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Acrylic Riser Cake Tutorial

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

So, this tutorial is pretty special to me, because this is a project I went in on absolutely from scratch.

I was not able to find any type of reference on how to pull this off, so needless to say, it caused me plenty of stress over the course of about 4 months prior to the wedding.

So, the bride came to me with a photo of a beautiful square cake where the tiers were separated with clear, square risers. Well, I thought "OK" if they can do it, sure I can do it! I initially went straight to the acrylic option. The problem I didn't expect to run into was apparently, cylindrical shaped acrylic ONLY comes 1/8 of an inch thick, while square risers have the ability to be much thicker. Oh, also the sizes I needed had to be custom made. -_-

The first thing I had to decide on was what material to use. I went back and forth between glass and acrylic, because I wanted to make sure this was a sturdy as possible, given that it would be holding up 3 tiers of cake in all. I also wasn't sure if it needed to be open on one side, or if I needed it to have some sort of replaceable lid in order to set the cake tiers on top of it.

Of course, these custom cut displays came with a pretty hefty price tag, but since I already gave the bride my guarantee, I had to get this done my any means necessary! We were nearing the wedding day very quickly, and after going back and forth about measurements and cost, I had to make a decision. 1/8 of an inch thick just had to work!

A few weeks later the risers arrived. I went ahead and tested putting weight on them and they seemed to hold up pretty well. The sizes I purchased were 12" x 4", and 8" x 4".

Note: The company I used was shopPOPdisplays. They were great to work with and everything came quickly and well packaged!

It wasn't until a week before the wedding that I came up with an amazing plan, that would calm my nerves about stability, and actually helped with the flower arrangement.

I decided to shave down a Styrofoam dummy tier (this one was 4" for my 8" hollow riser) so that the riser would sit flush on the Styrofoam dummy. This allowed for lots of space to arrange the flowers around it, so that they wouldn't look smooshed. It doesn't matter if the Styrofoam showed at the top, because it would be covered with the tier above it.

The bride selected these beautiful cherry blossom flowers. (Amazon link below)

I did decide to use a bit of hot glue to attach the flowers and stems to certain parts of the Styrofoam. This way there weren't any gaps between the flowers.

As for support, I cut a cardboard round to almost the exact size of the acrylic tier. Then to hide the edges, I added a ribbon around the base. I did this on-site, so I had to bring some piping gel to hold it down.

Note: If you plan on moving the cake after set up, you may consider driving a dowel through the Styrofoam into the cake below it

Anyway, the end result was stunning, and I hope this helps as a guideline for those looking to try something similar!

If you'd like to know where I got this super cool spinning stand from, well here ya go!

This stand rotates very well, and the speed doesn't change when you add more weight to it. :)

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