CAKE STAND

Up your host­ing game with Emily Ash­bourn’s mar­ble-look DIY cake stand

Mollie Makes - - Contents -

A mar­bled plinth made with poly­mer clay

MA­TE­RI­ALS

350g of poly­mer clay in white 57g of poly­mer clay in black 57g of poly­mer clay in grey Small wooden dish, 10cm (4") di­am­e­ter Non-stick bak­ing sheet Bak­ing tray Plate, 20cm (77/ 8") di­am­e­ter Knife Non-stick rolling pin Thick­ness guides or marzi­pan spac­ers (avail­able from www. wind­sor­cake­craft.co.uk) Kitchen wipes Pure al­co­hol, 95% or higher Wet and dry sand­pa­per in grades 800, 1200 and 2000 Mi­crofi­bre cloth Kitchen towel Hot glue gun Var­nish Whether you’ve spent hours faffing in the kitchen or made a last-minute dash to M&S, any treats be­come Insta-wor­thy when art­fully ar­ranged on this mar­ble­ef­fect make. The se­cret? Poly­mer clay. Yep, a clever bit of rolling and blend­ing and you’re on your way to an im­pres­sively luxe cake stand.

Once you’ve got the tech­nique down, how about mak­ing a set of th­ese disks as fancy place­mats?

01 Pre­heat the oven for the clay ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions, and en­sure your workspace is free of dust and lint.

02 To cre­ate the mar­ble ef­fect, roll out a long length of each of the black, white and grey poly­mer clays. It’s eas­ier to build the mar­ble up a bit at a time, and poly­mer clay is eas­ier to work with the warmer it gets, so warm the clay colours in your hands by rolling them into balls be­fore mak­ing the strands.

03 Lay the three strands next to each other. Hold­ing all three ends in one hand, roll the other ends to­gether so the strands twist around each other. This doesn’t need to be neat, it’s just a way of get­ting a re­al­is­tic mar­ble ef­fect in the clay. Fold the strands in half and roll to­gether again to make a cylin­der-shaped piece.

04 Con­tinue to add all the white clay into the mix, bit by bit, us­ing the twist­ing tech­nique in the pre­vi­ous step. You may wish to add some more grey de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence. Keep work­ing the clay to keep it warm.

05 Even­tu­ally, you’ll be able to roll the mix of clay into a ball the size of a large orange, as shown.

06 Us­ing a rolling pin, roll the ball of clay onto the non-stick bak­ing sheet and, us­ing the thick­ness guides to keep the sur­face flat and level, move the clay around to roll out a round disk shape.

07 If you spot any air bub­bles un­der the sur­face, use a pin to gen­tly pop them, then roll the clay un­til the small holes close up.

08 Keep rolling out un­til the disk is larger than 20cm (77/ 8") di­am­e­ter, then, us­ing the plate as a tem­plate, cut out a cir­cle shape.

09 The cut edge of the cir­cle may be a lit­tle rough. Ap­ply a small amount of the al­co­hol to a kitchen wipe and run it around the out­side edge to smooth it down. Use the al­co­hol to wipe over the sur­face of the clay disk as well to re­move any dust or lint, and to close up any re­main­ing pin holes.

10 Once you’re happy with the look of the clay plate, bake in the oven at 110ºC/225ºF/Gas Mark on a bak­ing tray for 30 min­utes, or fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. Re­move the clay disk from the oven and al­low to cool.

11 Tear off a piece of each grade of wet and dry sand­pa­per. Add a drop or two of wash­ing-up liq­uid to a bowl of cold wa­ter and soak the three sand­pa­per pieces for a minute or two. Start­ing with the 800-grade sand­pa­per, care­fully sand down the edges and top sur­face of the clay. Next, use the 1200-grade sand­pa­per and re­peat the process, then fin­ish with the 2000-grade sand­pa­per un­til the clay is silky smooth to the touch. Grab some kitchen towel to dry off the clay, then use the mi­crofi­bre cloth to buff the sur­face.

12 Heat the glue gun and turn the clay right side (RS) down. Cover the base of the small wooden dish with hot glue and stick it to the mid­dle of the clay. Re­move any ex­cess glue and al­low to dry.

13 Ap­ply the var­nish – you can use matt or gloss, de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence. You’ll need to wait un­til it’s com­pletely dried out be­fore the stand is food-safe, so check the la­bel to see how long this takes.

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Emily Ash­bourn De­signer-maker Emily lives in East Sus­sex with her hus­band, two girls, Ve­gas the dog and an un­healthy amount of yarn, cro­chet hooks and WIPs. You’ll gen­er­ally find her ig­nor­ing house­work and putting the ket­tle on, or shar­ing her makes on In­sta­gram @make.e. www.ma­keeshop.com

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