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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How To Create A Wall Of Plates

I’ve been working on my home office for what seems like forever. As I have mentioned before I wanted to keep the makeover costs under $300.00.

While the room is fairly small it has huge cathedral ceilings and thus requires large artwork to fill the wall space.

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Super sized artwork can get pretty pricey. An fairly inexpensive option is to create a wall of plates. So I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

Pinned Image

I loved the bright colored plates Lisa Congdon chose for her kitchen.

Pinned Image

A white floral stoneware grouping by AdoreVintage also caught my eye.

Pinned Image

I noticed that asymmetrical arrangements are quite popular.

Pinned Image

In the end I decided that I would mimic the shape of my cathedral ceilings with a layout similar to what Edie did in her guest bedroom.

Pinned Image

I raided my cupboards for various plates and saucers. Since I am quite the hoarder collector I quickly surmised that I was already on my way to a well curated collection. I then searched a few thrift stores but found no plates in the size or color palette I wanted (Murphy’s law). So I filled in the gaps with two plates I found on clearance ($2~ yeah!) from Pier 1. The yellow bird was a discontinued color, but they carry the same design in red and green.

Green Bird Plate

I  was also ever so thankful that my daughter works for Anthro/U.O and gifted me 3 more plates (also on clearance) for Christmas. Sadly, only this plate is still available and it is once again full price. ???

I then began playing around with various patterns on the floor until I settled on “the one”.

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Now here’s a little secret. I do not like the look of plate hangers. You know, the gold wire contraptions your granny used? In addition, they cost around $2.50 a piece and that would blow my budget rather quickly since I was hanging something like 20 plates.

So I googled “alternative ways to hang plates”. Voila! Another blogger, In My Own Style, used paper clips and hot glue. My type of gal.

TIP:Use traditional metal wire paper clips. Vinyl coated paper clips do not work. Luckily, I only hung two small saucers with vinyl coated paper clips and they did not break when they fell. The plates I hung with wire clips have now been hanging up on my wall for over a week with no problems.

I used  3 M command strips to attach the plates to the wall. No hammer and nail is necessary and a huge bonus is that there are no holes in the walls! (Click on the link for coupons.)

medicine cabplates 001

This next segment might make a few technical types nervous. I didn’t measure or mark my layout out on the wall in any way. I just hung the highest plate first and following the pattern I had laid out on the floor just continued adding plates in a straight line, eyeballing the placement as I went along.

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Two more plates were then hung creating a cross shape.

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Another two plates were hung on either side.

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I just kept building out the arrangement, adding a plate to each side. The beauty of this layout is that you can easily add to it when you find new plates to love. 

TIP: If you don’t feel confident in hanging such an arrangement by yourself get a friend to help for an extra set of eyes.

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Now I am wondering if I told you about the super cheap throw pillows….hmmm.

Please dish out your opinions,



sissie said...

Hi Laura,
I used to decorate with plates and now I'm rethinking using them again, especially now that I've seen your post.

I love the look you've created.


Auntie Em said...

Well, these are all so pretty on the front too! (I love the photo of the back with the pretty designs) I never thought about gluing a hook on the back of the plates, although I don't think I would do that to anything very valuable, it's a great idea for 'happy' plates! I love the organic, flowing designs as well as your very dramatic shape.
Thanks for the great inspiration!
Thinking of you and your family and hope you are all OK. {Hugs}

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I loveeeeeeee all these ideas on how to place them!! LOVE this Laura! :):):):):):):):):):):)

Karena said...

Laura your wall of plates art turned out perfectly!! How great that you had and found a great color palette. very cheering!

So many inspirational ideas lately!


Art by Karena

openid said...


Your plate display is beautiful and likened to looking out a window onto the garden. You do have a green thumb after all!

Your Friend,

Debby said...

Love these pictures. I have a few on the wall and more to put up. Love these ideas.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That's how I hang my plates, too, Laura! I saw Diane's post on the paperclips about two years ago and when I got some decorative plates remembered it. Such a great idea and the paperclips are still on there! They are the four plates I have hanging in my living room now.
Your layout came out very nicely. I went the easy route with a client one year and we put the metal art piece from Pier 1 of the plates they had on her wall.

Jill Elaine said...

I love the old 'eyeball it' mehod! My husband measures (and measures again) and has to ut a screw in a stud. Not my kind of decorating! He's realized after 14 years that my way works AND it doesn't put holes in the walls:)
And please show us your pillows - even if you already did - I can't remember either!

