DIY: How to make a Mad Hatter Tea/Cake Stand

1 Comment

DIY: How to make a Mad Hatter Tea/Cake Stand

This tutorial will show you how to create a "Mad Hatter" style cake/tea stand. These whimsical center pieces are very popular among vintage china lovers. A Mad Hatter stand is typically one topped by a teacup and saucer, and on occasion a teapot. The more Alice in Wonderland the better!

For a long time I was faced with the problem that most of the fittings on the market have a standard threaded part in the stem that is not long enough to capture both the teacup and the saucer. I have worked with my supplier to create a stem that has a longer threaded part (26mm instead of 15mm). This works for most of the deep footed teacups. I now offer this special stem for style 11 (the large "clover" or big flower), and in gold. If your teacup has a flat bottom any style of the handles I offer will work. I have another project to solve this issue currently on the works, and will probably be tutorial 3!

These beauties grace tables from bridal showers, to wedding receptions and even baby showers! To celebrate this very exciting new accomplishment I will be releasing a series of 3 tutorials on how to create these beauties. The first one uses only the diamond coated drill bit we carry in the shop, and a common hand held household drill. The second tutorial will also be for a hand held drill using the tungsten carbide bit, and the third tutorial will be using a bench drill press. All 3 methods also apply to drilling glass!

 

Gather your supplies!

- SAFETY FIRST: ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE EYE GOGGLES

- One set of metal handles for a 3-tier stand

- Your favorite dishes (I use primarily bone china)

- Diamond coated drill bit

- Household drill

- Tape measure and marker

- A scrap of wood block (to anchor the plate while protecting the surface below)

- Water (used at all times for lubrication and to avoid overheating)

- Dust mask if drilling a lot of pieces. This stuff is dusty!

The first step, and maybe the most important one, is to create your "anchor". Because of the glaze in most porcelain is very slippery, if you try to go head on with your bit you won't be able to control the drilling and your plates will be moving all over the place! Some people use painters tape, but I have found this technique faster and more accurate. Start carefully to drill at an angle, and dry, to get enough of a "bite" into the plate. You can see that it generates a lot of dust, but you really need to get a good foot hold. Another important thing is always start drilling on the display side of the plate. It is normal that once the bit exits the plate to create what is called "love bites", meaning, the exit hole is not as clean as the entry hole (especially if the bit is has been used a few times already). There are situations when you do have to turn the piece (like with teapots), and in most cases the hardware will hide that, but better safe than sorry!

Once you get the anchor ditch started, gradually straighten the bit and continue to drill, SLOWLY (patience does pay here!), keeping the pressure constant, letting the bit do most of the work, not you! At this point add plenty of water as you go. Not adding water shortens the life of your bit, and adds extra stress to your fragile china in the form of heat and friction. So the water will not only cool the bit, but also acts as a lubricant!  You can feel when the exit points approaches, be extra careful at this point. You can see this method drills a pretty clean hole.Once you have all of your items carefully drilled all that is left to do is assemble your masterpiece!

In my experience I know there are many ways to skin this cat (though no cats were harmed in the making of this tutorial!), but I have drilled thousands of holes in some of the rarest and most expensive china that is out there, so these instructions have been put to the test.

Take time to plan the design of your stand, think of the composition, the balance between the pieces, and the color scheme. It's time well spent to create an heirloom piece that will last for generations to come. If you feel queasy about drilling into grandma's precious china we do offer custom drilling, so you don't need to have a heart attack!

Now go ahead and share, comment and send me pictures of your creations!

 

Welcome! I love all things vintage, especially china. My goal is to transform these beauties into functional, timeless pieces. Check out the wide range of services Tea Times Creations has to offer!

Pin It!

 

1 Comment

You gotta let the light shine!

Comment

You gotta let the light shine!

Since I first opened the store in 2011 I have constantly tried to find new creative ways to repurpose china into beautiful and functional items. When I first toiled with the idea of creating night lights, the mission seemed extremely daunting... I would be dealing with much more complex processing than the one to create the night stands.

Every new line I envision bringing to the store goes through a long process of research and development. I need to come up with a process that can be replicated to a constant level of quality. This involves many trials, as well as contacting other manufacturers for the parts needed to complete the project.

Each and every night light you see in the shop is carefully and painstakingly processed into the magical items that will shine in homes around the world. From teacups, teacup and saucers set to creamers and even sugar bowls!

