Happy Monday and thank you for joining me at Tumbleweed Tidings.

Today I’m sharing some ideas for using plates in your home decor.  Once upon a time, plates were very utilitarian.  They were for eating food on. Period. But those days are gone!

Plates that started out as plain cream ironstone soon developed into statement pieces with flowers and ornate borders, sometimes in gold or platinum. When people realized how beautifully plates had evolved, they became home décor accessories to be displayed on easels, plate racks, and in dining room hutches for all to admire.  As families became more affluent, some even had “everyday” dishes and another set of “fancy” china for holidays and company.

Somewhere along the line, plates also became an item to be clustered on a wall as almost an art installation, a style that has come in and out of favor over the years. From Martha Washington using them at Mount Vernon, to designer Sarah Richardson creating wonderful installations in dining rooms, plate walls have had their moments.

I have gone back and forth on plate walls over time.  Today, I have some at our bungalow getaway which seems to go along with the cottage feel there, and in one guest room here at home. The funny thing about a random grouping of plates is that they seem to take on a life of their own and are never completely “finished.”  Take our guest room for example.  It should probably be done, but noooo, I keep finding more and more plates to add.

Of these most recent additions, one was found at the Goodwill, and three were found in San Francisco’s Chinatown during a recent visit. The W plate was stuck in a closet somewhere, so I thought I’d bring it to the plate wall party, as well.  When creating a plate wall, don’t worry about matching.  That is one of a plate walls most redeeming qualities; the quirkier the better.  You can use the colors from your décor or a new hue for a pop of color.

After years of using plate hangers of various types, I stumbled upon the most genius way to hang plates yet. They are Disc Plate Hangers that I found and ordered on Amazon.  You simply find the size for the inner ring of the back side of your plate, mix a little water to the glue on the back using your fingers, let set for a couple of minutes until glue is sticky, and apply to the plate.  They recommend letting it dry overnight, which I did because I’m a rule follower.  Well not really, but in this case I decided to be a good girl…

The great things about these hangers are 1) they come in several sizes to fit any plate or platter, 2) they don’t show any hanging hardware, and 3) they are not permanent. You just soak the plate in hot water, the disc comes off, and the plate is ready to hold a cupcake at your next dinner party.  Genius.

While I am not suggesting that everyone go out and start filling their walls with plates, in certain applications they are a strategic way to fill a large area for little cost. Even when creating a framed art installation wall, which are all the rage these days judging by my Pottery Barn catalogs, throwing a plate or two in can add unexpected interest, color and texture.  And during the upcoming holidays, replacing some of your existing art with festive plates can elevate your décor to something really special.  When the holiday is over, remove and replace.

So take a look around at your walls and see if there is a space just waiting for a plate to come hang out. Find a plain plate and stencil your monogram, anniversary, or house numbers on it.  Using plates in this way can make them awesome anniversary, wedding or housewarming gifts.

Write JOY or THANKFUL on a plate using permanent markers or acrylic paints and add them just for the upcoming holiday.  Glue each of your grandchildren’s pictures to the front of similar plates and create a memorable family plate wall.  The possibilities are endless, so start adding plates to your decorating arsenal today!

Good tidings,


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