Whether you’re a collector of porcelain and ceramics or have recently inherited your grandmother’s antique china set, chances are you probably have unused decorative plates in your possession. Rather than tucking them away in a curio cabinet, consider turning your dust-laden dinnerware into decorative wall plates to create a statement piece or large-scale art installation.
In recent years, hanging plates on a wall has re-emerged as a popular design trend, adding color, pattern, texture, and three-dimensionality to a favorite space. Contemporary iterations of the trend tend to focus on using more traditional types of plates, utilizing sets of formal china or those in the same color family. If you’re looking to build a statement wall for your dining room, living space, or even a home office, follow this guide on how to hang plates on a wall for the tools and tips you’ll need.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Kraft paper
- Painter’s tape
- Plate hangers
- Nails (optional)
- Picture hangers (optional)
Step 1: Arrange your plate layout
Determine how many plates you’d like to hang and how they look best. Try several configurations until you find a plate arrangement you prefer, taking into consideration the wall’s surroundings. For example, if you’re hanging your plates above a table or next to a shelf, allow for at least a foot of space between the plates and other objects so that the arrangement doesn’t feel cramped. It’s important to try out various options so you can best envision how the plates will look on your wall. Don’t be afraid to shy away from symmetrical configurations and work with an assemblage of different shapes and sizes to make for a more exciting composition. Once you’ve settled on a layout, take a picture so that you can easily replicate it on your wall. Find inspiration for ways to hang your plates at the end of this post.
- Tip: Mix small and large plates to avoid a uniform style.
Step 2: Trace the plates onto paper
Use a pencil to trace outlines of each plate on a large piece of kraft paper. The outline doesn’t have to be exact, but should follow the largest width of each plate to ensure you’re measuring the space correctly. Cut out each plate template.
Step 3: Tape the templates to your wall
Tape the templates to the wall with painter’s tape. Start from the top of the wall and work your way down. This will help you properly space your plates and replicate the layout you created earlier.
- Tip: Use only one piece of tape until the templates are positioned where you want them. Then you can secure them with additional pieces of tape.
Step 4: Hang the plates on picture hangers
After you finish securing your templates, attach the plate hangers to your dishes. Then, nail the hooks into the wall to hang your plates. To assure the plates fall where you want them, hold the plates up to their corresponding templates and mark where the plate hangers (on the back of the plates) fall. Align the hooks of the picture hangers with these marks.
Styling Tips for Hanging Decorative Plates
Even after your initial plate wall is complete, you may continue to add ceramic plates to your installation as you acquire them. Just like with a gallery wall, the beauty of a plate collection is that it’s something you can continue to build and curate for years to come.