In addition to my own creations, the shop also offers the option of custom orders. If you have your own set of items that you would like to be transformed into night lights that can be certainly done. I always advise the client if the item is appropriate for that function, and may suggest another use for it. Please see my custom work page for examples.

Beautiful by day, showing all of the exquisite work of some of the best vintage china manufacturers, by night each light offers a brand new experience thanks to the translucency of bone china, and fine porcelain. This is an item which I have several around the house, and always puts a smile on my face...

 

 

Comment

New style of fitting coming to the store!

Comment

New style of fitting coming to the store!

So excited to post that a brand new style (and the first of its kind) is being listed at the shop! It is a 2 tier, mini fitting (gives you 2-1/2" between plates), which is just perfect for small plates like demitasse saucers and bone china coasters.

Mini 2-tier hardware fitting in gold

Mini 2-tier hardware fitting in gold

These are great to create party favors, bridal gifts or gifts for family and friends. Because you'll be working with much smaller (so typically less expensive) plates, it won't break the bank! These mini stands, besides being adorable, are very functional gifts, great for holding jewelry or any tidbits in style. I'll be offering them in gold, silver and bronze, so many options to choose from!

Comment

Countdown to Christmas

1 Comment

Countdown to Christmas

I have been on bed rest since 26 weeks of pregnancy because I started contracting at 23... At 31 I was put on strict bed rest. It has been a very rough journey for me, pain is my daily companion. Doctor's think I have irritable uterus syndrome... I keep my sanity praying, tending to my online business, and enjoying my family. The heavy lifting is done by everyone around me, including the fulfillment of orders.

Because of this ordeal there has not been any holiday decor and preparations in the house. Our Thanksgiving was non existing in the sense of the cooking and preparations. We are all very blessed that despite all odds I have made it to 34 weeks, and all of the uncountable other blessings the Lord has given my family, including an amazing support system.

One thing I could not let go though was the idea my 7 year old would not have a tree... I have so much Christmas decor, and he is used to seeing lights and bows, presents beautifully wrapped and such since he was born. Today my husband brought some of the boxes down from the attic, and with my son's help, and my directions from the couch, we manage to get a tree set up. It is the only decor we have, but I am grateful, and my son is super happy. Now we count down to Christmas and to welcome this new life into the world. I hope you're all having a blessed season!


1 Comment

Garden Party Finds...

1 Comment

Garden Party Finds...

I have a large inventory of china, and I look high and low to find the best and most unique sets. Most of the time the search does not yield much, since finding vintage bone china in perfect condition is not that easy, and in quantity it is even harder. But once you strike gold... oh boy is it worth it!

In the past couple of days I was lucky enough to list two amazing sets in the store. The first one is just a gem, a set of 6 demitasses in vintage Bavaria Tirschenreuth Germany porcelain with the most amazing colors! To find a couple of them is hard enough, but a set?

The other set I was able to list is the amazing Aynsley in the "Violette" pattern. Violets are a classic and a favorite, but coming from the Aynsley China company you can only expect the best. The delicate pattern is everywhere, and the china is scalloped and trimmed in gold. This set comes with 5 complete trios, a must have for any Garden Party!

Both sets have been carefully boxed in keepsake boxes to compliment the presentation of such amazing finds.

1 Comment

Getting ready for the holidays...

Comment

Getting ready for the holidays...

My seven year old cannot contain his excitement now that the Holidays are approaching. If depended on him we would start to decorate for Christmas today! He got really adamant about it when he saw me working on my newest addition to the Etsy Shop, a beautiful boxed set in a "tea for two" theme, that includes a mini tea stand and 2 teacup/saucer combo. He does not quite understands that as far as stocking the shop I do have to do it way ahead of time... so now we'll spend some time at least making some to-do lists so that he can feel we are moving ahead with Christmas!

Comment

Welcome!

Comment

Welcome!

I can't hardly contain my excitement in announcing Tea Times Creations new website, and this first blog post. I have been dreaming about this for a long time... The website storefront showcases our products in a more friendly and organized way than the Etsy storefront. And with the blog I have the opportunity to talk about my creative process, design, new upcoming lines, and the products we already have. Please check our my FAQ section, where I tried to address the most common questions I have gotten from you throughout the years. In the blog let me know which topics you'd like me to address. Pull up a chair, tea is served!

 

M

Comment