Something awesome is going on with old plates, beat-up brass candlesticks, and orphan glassware. My sister, Laura, and I made this observation at my little neighborhood art fair last month, where I snagged this unbelievably cool birdbath made from old glassware ($35! The woman who made it could have charged at least double that I’m sure). It’s very sturdy (the base is buried into the dirt a few inches), and weathers well, as long as I bring it in before the first frost.
But we saw lots of cool examples of repurposed china that day, and I’ve seen them circulating around, too. I’d seen the idea for making a 3-tiered cake stand from vintage china on Readymade’s back page a few months ago, and showed it to Laura. She and I started collecting plates, candlesticks, parfait glasses, and shot glasses. Since Monday was a holiday and we needed something fun to do, we decided to give it a try. I searched around to figure out what type of glue to use, and found lots more inspiration, like this video from Threadbanger, this idea from The Mother Huddle (how amazing is that one she rubbed with glaze?), and these beauties from Wondering Chopsticks.
Basically, you just glue your layers together in whatever way makes the most sense. I didn’t bother with finding the exact center of the plate: I just eyeballed it. Some of the blogs talk about using Gorilla Glue or E6000. I used Loctite Epoxy 5-minute glue (bought it at Lowe’s). It consists of both a hardener and a resin, and you squeeze equal parts into a little mixing container and stir. It’s not hard at all. It dries really quickly, and it dries clear. So even if a little drips down inside your candlestick, it’s no big deal.
However, I just finished a story for a women’s magazine all about chemicals, and let me tell you what, I learned some scary, scary stuff. Resins and hardeners are seriously toxic (the label is pretty clear about that). They are full of nasty, nasty chemicals (think about what it takes to make something gel-like harden and permanently bond in 5 minutes or less). So definitely work outside (if you can), wear gloves, don’t breathe it in at all, and let the finished project off-gas outside for as long as you can.
Anyway, I made a 3-tiered piece and Laura just did a single layer, because her plate was so darn pretty, she wanted to showcase it as is.
I’m ready to go scavenge more plates and candlesticks and give some of these puppies as gifts!