Christmas is a happy time where giving, decorating, and good food complement the heart of who we are. Homes are filled with trimmings and decorations in an array of festive colors of red, green, silver, and gold.
Not long ago, I was inspired to create something fun that could be used year-round in the kitchen – an area where many times decorations are dull, or even nonexistent. After pondering some ideas, I decided a tier tray was perfect – and terra-cotta was the ideal material. This project is interesting, easy to make, and lends itself to just about any theme, holiday or otherwise.
I went with a theme of peppermint, chocolate, and pinecones to create a festive Christmas display, and I'll change the theme with each coming holiday. To make the project your own, choose a theme that incorporates items you enjoy and associate with each season.
Tools & Materials List
• 6-inch terra-cotta saucer
• 8-inch terra-cotta saucer
• 10-inch terra-cotta saucer
• Drill and 1⁄2-inch glass and tile bit
• Safety goggles
• Electric saw or handsaw
• 1 1⁄4-inch threaded metal rod, 2 feet long
• 1 1⁄2-inch copper pipe, 2 feet long
• White chalk paint
• 1 miniature terra-cotta pot
• 4 1⁄4-inch washers
• 3 1⁄4-inch hex nuts
• 1 1⁄2-inch copper fitting
• Decorative materials of your choice, such as ribbon, fabric, pinecones, peppermint sticks, chocolate and peppermint bark, herbs, greenery, berries, etc.
Step 1: Drill Holes in Saucers
Place one saucer on a flat surface, with a towel or a piece of wood underneath. Drill a hole in the center of the saucer, using the drill and 1⁄2-inch glass and tile bit. Drill slowly to keep from cracking the saucer
Repeat with the other two saucers.
Step 2: Cut Metal Pieces to Size
Wearing safety goggles, use a saw to cut the threaded metal rod to 17 inches long. Save the remaining piece for another use. Now cut the 2-foot-long copper pipe into a 10-inch piece and a 6-inch piece, and save the remaining piece for another use.
Step 3: Assemble the Project
With a clean paintbrush, paint the miniature terra-cotta pot with a thin layer of white chalk paint. Set it aside to dry.
Place the 6-inch and 10-inch saucers together, with the flat sides facing, and slide the threaded rod through the holes. Add a washer to the rod on the 6-inch saucer side, and secure it with a hex nut. (Step 3-A, previous page)
Turn the project over, and repeat the washer and hex nut on the 10-inch saucer side. (Step 3-B)
Slide the 10-inch copper pipe over the threaded rod and hex nut. Cover it with a washer. (Step 3-C)
Add the 8-inch saucer to the threaded rod, and secure it with a washer and hex nut, making sure it's nice and straight before tightening it.
Slide the 6-inch copper pipe over the remaining exposed threaded rod and hex nut. Secure it in place with the copper fitting.
Drill a 1⁄2-inch hole in the bottom of the painted miniature pot. Secure the pot to the copper fitting. (Step 3-D)
Step 4: Decorate as Desired
Personalize the tray according to your desired theme and personal preference.
I added 4-inch and miniature terra-cotta pots, some left natural and others painted with white chalk paint, to sit on the two tiers, and I added ribbons to some of the pots. I also spray painted some pinecones with copper paint, and added them to the mix, along with some vintage-looking peppermint sticks, chocolate and peppermint bark, some herbs from the garden, a few cedar greens, some artificial berries, and some pretty fabric to give it a festive look.