DIY Wooden Bead Cake Stand

Dye wooden beads to make this DIY holiday cake plate!

Did you know that you can dye wooden beads with food coloring? It's super easy, and once you try it, you'll want to dye all the wooden beads you can get your hands on! Instead of simply using the dyed beads as jewelry, let them shine on this DIY cake plate. Stick to shades of pink like we did, or mix and match for an even brighter look. Make one to match the cookies, cupcakes, or sweet treats you're bringing to a holiday party, or make one just for the host and hostess. It's the perfect homemade gift! 

What You'll Need:

  • Food coloring
  • Plastic bowls
  • Wooden beads (3/4" diameter)
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic or glass cup (This will be your cake stand base.)
  • White plate
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks

Step 1: Dye beads

Mix water and food coloring in three plastic bowls. We made three bowls of varying intensities: 20 drops, 12 drops, and 6 drops in about 1/4 cup of room-temperature water. Put wooden beads into bowls, and stir gently so that they're all coated. Let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times as they dye to prevent uneven coloring. Play around with the timing and intensity of dye for different results. There isn't a wrong way to do this step, so have fun playing with rainbow colors!

Step 2: Dry beads

Use a toothpick to remove the beads one by one, and put plain wooden beads into each of the bowls of dye. Repeat until you have as many beads as you need to cover the cup. Let dry completely on a paper towel. Typically they should be ready in a few hours, but overnight is a safe bet. The number of beads needed will vary depending on the size of your beads and cup. The cake plate pictured required about 60 3/4" beads. When dyeing, it doesn't hurt to make a few more beads than you think you'll need so you don't run out while covering the base in the next step.

Step 3: Glue beads

Apply a dot of hot glue onto one side of a bead and attach it to the bottom edge of the cup. Repeat, working your way around the base. Attach the beads so that the holes are on the top and bottom so they'll be less visible from the front.

Step 4: Continue gluing

Keep gluing on beads in the same way, mixing and matching shades as you work. You could arrange the shades starting with the brightest at the bottom and adding them so that it looks like an ombré or stripes! If using different color beads, you can glue them on randomly or in a playful pattern.

Step 5: Finish stand

When you're done, the cup should look something like this. The top row of beads extends slightly past the edge of the cup, but this will vary depending on cup and bead sizes. The beads may not line up perfectly around the cup but that's OK. Space them as best you can, but if there is an unavoidable gap that a bead won't fit into, simply put that side of the cake plate to the back when placing it on your table or dessert station. Apply hot glue to the top of the wooden bead covered base and attach the plate, centering it as best you can. Hold in place until glue dries.

Note: To clean, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the top plate. This cake plate is not dishwasher safe.


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