Artful and functional, wood risers are the most versatile item to complete a vignette. These low-rise pedestals can be used as cake stands, centerpieces, and trivets on the dining table or to display candles and planters on a console. This DIY wood riser is engraved using a Dremel tool. I hope you give engraving a try if you’ve never done it before. It’s such a relaxing activity – engraving is the new meditation!
The engraving on this DIY wood riser came out beautifully, so much so that my boyfriend is pretty much against the idea of using the riser for its intended purpose… That would somewhat hide part of the engraving and he prefers to leave our wood riser on display as a piece of art! 😂
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To make this DIY Wood Riser, you’ll need…
- Wood board to cut or a large wooden disk
- Wood beads (3/4 to 1 inch – 2 to 2.5cm)
- Dremel rotary tool
- Glue gun
- Wood stain
- Optional: Saw
- Optional: Sanding block
Step 1: Cut the wood base
To start off, trace a circle on the wood. I drew mine around 6″ (15cm) but any size will work. Cut the circle and smooth the edges with a sanding block.
If you don’t have a power tool to cut wood, you can recycle an old round cutting board. Or even a rectangular one. This project is very versatile so experiment with different shapes! It will always come out great.
Step 2: Engrave the DIY Wood Riser
I used the flexible arm attachment that came with my rotary tool. I actually got excited and started engraving by holding the tool but it’s far too heavy after a few minutes. If you have this attachment, definitely use it as it helps a lot with precision too. Just remember to place the tool so that there’s no sharp bend in the arm attachment. I hook my rotary tool above my desk so that the arm bends down gently toward the tabletop.
To start engraving, just press the engraving bit into the wood and slowly drag it across the surface. Keep a steady hand – great finger workout, if there is such a thing!
My engraving is a series of geometrical shapes: lines, triangles, diamonds, and arrows. Bear in mind that straight lines are much easier to engrave than intricate and curvy shapes. There’s no special trick to this, figuring shapes as you go works as well as drawing them out first. Just unleash your creativity and enjoy. It’s very absorbing!
Step 3: Glue the ball feet
Once you’re done with engraving both the side and the top, flip the wooden board over. Glue 3 or 4 large wooden beads 1/2″ (1 to 1.5cm) away from the edge to create the ball feet. I choose 3/4 to 1″ (2 to 2.5cm) beads. There is no ideal size, pick beads proportional to the diameter of the wooden board you’re using.
Step 4: Stain the DIY Wood Riser
Finally, apply a coat of your favorite wood stain. I chose a red chestnut color that reminded me of exotic wood. Apply a thick coat of stain, making sure you fill the ridges in the engraving. After a few minutes, when the stain is almost fully absorbed, use a rag to wipe up the excess wood stain. The stain remaining in the ridges will highlight the details of your engraving.
That’s all! If you want to protect your DIY wood riser, apply a protective coat once the wood stain has fully dried. To use this riser as a cake stand, make sure to use a food-safe finish!