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How to Make a Three-Tiered Serving Platter

If you’ve ever needed to know how to make a three-tiered serving platter, you may have been overwhelmed by how complicated it can be. That’s why I’ve decided to share my easy instructions.

Black and clear glass three-tiered serving platter
First serving platter I made.

A well-designed serving platter is necessary in a southern home. After all, you need to make everything look as inviting and delicious as possible. And you certainly don’t want anyone going away thinking you’re not a good host or hostess.

Finding the Perfect Serving Platter

There are several things to consider for your serving platter:

  • First of all, it needs to be pretty enough to put on display next time you host a party.
  • The serving platter should enhance the look of the food, not take away from it.
  • As the food disappears, the serving platter should still look attractive.
  • Don’t forget to check every option for the plates and candleholders, including the clearance section of your favorite stores.

How to Make a Three-Tiered Serving Platter the Easy Way

Before you begin, decide what color you want and what configuration you need. I like having a variety of levels, so my favorite serving platter has three tiers. The best thing of all is that I made it myself, and I can do it again as the need arises.

Surprisingly, I learned how to make a three-tiered serving platter in one try. That means it can’t be too difficult, right?

Decide on a color you want the platter to be. Personally, I like neutrals because they provide the perfect backdrop to frame the food and garnish without clashing.

1 black dinner plate and 2 black salad plates
Plates from the Dollar Tree

What you’ll need:

2 clear candleholders with crackle finish
Candleholders with crackle finish
  • 1 large dinner plate
  • 2 salad plates or 1 salad plate and a bowl
  • Candleholders
  • Industrial-strength glue (I like E-6000.)
E-6000 glue for an industrial strength hold
Industrial strength glue

That’s it. You don’t need anything else.

Where to Find the Plates and Candleholders

Since I have to put a little work into this project, I like to keep my cost down. That’s why I look at yard sales, thrift stores, and dollar stores for plates.

It took me a while to figure out how to make a three-tiered serving platter without a bunch of tools, a glassblowing torch, and other complicated items.

A couple of years ago, I picked up some really pretty octagonal pearlescent black plates at Goodwill. Since I’m all about simplicity and time management, I planned out as few steps as possible. And it worked.

Now I’m getting ready to entertain, and I need another one. However, this time, I didn’t have a chance to peruse the thrift stores. So I picked up the plates and the candleholders at the Dollar Tree.

Prepare the Plates and Candleholders

The first thing you’ll need to do is thoroughly clean the plates. That means you have to remove all of the stickers and price tags. If they don’t peel right off or come off with detergent and water, try using some Goo Gone. That stuff’s great for removing stubborn stickiness.

Goo Gone adhesive remover
Goo Gone

After washing the plates, dry them really well. The glue will stick best if there isn’t any water or soap residue on them.

Next, find the center of the large dinner plate. Some of them actually have a slight indention in the center. If the center isn’t obvious, draw two lines from one side of the plate to the other so that they intersect and form a cross. Now you have the center.

Final Construction of the Serving Platter

Apply glue to the bottom of one of the candleholders. Carefully place it in the middle of the dinner plate.

Applying E-6000 glue to the bottom of the candle holders
Apply E-6000 glue

While that one dries, repeat this process with the other candleholder and one of the smaller plates.

Candleholders glued to the center of the plates
Apply candleholders to the center of plates. The angle of the picture makes it look off-center, but it’s not.

Allow those to dry for at least 6 hours.

Next, apply the glue around the rim of the candleholder on the larger plate. I used a little too much glue, so some of it dripped down inside the candleholder.

Putting E-6000 around the rim of the candleholders
Apply glue to the rim of the candleholders

Gently center and place the smaller plate (the one with the candleholder already glued to the top) on top.

Two levels of the platter and candleholders glued together
2 levels of the platter finished

Allow it to dry for at least 6 hours.

Finally, apply some glue around the rim of the top candleholder. Gently center and place the other small plate or bowl on top.

All 3 tiers have been assembled.
All three tiers assembled

Put it in a safe place and allow it to dry overnight. The next day, you should be able to hand-wash it to remove fingerprints and glue residue.

A Serving Piece You Can be Proud Of

Now you have a serving piece you can certainly be proud of. It adds an extra element of interest to your perfectly set table. If you enjoy a burst of color, by all means, mix things up a bit and have three different color plates.

Don’t be surprised when your friends ask you where you found such a unique and stunning serving piece. Maybe you can even teach them how to make a three-tiered serving platter.

Please feel free to share!


Friday 25th of January 2019

I have been wanting a tiered serving piece like this. I think I could do this project! Thanks so much for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!


Friday 25th of January 2019

Hi Pam, I think you'll enjoy doing this project. It's so easy, and you have something you can use over and over. Enjoy!