This is an Instructable on how to convert some old plates and mugs into a practical jewelry stand. This was a fairly simple and quick project, about an hour to complete. The cost will vary depending on what you already have but most of the hardware used is fairly common and can be picked up at any hardware store for less than 25 bucks. The inspiration for this project came from tiered cake trays that use old plates and some special rods.
- Lamp "nipples" basically the rod part. I used threaded 1/8 inch rod.
- Lamp "finial" is the top part, mostly for decoration.
- Lamp baseplate although im pretty sure the one I used it for a hanging lamp. This is needed as extra support for the rod.
- Various hardware such as nuts and washers, some came with the rod.
- Any plates and teacups you want, ours were found at value villlage but keep an eye out at garage sales.
- OPTIONAL: Ceramic or superglue. We bought it but didn't use it, its very sturdy as is
- Diamond hole saw. We found ours at RONA for 9.99, not a bad deal. It helps to get one with a guide. Buy one for whatever size hole you need for the rod you are using. Ignore the rating on the package (i.e. 1/8) as it is usually the INSIDE diameter. There are these weird bits out there as well that look like an arrow head, don't use these they are sooooo slow, spend the extra couple bucks and get the diamond one.
Probably the most difficult part of this project is going to be drilling the hole as close to the center of the plate/teacup as possible. The bit tends to skip around a bit when first drilling.
Step 1: Getting Started
The first step is going to be planning on what you want to build in the first place. This sample is a 3 tiers but it can be scaled as needed. We started by just stacking plates up in the store and seeing what goes together. Make some sort of idea on how high you want it so you can purchase the right size of rod. It's better to over estimate than under estimate although the rod can easily be lengthened with the right hardware. Once you have an idea of what size and style you want you can arrange them the way you like and check for anything weird you want to avoid such as the handle of the cup coming higher than the lip or weird beveling (such as the green one above) of the lip. They should be able to stack and stay up on their own. We happened to score some nice Royal Daulton ones. Once they were all aligned I labeled them in order.
Step 2: Finding Your Center
So now for the most difficult part. Most difficult to do right anyway. Start by trying to draw an X across the bowl/cup/plate from the bottom. You can try and use a ruler and pivot it across the bottom to see which point is the longest and that will give you a fairly straight line. Once you have found the center (or what you are comfortable in your mind as saying is the center) place the guide provided over the hole. If you have no guide then you can easily make one out of a sturdy piece of plastic or wood and drilling a hole in it the size of the bit. Holding this guide down will probably take 2 hands and a thumb (3 hands basically).
Step 3: Its Driller Time!
Now that you have lined up the guide start by slowly drilling into the spot where the guide is. You should of course follow safety precautions such as safety glasses and a mask but if you use enough water, dust shouldn't be an issue. Gloves may also be needed but carefulness is probably just as good.We are just starting it so water may or may not be needed. Once you have a nice groove going you can remove the guide and add your water.The nice thing about this project is the bottom is usually concave and holds all of the water in. It is important to add water so that the drill bit and material doesn't over heat. You should be putting light to moderate pressure on the drill but this is a "less if more" type of process. Once the drill has made it through the edges may be a bit rough and extra chunks may come off. This is ok because you wont see them anyways! Make sure to wash the plates off after this to get off all of the dust.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Once you are happy with the holes you have now made you can start aligning it all and putting it together. Start by putting the base onto the bottom plate. This will be the only one you fasten for now. Then pile all of the rest on in the order you want. Once its all set up, mark the pipe with a sharpie, and then cut it to length with the hacksaw. make sure to leave room for the finial you have chosen. Now put the whole thing together in the right order, adding washers and nuts at each stage. Just finger tight should be good enough. For the second last cup I used a very thin nut on top to keep it in place instead of before where just the plates had washers. Add the last plate and cup and then add your finial. And that's it you're done!
Step 5: Future Ideas and Modifications
- You could add beads/ knickknacks under the see through glass and cover up the rod.
- Cut the tops of the handles off of the cups and use it for holding rings.
- Hang it from the ceiling.
- Add a marine pump to the bottom of the rod and make a cool fountain/ bird bath. (I definitely want to try this this summer stay tuned!)
- Use it for cookies/ cupcakes/candy (might be hard to clean though)