How to Make a Simple DIY Cake Stand

Some desserts just deserve to be put on a pedestal, especially for special occasions. Once you learn how to make a simple DIY cake stand, you’ll look for excuses to display anything on it…or maybe even excuses to buy more cake!

DIY cake stand with bird's nest on spring table

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Perhaps you’ve seen some DIY cake stands on Pinterest and thought you needed some fancy woodworking skills or special high-end paint to get that modern farmhouse look. Not so, my friends!

(I feel like a rogue magician about to reveal the secrets of the trade.)

This simple tutorial will blow you away with how easy it is! I predict you’ll start making these cake stands to give away as gifts and impress your friends. That’s my plan, anyway!

How to Make a DIY Wooden Cake Stand

Since I recently participated in a DIY cake stand challenge on YouTube, I have a handy video that walks through all the details! You’ll even get a bonus dollar store cake stand tutorial.

Supplies You’ll Need

If you want some recommendations on wood plaques and candle holders that will fit the bill for a rustic cake stand, I’ve got you covered at the end of this post. 😉You can find most supplies at your local craft store, if not on Amazon.

Farmhouse cake stand with cupcakes on top

Step 1: Lightly sand wooden pieces

When using unfinished wood, make sure you sand any rough edges before you begin. If you forget to use sandpaper from the start (like me), you can always sand between coats of paint.

After sanding, make sure you wipe off the grit off with a clean, lint-free cloth before painting.

Step 2: Glue candle holder to plaque

Using wood glue, attach the candle holder to the center of your wooden plaque.

Wooden cake stand before painting with chalk paint
Cake stand after gluing pieces together

Do you need help finding the center? Try tracing your plaque onto a sheet of paper, cut it out, and fold it into quarters. Then you can poke a pencil through the center of the paper to mark your center point on the plaque.

Otherwise, you can take your chances and use a good, old-fashioned eye-balling method (often my preference)!

For best results, flip the cake stand over with the plaque side facing down, and place a weight on the bottom of the candlestick (see video). Let it dry in that position overnight.

Step 3: Paint entire cake stand

Now, here comes the fun part! Paint the entire cake stand with 1-2 coats of chalk paint, waiting about 2 hours in between coats.

Painting DIY cake stand

I find that this chalk paint dries very quickly and goes on very thick.

Step 4: Apply clear wax

Now, you’ll notice your DIY cake stand doesn’t have a lot of personality at this stage, which is why I suggest using this clear wax to give it a more antique, vintage look.

Applying clear wax to chalk paint on DIY cake stand

Begin by applying a thin coat of wax all over your piece with a wax brush, then wipe away the excess with a lint-free cloth or old cotton t-shirt.

Step 5: Apply dark wax

Before the clear wax dries completely, apply a thin coat of dark wax in the grooves on the curves and edges of your plaque and candleholder using a bristle brush.

Applying antiquing wax to DIY cake stand

The wax will appear very dark at first, but have no fear! After applying the wax, you’re going to wipe away the excess until you only leave a small amount of distressing.

Wiping off excess antiquing wax from DIY cake stand made of wood

Step 6: Let wax cure

Let your piece rest overnight before buffing it to your desired sheen. To protect the finish, make sure to keep your DIY cake stand free of moisture for 7 days.

Buffing wax on DIY wooden cake stand

For a little added flair, you can trace the plaque portion of your DIY cake stand onto scrapbook paper and use it as a liner to coordinate with any party theme. (Think bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties or weddings!)

If you have chalk paint left over after this project, be sure to check out my tutorial on painting terracotta pots to create stunning outdoor decor.

Best Plaques and Candle Sticks to Buy

I used an oval plaque in my tutorial just to have a different shape in my repertoire of cake stands. However, you can choose from any of these great options to make your stand. (Click images to shop.)


Rustic white wooden DIY cake stand with bird's nest on spring table
DIY wooden cake stand in my spring table decor

Why should I use chalk paint?

Chalk paint provides a smooth, soft finish and doesn’t require sanding or priming. It has an ultra-matte finish that won’t appear shiny or sticky, which makes it perfect for a wax finish.

What’s the difference between acrylic paint and chalk paint?

Acrylic paint works best for projects requiring blending, highlighting, or stenciling. Chalk paint is popular for furniture refinishing projects because you can easily distress a piece with medium-grit sandpaper without the paint getting stuck in the sandpaper.

DecoArt Chalky Finish chalk paint in color Whisper

Plus, you can achieve a great antiquing effect with chalk paint when using the wax discussed in this tutorial.

Do I need to seal my DIY cake stand?

Yes! If you’re using chalk paint, you’ll definitely want to apply wax to seal the finished piece because chalk paint is porous. As PLAID mentions on their product page, “If left unsealed, the paint can receive scratches and look unappealing.”

Home decor clear wax for finishing chalk painted projects

Can I use any paint color to make a DIY cake stand?

Yes, you can find chalk paint in a variety of colors, so you can customize your cake stand to fit with any decor!

You Might Also Like These Articles

I’ve got a number of other tutorials using chalk paint, so you can use up those bottles to create more goodies and gifts for friends!

Trio of painted bottles using chalk paint
DIY farmhouse sign tutorial
DIY Farmhouse Headboard tutorial

Pin it for later!

Steps to make rustic wooden cake stand with antiquing effect and chalk paint

I hope you enjoy making your own rustic wooden cake stand! Feel free to tag me on Instagram to show me your beautiful work @firstdayofhome!

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  1. Your tutorial for this DIY cake stand is great, Crissy.. and I love how you share the why’s and how’s, as well. Your cake stand looks lovely! And your pin is great, so I pinned it! 😉

    1. Thank you, my dear friend. I always appreciate you leaving a note and spreading the love. I think there’s only one problem with my cake stand. I need more cake! Ha!