Update: Ruh roh. Turns out you guy were right, the hot glue didn’t hold up. The first plate to fall was the metal one, the second one to fall was the fire king turquoise plate. Who’s a sad panda? Me. Oh well, I found another really nice plate and replaced it lickety split. This time I hung some of the plates with wire hangers and the other ones I either used this felt/glue method or I just added super glue/krazy glue around the hot glue area for a little more permanent hold.
It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! Yep, it’s time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge. For this go-round Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop, Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love, and Renee (another Minnesota lady!) from Red Bird Blue threw down the challenge. For those of you that don’t know, this challenge was thought up by the lovely Ms. Katie Bower to stop us from just pinning and actually start doing.
For the Winter Challenge I tackled some new flour and sugar canisters
for the kitchen. I brought in a little pop of color to my brown kitchen and tied in the teal color that shows up in different ways in my kitchen and living room. For this Spring challenge, I’m bringing in some color to my kitchen/dining room again. And, if you didn’t get the hint from the title, I’m doing it with office supplies and a kitchen staple: PLATES! (Are you shocked that I’m doing something kitchen related?) I mentioned before how our kitchen opens into our dining area, which flows right into our living room. The walls, furniture, and appliances are pretty much all varying shades of brown in those areas.
The wall in question.
I had been toying around with the idea of creating a collage of plates on a wall somewhere in my house for a while now, but when Katie Bower posted her wall of plates
just two days after throwing down the Pinterest Challenge, I realized this needed to be my challenge project. My original plan was to do something like this:
Not necessarily using milk glass, but all one color of unique plates with delicate scalloped borders and shapes. Then I saw Katie’s post
with a variety of plates and colors and was reminded of this post
from way back in 2011 on Today is going to be awesome
Isn’t it beautiful? Color, whimsy, and a fun flowing arrangement. THIS
is what I wanted. So, with my pin
as inspiration, I set out to find some plates. My first stop was Crate & Barrel. I bought four plates – two rectangle ones and two round ones – with varying patterns and styles. Then I came home and showed E. The first thing he said was, “Why don’t you use one of the plates you bought for the wedding?”
He’s talking about a set of plates I bought to make bracelets and cufflinks for the wedding party. The idea is that you find a plate that matches your colors, is sentimental to you, is part of your wedding china – whatever – and then you break it. Well, I didn’t break it, Juliet
did. Then she made the pieces of the plate into these:
Aren’t they pretty? Well the rest of the set of plates that I bought to make those cufflinks and bracelets have just been sitting in a drawer collecting dust, until my genius husband had the idea of using one on my wall of plates. I fished it out and in the process found five other plates that fit the bill. Four of those were teeny tiny square “dipping plates,” two in green and two in turquoise. Looking at the two colors it dawned on me that I could create a very loose gradient to take me from the green (more serious) hues on the wallpaper in the dining area to the teal (fun) hues I’ve added to the living room. I just needed a few more plates to fill out the middle; to the thrift store we go!!
Success! I found five unique plates – including one vintage Fire-King turquoise plate and a triangle-shaped plate from US Ceramic Tile Company. Here’s an image mapping it all out for you:
It took several iterations of me laying them out to arrive at the right arrangement. I started out on the floor (I used Little K’s road rug as my backdrop – poor kid has to share his toy mat with mommy!) and just rearranged and rearranged until I liked the layout and the flow of colors.
Then, once I was ready to hang them on the wall I realized that I needed to figure out how to hang them on the wall. Who thinks ahead? *crickets*
So I started looking around and found that you can get invisible plate hangers
for a few bucks, and wire (visible) plate hangers
for a few bucks more. Fifteen plates times a few bucks per hanger = too much money. I already had spent more on the plates than I originally wanted to, I wasn’t about to lay down some big bucks on plate hangers. Instead I got my Google on. I found this post about hot gluing a paper clip
to the back of the plates to use as a hook. It worked perfectly! (I did have one wire hanger on hand and I used it to hang my “wedding plate.” I didn’t want to mar that one with glue since it was special to me. All the rest of my plates were nothing sentimental, so I didn’t mind gluing a clip on or having them fall down if the glue ever looses the good fight.) The post used command strip hooks. I didn’t mind poking a few nails in our walls though, so I just used nails.
To affix the clip, find the top of your plate (if you have a top – maybe your pattern should be oriented a certain way or it’s a rectangle or triangle and you want it angled a certain way) and approximate where you’d like the clip to be positioned. When possible I put the clip on the raised edge of the base of the plate so it would sit out from the back of the plate a little, making it easier to grab the nail.
Then I just started with the first plate in my collage and worked my way across. I recommend taking a photo of your arrangement so you can reference if you ever need to see how they sit in relation to each other or what the orientation of things is. I didn’t get a tape measure out or draw any diagrams – nothing as serious as all that. I just eyeballed it and I think it turned out fine. Another tip though, if you have a plate with a hook that sits farther down in on the plate – so that you can’t really see where to mark the nail hole – use a washable marker to color on the hot glue. Then find where you want to hang your plate on the wall (don’t slide it against the wall – just hold it out a half and inch or so) and press! You’ll have a little mark where the hot glue was, just pound your nail in a bit higher than that since the glue isn’t where the plate will actually hang from.
I thought it would take me forever to hang all the plates – checking and rechecking that they were in the right place – but really that was the easiest part of the whole project. Hold it up, mark the nail spot, nail, hang.
I love it. I love the square plates in there and how the four little dipping plates tie the whole collage together. I think the elegant wedding plate on the right side is an awesome contrast to the playful plate on the left side. Each plate brings its own style, yet works really well in the mix. The stripes and graphite colors work well in the middle there as a focal point – and they’re perfect “middle ground” in the color gradient I have going on. And, it makes me happy that this is something I can continue to add to if I find more beautiful plates or ever feel like switching it out. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw some Christmas colors in there this winter or some red, white, and blue for the fourth of July.
And, even though I used Little K’s rug to arrange the plates, the project was so quick and easy he didn’t really even notice it. He’s back at
work play already!
This was such a far cry from the amount of effort I had to put into the flour and sugar canisters that I did for the last challenge. Plus, this one is far more satisfying to look at. It’s such a fun pop of color and I can see it being a conversation piece if I ever have any family plates or collectibles up on the wall.
Alright, time for you to tell me one thing:
- Do you have a plate “collection” and if so, how do you display it?
- What is your favorite plate (either in your collection or mine)? I love the silver butterfly one the most I think. It’s subtle, but a nice focal point to the whole arrangement.
- Have you tackled any Pinterest projects lately? On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy was it? (This one gets 5 stars all the way! Fun to shop for, easy to hang, and beautiful results.)
Don’t forget to take a moment to check out all the other projects. Here are Emily’s
, and Renee’s
; and there are loads more at the end of each of their posts.