Writing my last post made me think back to what first prompted me to start Nancy’s Tea Shop – my growing collection of cake stands! Cake stands have become only one part of my shop along with all my vintage tea sets, cutlery and linen. However, they are still one of the most enjoyable aspects of my venture.
Why I like making cake stands….
1. They make use of pieces of china that are often unwanted or discarded. A single plate or cup that has been relegated to the back of a cupboard can be given a new purpose as part of a cake stand. Some of my cake stands are made from matching pieces of china, which give a more coordinated look. However, plates and saucers with different patterns can make cake stands that are just as pretty in a more eclectic style.
My mum and I can spend hours happily sorting through piles of plates, saucers and cups trying out different combinations until we find sets that just seem to look right together. Sometimes it’s quite easy to see which patterns would go together maybe because of a similarity in hue or tone, or in the style of design. Most satisfying, however, is trying out seemingly unlikely combinations, which because of more subtle similarities, result in ‘matching’ yet unique cake stands.
2. They are incredibly versatile. The metal fittings that I use to connect the different parts of the stands work on a simple screw mechanism. This means that a three tier cake stand topped with a cup, can be made into numerous other types of stands: a three tier stand without the cup, a two or one tier stand, or even a mini stand using the saucer and side plate. Their construction also means that they are the ‘flat packs’ of vintage china. Taken apart they can be packed safely in a box to be shipped halfway across the world or just taken to a friend’s house for a tea party.
3. They’re for more than just cakes! Although cake stands are perfect for serving classic cakes, scones and sandwiches, they’re also useful for displaying and storing a multitude of things. I’ve used them for storing jewellery, easily accessible for when I make a last minute outfit change and need something to match! If you’re crafty, they’re also really handy for storing things like buttons and pins so that they’re on hand mid-project.
I’ll stop here and finish with a few more pictures of my favourite cake stands. I’d love to see some pictures of your cake stands and what you use them for.