3 tiered tray tutorial

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 a few days a go i showed you my kids’ bathroom redo, and showed a quick picture of this little project.

i can’t take credit for this idea or even completing this project – it was all my parents.  well, i supervised and took pictures and gave my opinions, but really it was all them.  yes, you can be jealous.  they are awesome.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

my mom is a thrifter and i am the beneficiary of that occaisionally.  she found three perfectly sized cake pans and we bought a threaded rod

and cap nuts and jam nuts.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 we had to start by finding the center of our circle.  i’m sure there’s a mathematical way of doing that, but we had our own ideas…

3 tiered tray from circular pans

we (my mom) traced the base of the pan with a pencil and cut it out

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 then folded the circle into quarters.  the tip of our circle would be the center of the pan!

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 with a pencil we (my mom) marked the center of each pan, making a paper circle for each of the different sizes.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 then we (my dad) made a pilot hole in each pan with a nail, just to make drilling the hole a bit easier.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 with a drill bit just smaller than the size of our threaded rod, my dad drilled a hole through each pan.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 because the pans are somewhat flimsy, the pan needed to be hammered around the hole a bit to flatten it back out where little pokey metal pieces were.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

then we started by putting a nut on the bottom of the threaded rod, then slid the largest cake pan down.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

then we put another nut down on top of the pan so it was sandwiched between the nuts.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 when we screwed the nuts tight it help the pan securely.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

we could have measured the midpoint, but we just eyeballed instead, and added another nut there, then slid down the medium size cake pan down.  you can see how lopsided the middle pan is because the top nut wasn’t added yet.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 then we added another nut for the final cake pan, added the cake pan, and finished it off with another nut.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 once we were done there, we flipped it all over and needed to add “feet” to the base so it would sit flat.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 again, measuring on a circle was tricky, so we did our best and eyeballed it for the most part.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 we used 3 cap nuts and e6000 glue.   the glue takes awhile to dry.  after we got the nuts in place, we flipped the trays right side up so the weight would help to press the nuts on better.

3 tiered tray from circular pans

and here’s the tray in action!  i contemplated spray painting it a fun color, but i actually ended up loving the texture of the original trays!

3 tiered tray from circular pans

 now lipgloss, headbands and posy hair clips have a home!



  1. 1

    That is an AWESOME tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m off to make one now (and to pin it). My bathroom needs it. BTW – what wonderful parents you have to create something like that for you and your family.

  2. 2

    That rocks!!!!

  3. 3


  4. 4

    Lindsey, thank you so much for this tutoiral! I (along with the help of my wonderful husband) am going to make one this weekend. I have two girls and this is going to perfect to hold all their hair accessories and look great in their bathroom!

  5. 5

    soooo loving this project!! thanks for the instructions!

  6. 6

    Ahhh what awesome parents you have! I see where you get your craftiness from. Thank you for the tutorial. I am now off it ask my husband if he has a drill bit like the one shown.

  7. 7

    I’ve been looking for three different size cake pans for the longest time to make one of these! I had just about given up but now I think I might start looking again! :) Thanks for the instructions!

  8. 8
    Jessica says:

    Molly T. texted me a picture of this from your house last week and I stared at it for the longest time trying to figure out how I could make one. Thanks for the tutorial! Now if only I could borrow your parents to help me make one….

  9. 9
    Tiffany Nelson says:

    The little feet have to be my favorite part. Thanks for the tutorial.

  10. 10

    thanks for breaking it down! when i saw the pic of it from your bathroom makeover post, my immediate thought was ‘wonder if there will be a tut’ to follow?, cause’ i’d love to make one for my own house’ ……and here it is. cheers, and thanks a bunch!

  11. 11
    Giovanna says:

    Awesome DIY! I definitely need to try it out!


  12. 12

    I love that … it would be so cute in my girls’ bathroom. Thanks for sharing!

  13. 13

    Love this project! I so need to make one for my kids’ bathroom (& mine too!) My mind is already filled with colors of paint to use. Pinning this so I can refer to it later, a.k.a. when the Mr. is home to help me.

  14. 14

    Love this so much. I am already thinking of gifting a few.. I do like the silver but I know I would have painted it some wild color.. I am surprised you held back lol..

  15. 15

    Awesome idea, and so rusticly cute!

  16. 16

    i totally swooned over it in your previous post AND actually had some pans in my cart at the thrift store the other day….ugh – wish I hadn’t put them back! now I’ll be on the hunt again! You’ve inspired me darlin!

  17. 17
    Janelle says:

    I did this same project last week!!!! I found six silver platters and made two tiered platter sets. They were piled high with hundreds of mini-muffins for a casual brunch after my daughter’s baptisms last friday. I used free samples of flooring to even out the bottom, but your nuts seems more solid. I’ll have to give that a shot. We used a clean painter’s canvas as a table cloth and topped it with the two tiered silver platters, bowls of fresh fruit people had brought, iced water and lemonade, and used little rectangular white tiles written on with wet-erase marker stood up on tiny easels from the dollar store to label the varieties of muffins. I wish I’d taken better pictures, but I was distracted. It was inexpensive and looked super classy. I did use a bit of hot glue below and above each set of nut/platter/nut because they kept loosening. I figured that hot glue could come off easily enough that if storage space is an issue I could unscrew the whole shebang. I’ve left one of the tiered trays on the island in my kitchen and have it covered with apples, plums, and limes with a little plastic vase from the dollar store glued down on the top with peacock feathers in it. (The vases on top were filled with flowers from the yard for the party).

  18. 18

    I love this tutorial!! I’ve been looking at these in all the housewares stores for months now but not wanting to buy one when it looked so easy!


  19. 19

    cool-I think I might have to make one.

  20. 20

    This came out adorable! I have quite a few of these pans collected for this very project, however, I intended to put this together with something other than the threaded rod. I love this idea! Thank your mom and dad for me! It shows that they used a 12″ threaded rod, however I am wondering if that is really big enough space between the pans? I was thinking of using 18″ if I could find that size but as of right now I haven’t. Is that enough space between? Thanks and thanks for sharing!

  21. 21

    Thanks dad especially! Looks super and very sturdy. I imagine you are the one who thought of the threaded rod which is what I have not seen before. I need something like this that will allow me to adjust the height and not be limited by the length of whatever candlesticks or garden light stakes I can find. This eliminates the undependability of all the super glue and allows disassembling too. I may try to add something to the top of the rod like a drawer knob to top it off though. Can’t figure out what would have a threaded opening with that large a diameter though.

  22. 22
    Karla Roberta Azolin says:

    Good afternoon. I really enjoyed this “do it yourself”. I live in Brazil and do not have these decorative pieces here. I see in Pinterest and I think it’s wonderful to decorate the house with the themes of the seasons. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Karla Azolin

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