As part of the July Pinterest Challenge, I’m going to show you how easy and inexpensive it is to make a vintage china tier server.


I made two plate and teacup stands for the Alice in Wonderland, Unbirthday Party. Each held a variety of homemade finger sandwiches, and were set up on either end of a buffet table in the dining room.

For the June challenge, I shared How to Make Whimsical Teacup Fascinators. A more complicated, time-consuming but rewarding craft project for the same event.

The purpose of the Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all to not just pin, but act on it! At the end of the post you’ll find links to lots of great projects, recipes and ideas by other bloggers. The monthly blog hop is hosted by Erlene of My Pinterventures.

Come see what inspired the (iced) tea party vintage china tier server, and learn how to make your own.

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Inspiration for Vintage China Tier Server


The tea party server stand was inspired by Justine of Sew Country Chick. I saw lots and lots of similar pins on Pinterest. But what I liked about Justine’s, was the mixed use of vintage china and crystal. Most were one or the other. I also liked that she mixed china patterns for each layer.

Justine’s instructions call for using Gorilla Glue. I elected to use E6000 because it is considered high-performance, supports heavy weights, is good with a wide variety of materials, and dries clear.

I purchased a 3.7 ounce tube (Michael’s). That was enough to make these two servers, three floating teacup centerpieces (pictured above), two hanging teacup planters, and a few other china decorations for the party — like this Fanciful Alice in Wonderland Theme Wreath.

When a Pair is Better Than One

For the tea party, I put together two vintage china tier server stands. The pair were set up on either end of the buffet.

Although I used different plates and teacups on each, I made sure they were about the same height — by using the same crystal cordial glasses between layers.

Here’s the other server from Alice in Wonderland Party, loaded with shrimp, coconut and ginger finger sandwiches. Tea Party Menu: Finger Sandwiches Savories has all the details.

Last week, I also showed one server as the centerpiece of the Alice in Wonderland Table and Party Favors

Materials & Cost

Each vintage china tier server is quick and easy to do, once you’ve gathered together

materials. It’s even more productive creating multiples at the same time. It wouldn’t be hard to create even a dozen or more for a bridal shower or tea party fundraiser — to have one at each table. A fun project for a few friends to do together?

I found all the china plates, teacups and cordial glasses at local thrift shops, like Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul.

If you have odds and ends of pieces, it might be nice to put them together into a vintage china tier server? Or, maybe you need to divide a set of grandma’s or Aunt Sally’s old china amongst family members? Perhaps you could create a server for each person? In that case you might want the china plates, teacup and saucer to all match.

Finally, maybe you inherited a china pattern you really don’t need or have room to store. Creating a vintage china tier server would allow you to have a keepsake. Then, you could donate the rest to a thrift shop for someone like me to find!


Many of the teacups and saucers I used to create Alice in Wonderland Table and Party Favors came from this one box — a steal for $8!

For the servers, however, most of the plates and glasses were purchased individually, for anywhere from $.50 to $4. I estimate the total cost of each vintage china tier server was about $10.

Build One Tier at a Time

Start with the largest, base dinner plate. Measure the diameter of each plate before you begin, and jot it down. Use a ruler to help center the glass.


You can choose to place the glass right side up or upside-down as I did. I incorporated white and red silk roses (Dollar Tree) inside the glasses. Remember, the Queen of Hearts wanted the white roses painted red?

Simpler to add the flowers with the glasses upside-down. And, the stems and underside of the flower didn’t show that way.


Place the glue around the rim of the glass and center on the plate. Use that ruler to measure on four sides before you push down on the glass. If you have to readjust, quickly wipe away any smeared glue. Hold into place for about a minute to get a good seal.

You can also squeeze more glue around the outside of the glass against the plate, if you are worried about it holding. I didn’t feel the need, but did always pick up the vintage tier server by the bottom.


Glue each layer together and let dry overnight before assembling multiple layers. I also glued the teacup to the saucer.


Here’s the middle layer made with a luncheon plate and a shorter stemmed glass than the bottom layer. I used a pair of the same glasses for both servers to keep them similar in height.

You can also see what the white silk rose looks like before flipping the glass over.


My Cup Runneth Over

Unlike the inspiration pin, I topped my vintage china tier server with a teacup and saucer.

Work from bottom to top when assembling the three layers. Spread glue on the bottom of the glass, center the teacup/saucer into position and then apply a bit of pressure.


Afterwards, I placed a bit of floral foam in each teacup and created a small silk arrangement in each. You could always put fresh flowers in yours. Or, fill it with candy or nuts.

The keys were not glued in place, and simply added as embellishments to fit with the Wonderland party theme.


To Stack vs Glue

At first, I considered just stacking the china and crystal. I quickly realized that would be an accident waiting to happen, as people reached to remove food. Then, I considered just gluing each of the three layers together separately and stacking them. Easier to store afterwards, right?

Bad idea” said my husband the engineer. He demonstrated how easily the vintage china tier server could topple with just a little downward pressure on a plate. So glue it all together I did!


Now let’s see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!


Bee sure to check out all the posts on the Unbirthday Party invitation, decorations, favors, games tablescapes and food.



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