Sunday, 15 April 2018

Wedding Cake Stand

Off the back of the "Dutch Courage" sign that I made for the wedding, I was asked if I could also help with a custom cake stand for their wedding cake.

They're not having a traditional wedding cake, instead they've opted for brownies, in 7 different flavours, so the cake stand needs to accommodate them all and at the same time be able to differentiate between them.

In addition, there's a multi-colour theme to the wedding, so that needs to be included with the design.

The obvious thing to do was use different colours to separate the flavours, and my initial ideas centred around something like a painter's palette.

I was looking at a segmented circular design, but it was looking a bit strange with an odd number of segments, so I opted for six segments with a smaller platform in the middle to provide for the 7th segment.

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To calculate the size I was told that there will be one tray of brownies per flavour, and that would be about equivalent in size to about a Roses tin, which is roughly 9 inches diameter by 4 inches tall.
Using that as I guide, I based the design on a circle of 18 inches diameter divided into 6 sectors (so 6 triangles with two 9" sides and a 6-and-a-bit" rounded side).
This equates to approximately equivalent size.


The back segment (red in the original diagram).
This one also has a small solid tip added
as it will overlap the central segment
  • The base was cut from some chipboard up-cycled from some flat pack furniture.
  • Each segment was cut from 3/8" marine plywood.
  • Six 9x4" rectangles were cut to create the face panels, and attached to the sides of the raised segments (2 for the rear segment, 1 each for the other raised segments.)
  • Supporting posts for each of the raised segments 
  • The central "tip" of each segment was trimmed to allow room for the wooden pole that will support the centre segment.
These were secured to the base of the stand, but could be easily disassembled.

Rounded supports were attached to the underside of the curved edge of the segments. These were made from scrap, and supported a thin hardboard which was curved around to provide a solid outside to the segments. This was attached with staples, as the hardboard was too soft and nails passed straight through.

Each segment was wrapped with coloured fabric, fastened in place with staples and spray adhesive.

The centre segment was a smaller disc with a segment removed to allow the red segment to overlap. The supporting pole was approx 1.5" diameter and attached to the centre segment with a combination of glue and nails.
This assembly was wrapped in white fabric and attached to the base with a couple of screws (so to avoid rotation).

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I'm really pleased with how this project turned out. With a lot of projects, the actual building usually highlights issues not thought of during the design, and so adaptations have to be made, but in this case, the end result came out pretty much exactly as the initial design.

Working on this project also helped develop a new workflow - due to geographical and timing constraints, most of the design discussion was co-ordinated via WhatsApp. It was a case of being sent links and screenshots of ideas, sketching up a plan, photographing it and returning it etc. It was a surprisingly good system and something I'd definitely use again.

Sunday, 1 April 2018


If you arrived here after a Google search for the title, you may be disappointed... maybe.

Recently I had a health checkup. Usual stuff - eat better, exercise more, yada, yada, yada.

One suggestion that came out of it would be... well... it's probably just easier to show you.. Ladies & Gentlemen, I present you... my nutsack!

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See what I did there? Took some sensible healthy eating advice and turned it into a really immature innuendo. You're welcome, world.

The sack is constructed from a 'lemon' shape of approximately 7 inches by 6 inches. The measurements were not that precise as I judged it based on simply wrapping the leather around the plastic tub it was replacing to get a roughly equal volume.

The holes for the drawstring are spaced evenly around the edge (20 in total, 10 each side).The measurements can be quite forgiving - it's more important to keep the holes the same distance from the edge, than it is to keep them equidistant from each other.

The drawstring its some leather lace I had left over from the leather notebook project I did a while back. Other guides I've seen suggest using two drawstrings originating from alternate sides of the 'lemon', but given the thickness of the lace I was using compared to the overall size of the bag, to do so in my case seemed a bit over the top.

Simply thread the lace from one end, through each hole, until it arrives back at the start, then pull the lace together to draw the bag closed.

The lettering on the outside was hand embossed, using a pyrography tool (which is essentially a lower temperature soldering iron). Be warned that leather is rather temperature sensitive, there's a thin line between embossing and burning.
That's why on the finished bag one of the lemon 'tab' bits is missing - I speak from experience.

Anyway, there you have it. A quick, simple project that can go from initial idea to complete in only a couple of hours while sat in front of the TV, yet provides endless opportunity for puerile comments.
Happy April Fools day!