Learn how to create a dIY plate wall: Step-by-step Guide
This past year Julie and I each hung our first plate wall and honestly, it was a little scary. I am usually the “adventurous” one and tend to be a little more hands-on. But Julie was the first one to brave this project on her own. I must say, I was proud of her (and not just a tad bit envious.) Julie had a small collection of antique plates our grandmother had given her. With a plate wall in mind, she had been collecting plates for awhile. Finally, it was time to put her plan into action.
Plate Hanger Options for Your Plate Wall
Julie used “plate hangers” that you can buy at craft stores for anywhere from $2.70-$18.00. These are fine, but aren’t necessarily your best choice for a few reasons:
- They cost more than other options, especially if you have a large collection to hang.
- They don’t always fit, especially if you have some unique shaped plates.
- You can sometimes see the metal attachments and this can be distracting.
The best alternative to making your own that I have found are Plate Disks. (note: This is an affiliate link.) If you would rather not get your glue gun out, I recommend this as another option.
Supplies for Your Plate Wall
- Large paperclips
- Glue gun
- Duct tape
- Measuring tape
- Scotch tape
- Picture hanging hooks or large head nails
Step 1 – Make Your Plate Hangers
- Take your paper clip and open it up (unfold it one time).
- Take your plate and flip it face down on your work surface.
- Using your hot glue gun, add glue to the edge of the plate where you will attach your paperclip and place your paperclip on the hot glue so that only a little closed loop is protruding off the edge of the base of the plate. (see pic for placement)
- Add more hot glue over the paperclip so it is almost buried in glue.
- Let it cool a bit before the next step.
- When the glue is cool and hard cover this area with duct tape. To be honest, I’m not sure this is necessary, but no one wants to picture their plates crashing to the ground one night, so I say, what the heck. Let’s just put it on to be safe.
Step 2 – Create Your Templates for Your Plate Wall
- Get our your paper. First, place your plates one at a time on a piece of paper. Then, trace around with your pencil.
- Next, cut out your paper plate templates.
- To get an idea of what you want the wall to look like, place your plates on a large table or on the floor in the shape of what you want your wall to look like.
Step 3 – Let’s Move it to the Wall
Take your paper templates. Using just a bit of tape start putting your paper plate templates up on the wall. You can “eyeball it” but you are probably going to want to get your tape measure out and check that things are level on top and bottom and side to side. If you are working with different size/shape plates like I was you really have to just decide if you are happy with the look. It’s more about an artistic judgement than it is about measuring.
Step 4 – Let’s Get Hanging our Plate Wall
This last step is probably the scariest because now you are ready to put some holes in your walls. It’s time to put up your picture hanging hooks. I suggest these instead of nails. I like the idea of the added security of the little hook at the end (rather than just a small nail head). But you could also opt for nails with larger nail heads. That would work too. I left my paper templates up for this next part. You can mark the paper and nail right through the paper. Don’t forget to measure the distance between the end of the hook and the top of the plate to get the exact placement of your nail.
And, they’re up!
After a some styling and a bit of sunshine we are photo-ready!
Now it’s Your Turn
We hope this little tutorial has given you the courage to create your own plate wall. We’d love to hear about your experiences hanging plates. Tell us what you have tried. What worked? What didn’t work? Just leave your comments below and we can maybe try them next time.
If you’ve caught the DIY bug like we have why not try a few of our favorite DIY projects next? Check them out here:
Barn Wood Wall Transformation: DIY Peel & Stick Wood
DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves! Build Your Own!
How to Get the Look of Real Tile with Stencil
So many fun projects, and the best part, is you CAN do it yourself!
Our best advice is to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. All you have to lose is your fear, just like us.
Olivia- Reinvented Collection says
Hi Jodie & Julie,
This plate hanger DIY is a fantastic idea! I am going to have to borrow this and maybe blog about it. Currently, I’m using those old fashioned metal kind with springs in the middle that have to be stretched once they catch the lip of a plate. It scares the bejeezus out of me every time I’m clutching onto one end of the plate, stretching, and clicking the metal hinged things around the other end of the plate. Between worrying about whether my everyday glasses serve as protection goggles or wondering exactly when those metal hinges are going to take a chunk out of my pretty vintage dishes that I have worked so earnestly to collect. Believe me when I saw earnestly. Alaska is not the place to be a French country lover. It’s the land where the 70’s came to die and for some odd reason it continues to thrive like a cat with 9 lives. SMH.
So, thank you for this wonderful idea!
OMG, Olivia! I am seriously laughing out loud! You totally crack me up! “….the land where the 70’s came to die….” We are definitely going to have to become blogging buddies! I adore your beautiful aesthetic and now….your sense of humor!! I feel you about those plate hangers….Julie had trouble with them because she had so many different shaped pieces so I was excited when I found this easy DIY option! You should definitely blog about it if you want…spread the word because I think it’s a great resource for lots of reasons! xoxo Jodie & Julie
I love plate walls and plan on doing one in my dining room soon! Thank you for these ideas!???? March madness
Jill Stephenson says
Thank you for sharing in creating a plate wall. I have some antique plate heirlooms from my Great Grandparents I have always wanted to display. God bless you both!!
Tracy Park says
This is wonderful, I love the plates on your walls. Happy march madness
I must say it was hard to find your blog in search results.
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Thank you Dorothea. We appreciate the kind advice and your coming on our blog to enjoy. We hope you will stop back often for continued inspiration.
Wishing you the best, Julie & Jodie
I’ve always admired plate walls, but have been intimidated when I think about hanging my plates. You’ve given some great ideas. I’ll give it a shot.
Great news! Yes, you should go for it! And once you tackle the plate wall you’ll be more confident creating other gallery walls in your home. It’s really just practice creates confidence which spills over into all other areas. Have fun! XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Amy WILLIAMS says
Love the paper clip hack! Such a good ideA, and more affordable than plate hangers for a large wall.
Theresa Beaudry says
Absolutely love this DIY and the fact that it didn’t cost a thing! So I have a design question about where to hang plates. We’re remodeling our Master bedroom and adding wainscoting as an accent behind the bed wall. It only goes 2/3 the way up the wall behind our bed leaving a 1/3 of the wall for artwork…or maybe plates? But…do you think plates are appropriate in a bedroom setting? In my mind, I think of it as maybe a big faux pas kinda like using a wine rack as a towel holder in a bathroom…that’s just weird to me. OK, odd analogy I know and maybe I’m just overthinking it I mean its not like its our Everyday dishes.
Thank you so much for making life a little more fun!
Follow your gut instincts always…they usually won’t steer you wrong. You asked our opinion so here it is: We don’t think plates belong in a bedroom. A basket wall yes. The other thing is that you don’t really want glass plates hanging above your heads while you sleep. I always think…what if… A plate wall would look best in a hallway, a kitchen or a dining room. We’re so glad you enjoyed the post. Happy decorating:) Julie & JOdie
I created a plate wall in my dining room years ago. I used the inexpensive plate hangers from Walmart. I did as you suggested by creating a layout on the floor. My mother’s antique mirror is in the center, and the plates surround it. I will share it with you on Instagram.
Having a plate wall is such a creative idea. I’m so happy you shared it with your followers.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us sweet friend! That’s amazing to hear. You are so kind. Thanks for all the love.
Lots of love,
Jodie & Julie