That said, I bought (and thoroughly washed. Twice.) these glass candle holders at $1 per pair for a quick-n-crafty project.
When I spot them, I also buy (cheap!) interesting vintage china dessert dishes at yard sales, flea markets, and (if I'm really lucky) places like Anthropologie on the sale table. This peach of a plate was $2.99:
Funky dessert stands! Pop a cupcake or some homemade cookies on there and you've got an instant birthday or hostess gift. I originally got the idea at a tea room I went to that used these at each place setting. I had an "a ha!" moment midway through stuffing food into my mouth that their fancy tea service pieces were simply plates adhered to candlesticks. The mismatched creations looked so cute loaded up with finger sandwiches, mini scones and other sugary treats. What a great way this would be to set a table for a shower or similar gathering of ladies who lunch. And, if you were feeling benevolent, each guest could bring theirs home as a memento of the day.
Just hand wash (and don't submerge in water) and you'll enjoy for many festive occasions to come.Update, July 30: Appears there are more fabulous DIY cake stands in the blogosphere. Check out Design*Sponge for Kate's Recycled Cake Stands. She used those white "throw away" vases you get flowers in (I'd call it the standard issue Hospital gift store vase). I love it as a base -- looks like milk glass!