How to Make a Decorative Lid for a DIY Cupcake Stand!

In my opinion, everyone should celebrate the cupcake and what better way to do so than with a DIY cupcake stand? The September/October 2017 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated has a great article by Lauren Smith on making cupcake stands. And if you would rather celebrate a full-size cake, it would be easy enough to super size it into a DIY cake stand!

In today’s post, an excerpt from that issue of PMI, Lauren Smith shares how she makes a lid for her DIY cupcake stand and decorates it with added scalloped details. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

P.S. For the full DIY cupcake stand project, check out the September/October 2017 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated!


Celebrate the cupcake with a decorative DIY cake stand!

Throw the lid as you would a bowl that’s taller than it is wide and round out the inside. A lid that’s taller than it is wide will appear to be more elegant when it’s all together. Don’t worry about leaving clay at the bottom as though you were going to trim out a foot ring, because it will all be trimmed off.

Trimming and Adding a Knob to the Lid

Trim the outside of the lid to a dome-like shape mimicking the inside curve (1). Smooth out the trim lines with a rib. Next, throw a knob on top using a small ball of clay. Score both areas of attachment and secure the ball to the lid then shape it into the desired form (2). I usually trim the knob a little to get the exact shape and curve that I want (3).

Adding Scallops to the Lid

Begin by outlining the clay scallop shapes using a dull pencil on the area just below the knob. Next, score the area and roll out a small coil, angling the rolling pin to taper one side to be thinner. Using the yellow rainbow-shaped Mudtools rib as a cutting tool, bend it into a U shape, matching the angles of the scallops you’ve traced on the lid, and press down at the tapered side to cut out scallops (4). Once they’re all cut out, begin to attach them. First dip the scallop in water and then lay the thin, tapered end toward the top, overlapping the scallops at the corners and compressing well (5). There’s no need to score the scallops as they will be worked on further. I usually make attachments while the clay is pretty wet to avoid cracking and allow the pieces to dry out slowly. Work over each scallop with the rounded handle end of a paint brush and smooth out the tapered end, blending the clay into the lid. Clean up and smooth out any marks with a sponge then go over the scallops with a soft rib.  Use a soft Mudtool sponge and bend it in half, using the fold to smooth and round out the thick end of the scallops. Use your finger and press into the scallops to create an area for the glaze to collect (6). Add scallops around the bottom and on the knob, too. Once it reaches the leather-hard stage, use a rubber-tipped tool to clean the underside of the scallops and to make sure of a clean attachment.

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