October 30, 2012

Decorating With Plates?

by Carol Wells

Inexpensive yet decorative

Think about it: a simple round plate. What possibilities it can bring to a wall!

For one thing, it can help bring variety to a wall grouping. It's simple circular appearance blending in gracefully with the square and rectangle shaped items. Its surface can bring in a splash of color to the area it is hung at. Two decorative touches in one item!

But that isn't the full charm of considering blending in plates into your decor. You don't need to spend a lot of money finding plates for your walls or shelves! After all, you aren't collecting them - you are using them for decorating with.

By not getting into the collecting aspect, you have wider options. For one thing, you don't have to study up on the topic. Secondly, flaws or small chips work in your favor by having the plates more easily accessible.

Don't Limit Yourself Looking On eBay!

Look around at thrift shops or garage sales! Some estate sales or auctions may be a handy but cost effective source also. You may be able to pick up five to ten or more plates, matching or not, for under $5 US easily. Plate hangers or display holders can be easily found at many department or dollar stores.

It doesn't have to be just dinner plates or fine china you use on the walls! Some antique malls may have vendors who sell a few 'state' or souvenir plates that someone at one point in time picked up on a vacation. These can really add a splash of color to your walls! Dig through your parents' attic for any that they may have picked up and later stowed away.

"How can I use a plate for wall decor?"

Here are some ideas to hopefully inspire you to think of some twists of your own:
  • Use milk glass plates for a teen-age girl's bedroom wall

  • Arrange dinner plates and saucers as a novel ceiling border instead of a wallpapered one in the dining room or kitchen

  • Hang 3 to 5 floral decorated plates over the bed (Floral patterns may be mix-and-matched for fun!)

  • Slip a colorful sandwich or cake plate behind an existing arrangement on a shelf in the family room

  • Fix a shelf in the kitchen window and line it with pressed glass plates for the sun to twinkle off of

  • Children's plates, from turn of the century or later, with whimsical designs for the nursery

  • Rotate! Change the look of the walls throughout the year simply by changing what plates you have hanging up.
"But the plate I have ... it just looks old ..."

Yes, sometimes age or wear and tear through previous use leaves its mark. Dark lines or cracks that just nag at you for being there.

Try this handy little idea: add two lids full of bleach to warm water. Set the items in to soak. In a few minutes you will start to see the dark lines start to fade! Let soak for around half an hour or so, then rinse and dry.

You can also do this for your coffee cups and other every day dishes to 'give them new life' or a fresh look. Just wash and rinse them off well before using them for eating or drinking.

Remember, though, the bleach just helps to fade the lines and surface cracks. It may not always completely erase or hide the dark lines but, with some plates, those lines help to add a bit more character or charm to the plate.

Carol Wells is originally from Indiana but currently lives in the Delaware Valley region of the United States. When not seated in front of the computer Carol also enjoys photography, seeing how many pots of coffee is in her current coffeemaker's lifespan, tending to family, and participating in an area Irish-American String Band with her oldest daughter.