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Playing with Plates


Self Diagnosed
I suffer from Naked Walls Syndrome.

It's true.

I stand there staring at those big empty spaces, endless possibilities flashing through my head,  and I get a little freezed up. How do I pick something that will truly enhance the space? What does it need, a painting? picture frames? something super quirky like a bicycle or a moose head? (maybe not the moose head...)

This was the problem I faced in the dining room.

Enter Pinterest. I'd become their spokesperson if they'd let me. I spied these beautiful plate displays and it was a done deal.



I like that plates and dining rooms naturally go together (I'm not that wild). Up til this, my limited exposure to plate displays was at Grandma's house, in racks, or curios, usually with kittens or clowns, or something equally kreepy on them. 

But this could actually work. It was hip, and conceptual (I am a little wild). I loved the bright colors and the mix and match of different patterns, sizes, and styles. And the fact that I could get these from my local thrift store for under a buck each was a huge "Seven-Up budget" plus. :)

Here's how it all went down. :)

Plate Project Supplies:
  • Plates of various colors and sizes (you could also do a monochromatic collection. I've seen some pretty nice all white versions of this)
  • Plate hangers of various sizes
  • Paper for templates
  • Toothpaste (yes toothpaste. It will come in handy)
Step 1. Buy a bunch of fun plates. Or serious ones. Whatever floats your boat. I scoured the land over a few of months to find just what I wanted. I didn't know how many plates I'd need for a display big enough for the wall, so I just kept buying and setting up arrangements on my dining room table until I though I had enough.



 There was a bunch of great plates at thrift stores, mostly going for around $.50. I found the rest at Tuesday Morning, Big Lots, 99 Cents Only, Crate and Barrel, and Tai Pan Trading Co. for a dollar or two each. It cost about $20-$25 total for 21 plates.

Step 2. Acquire wall hanging devices. I had no idea plate hangers were so difficult to come by, or would bump up my project cost so much! I cleaned out 3 Wal-Marts and a Target to get all I needed. And at $2-3 each, it cost about $20 for hangers for all the larger plates. There is probably a way cheaper way to buy plate hangers out there. Ebay and Amazon offer bulk packages, but I needed so many different sizes that it wouldn't have saved me anything.

 In my hunt for small plate hangers, I stumbled across this wonderful invention from 3M. They're in the Command Strip family. 



Command Picture-Hanging Strips are velcro-like strips that stick to the wall and the plate and "snap" together when pressed. They worked like a charm, and no nail holes! I just may hang all my pictures with these little guys from now on. I used them on the smaller, lighter ceramic plates, and the plastic ones. I think it was $5 for a box of 8 sets. So that's $25 total for hangers.

Step 3. Contemplate Plate Templates. hah. To avoid making swiss cheese out of my wall, or wasting a bunch of those little sticky strips trying to get a balanced arrangement, I first made butcher paper templates of all the plates and taped them up on the wall.



I drew a sloppy version of what the plate looked like on the paper template, so I wouldn't get confused when it came time to hang everything up.
(looks like I need to change a few light bulbs in here)

Step 4. The Toothpaste Trick. Aha, here's where it plays in. Thank you, Pinterest. Dab toothpaste where the nail would go into the plate hanger and lightly press the plate onto the desired spot on the wall. When you remove the plate, there will be a little tooth paste mark right where you should make your hole. Winning! : )



The plates got hung exactly where I wanted them, no eye balling stress whatsoever.


I made sure to hang everything above "small mischievous child" height. We were particularly paranoid about  that, or a guest brushing up against one and it coming crashing down on their heads. "Welcome to my home, let me break your noggin". I'm pretty sure Liquid Nails was mentioned at one point... But everything seems pretty sturdy! I'm confident they're all safe and could withstand a fair bit of jostling if necessary.



Some close ups. I love this aqua one.


Peacock = love



Grand total for this project:
$25 Plates + $25 Plate hangers and Command Strips= $50. Plates not crashing down on children = Priceless ;) 

Do you suffer from Naked Wall Syndrome too? Where do you get your inspiration? 
On to conquer the next naked wall...
<3 Alyssa
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:)
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