Tangri said...

Hey Kim, can you email me at taniatangri@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

Does the butcher block oil also prevent the wood from splitting?

Tania Tangri said...

The butcher block oil should prevent wood from splitting, as it is supposed to seal the wood. The wood on my cake stand is still in good shape after 2 years.

Anna said...

Hi there,
I have been researching these for a few months, and am a baker who would love a few of these to hire out for weddings along with my cakes as my cakes are very rustic.... would you be able to help?

Unknown said...

Did you have to let the wood dry out before you sealed? If so, how long? Also what kind of Polyurethane did you use?

Can't wait to start mine :)

Tania Tangri said...

Rebecca: I did not let the wood dry, however it should have been dried ideally. It has been over 2 years since I made these stands and they are are still in perfect condition, inspite of not drying it. I used regular polyurethane for hardwood floor which has some shine to it.
BTW, I received your email as well, but I was out on vacation, so could not respond earlier.

Amanda Smith said...

If I want to use these for centerpieces (no food will be on them), would I still need to use polyurethane or butcher block oil?

Tania Tangri said...

Amanda : If you are not going to use these for food, then ideally you don't need any coating. But a coat of polyurethane gives a really nice finish.

ellen said...

the wood i have has a foul smell to it will the sealer get rid of the smell?

Tania Tangri said...

Ellen, I am not sure if the sealer would help in removing the odor. I found the below article on removing the odors. Maybe its helpful:


Anonymous said...

Hi There! I know this is an old post but was wondering, did you have any problems with the bark falling off? I am doing this for my wedding (it's in 7 months) as it's centerpieces, and was worried that the bark may fall off if I wait awhile to seal it. Thanks! Maria

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Ajit Sahu said...

These cake stand are wonderfully and cleverly designed. We also have impressive and unique design cupcake and cake stand.

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DDD Bydgoszcz said...

A very interesting idea for a plate under the cake, it looks amazing!

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