As the title says, this is what we’ve been getting on with.
The idea, to lend a bit of an “Oxford” theme to our wedding, without accidentally sitting on “Oxford University” was to make this really awesome cake stand… Something like this…
Just because books are awesome, especially dictionaries.
With a cake similar to this one (thanks to MrsDMDavies) stood atop on a big silver board:
I had a chat with my aunt about the idea, and she seemed enthusiastic, suggesting we got a lot of identical ringbinders, and stapled the ends together to make them strong and steady enough (which is why I was looking for a stapler… we didn’t find one). My aunt thought we’d need a LOT of ring binders, but we didn’t think we could fit too many round without making the gap in the middle too big, so we decided to see what happened…
First of all, we didn’t find a lot of identical ringbinders, but just on the off chance we wondered into Osbornes on the Harborne High Street, where wefound 6 light blue and 6 black ringbinders (and various other colours) for 89p each. Which made a nice circle.
This was beginning to look promising.
So we decided to see whether it would do.
How could we be sure that this monstrosity of a cake stand would support our cake? Well, the woman at Halstead Icing cake shop said we’d want 1.5kg of icing on our 11 inch cake… So a bit of simple maths gave us the weight per unit area – 11.6g per square inch! And, of course, having the recipes for the different kinds of cake, all I needed to do was scale up the quantities according to how many eggs in each cake. We added a bit of extra weight for colourants, flavourings and cake boards/dowels, added a little bit more as a fudge factor, then rounded up to the nearest kilogram.
Which came to a grand total of 12kg of cake.
Now THAT is some cake!
So we weight tested the cake stand. We piled all my recipe books onto the scales and weighed them, which came to 11kg, then we loaded the books and scales onto the silver base board and cake stand (I figured the weight of the scales would more than make up the extra 1kg, as to pick them up, they were much heavier than Algernon (our yukka plant), who weighed a shakey 1.1kg. It’s really hard to weigh a set of scales, though. Maybe I’ll construct a riddle about that…).
By the way, I can heartily recommend all of these recipe books.
And in case you were interested, this is Algernon. He is quite a big yukka now, but I’ve had him for a very long time. On the left is Iris. She weighs about 4kg, but it’s hard to tell as she won’t keep still on the scales. When we put her on the cake stand, she kicked off when she jumped off it, sending binders flying everywhere, so we haven’t tried again. We’ve had her since October. She likes to chew Algernon’s leaves and then pull him over when we’re not paying her enough attention.
Anyway, having decided that our basic framework was fine, and not having a stapler handy, we decided to decorate the spines. I had a look at the OED…
But after struggling for a while to make a decent copy of the emblem, we decided that it wasn’t necessary. We didn’t need an Oxford English Dictinary emblem… we could use OUR emblem. We’d already made the stamp (and it would be a lot fo work to make another) and we still had some dark wax, so we waxed up the sides, and stamped on our mark.
I wrote the spine on using a silver pen, and we edited the words a little… you know, just to make them topical…
And that’s where we’d left it, until yesterday, when, in despair of any mega stapler, and unwilling to invest only to find that our ringbinders would break the stapler or something, we raided the glue cupboard.
We found this:
Despite it’s claims not to stick to itself, the lid was glued on, so the Fiance dutifully picked up my little hacksaw and cut into the neck, wherein glue spurted out and oozled satisfactorily. I used funny cardboard sticks which I just happened to have lying around to apply a gluey edge to the inner edges of the binders, and clamped them together in my hands to wait for them to dry. The Evo-Stik was actually pretty good, and dried fairly fast, so I didn’t get hand ache. Sometimes I needed the Fiance’s help to hold it, as the binders were a little curved and it was a three-handed job.
In any case, it works, the tips of our binders were securely fastened together, we bunged some polystyrene sheets inside them to a hold a bit of shape, and then hoovered frantically, as the polystyrene dust spread across the whole room and threatened to make it look like it was snowing inside as well as out.
And this is where I’ll leave you. We have yet to cut some card for a fake “pages” look on the tops of the binder books, but we’re almost there.
*With especial thanks to The Fiance, who looked up most of the names used in this post for me and uploaded some of the pictures, as I had left them at home.