April said...

Oh Laura,
This turned out just BEAUTIFUL!(do i always say that? it's still TRUE.)
Plates are one of my most severe weaknesses, and as it turns out I am currently pondering a plate wall above where the sofa will ONE DAY be--if we ever get one. :)
The eyeball method is all I know...measuring ALWAYS turns out too asymmetrical for me!

Some of those arrangements you posted are amazing, but look like they'd require a person to LEAVE the furniture in ONE PLACE(scary thought)!

You are a brave soul for trusting hot glue and paper clips. Not sure I can think of going there!

Thanks for sharing a FUN post!

Vicki said...

Your plates look terrific! Thanks for the tip on how to hang them, I'm gonna try it...

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I LIKE it! the paper clips make me nervous....but it turned out fantastic!

Teresa said...

I notice that the plates in decor are IN again. When I was a little girl - eons ago ;) - every house had the mandatory wall with plates and sometimes - my favorite - with covers of broken terrines.

Can't say I'm ready to jump for a huge display but your suggestions are priceless and your display looks lovely and very you.


Antiques And Teacups said...

Gorgeous! Glad you said what you did about the metal plate hangers. They also eventually oxidize and that bleeds into the more porous glazes on antique plates and is almost impossible to remove. We recommend NEVER using them...maybe the vinyl coated ones but they are more expensive.

Lorrie said...

What a great tip about the paper clips. I've been wanting to create a plate gallery, too, but really hate those "official" plate hangers. And I'm with you on eyeballing instead of measuring. To my husband's intense dismay.

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

I love your plate collection! I'd like to try this someday. Thanks for your tips on hanging!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

It looks wonderful! I love your collection!

Miss Sandy said...

Love it Laura! What a cheerful and easy way to add color. Hope your day is filled with sunshine and beauty!

Mary Ellen said...

I love this idea Laura and am wanting to do this in my dining room if and when I ever get it painted- yes I still am stalling on what to do!

bee blessed

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

thanks for showing us how you hung them, love it if I did not have to put a hole in the plaster.
Love the bird plate, looks wonderful.

Lady Dorothy said...

I'm a freestyle girl, too! Command Hooks are one of my favorite things; thanks for the coupons!

jeanetteann said...

Yes, Lovely look. One of my favourite decorating thingies. Love your colour choice too.
I'm a bit nervous about the paper clip idea,but might try some el cheapo's first.
Thanks for the idea. xx jeanetteann

Whimsey Creations said...

Absolutely love it! I saw some in Pinterest too and have one of those walls in my livingroom. One picture just doesn't do it LOL So I understand about the paper clips but you used command strips? Did you stick the paper clips to them? Sometimes I have to see something - know what I mean? LOL Now I want to know about the pillows.

Whimsey Creations said...

Oh wait - command hooks - NOW I get it! LOL Just takes a minute (and a comment) to figure it out. LOL

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Can you come over and do one in my house, puleeese? It's gorgeous!

Bettyann said...

my nana loved her plates...yours are tres chic....

Debbie said...

One of my constant lamentations is the expense of actually hanging the plates once I buy them. I love the paper clip idea. So, you're sure they will hold well? I want to try that.

Audra Lynn said...

I use paper clips and hot glue, too! Or safety pins, whichever is handy. A small wire nail fits in the end of a safety pin. :)

Mimi said...

love those plates you used....I never thought of mixing plates, I love it!!!!I have a Sound of Music Plate collection...THAT I LOVE!!!!
I have had it hanging for over 20 years..maybe to house it goes, it will be passed to daughter #2 as we did the Sound of Music tour together in Salzburg, Austria last summer and had the time of our lives!!!!
I hope to see you soon, Cindy will be coming to Phx soon.....I hope NOT while I am in Oralndo.......

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

LOVE plates on the wall!!! I have mine in a "frame" on my dining room wall! Thanks for the paperclip tip!! Those plate hangers are expensive!

Maple Lane said...

Hi Laura, I love your plate choices and thanks for the tip with the paperclip! I check in often and thought I'd leave a comment and say "hi." Hope you have a nice weekend. Mildred Nalley

Heather said...

Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!


mississippi artist said...

I like your plates. I am in the middle of hanging more around my fireplace. I don't mind the plate holders, maybe I just am too blind to really see them! LOL!

smile said...

I am moving to a bigger home and have been working on gathering plates thank you for the wonderful way to hang them, the best tip ever I was wondering how to do it with out the gold hangers..