Learn how to decorate plates for your home decor or celebrations using one of these unique ideas! These are perfect for beginning crafters.
Been to the thrift store lately? There are a few things you can always expect to see – without fail – no matter the location or decade your store is in.
There’s always 1,000 pairs of jeans, blown out shoes out the wazoo, and a ton of plates and dishware.
Tell me it isn’t true.
I’m not complaining by the way. I love searching through the goodies to find a deal. And you know that feeling when you discover something you love amongst the denim and kitten heels . . . so amazing!
One of my favorite things to purchase at the thrift store is dishware. I love the plates. So inexpensive, and always great for renewing into something fabulous on a budget.
So yes . . . this post is going to show you how to decorate plates. With over 25 ideas, using a variety of creative techniques.
Before we get into the ideas, I wanted to share some important tips and thoughts with you. These are especially crucial if you want your project to be long lasting.
You will ALWAYS want to prepare your plate by removing oils using rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball or pad. Cleaning ceramic or glass before you craft with it is important to make sure everything sticks.
What do you decorate plates with?
There are a lot of options! You can use markers (oil based), spray paint, craft paint (glass or multi surface), stickers, alcohol inks, decoupage medium, fabric, paper, vinyl, and more.
What you use depends on if you want it to be usable (and washable) or just for decorating.
How do you permanently decorate a plate?
You’ll want to use something made for glass and/or ceramic. Check the bottle of whatever you are using, make sure it works on glass or ceramic (depending on your plate), and then follow the instructions to a tee.
For decoupaging plates, you’ll want to use Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. That’s the only way to make them washable. There is a 28 day cure time you need to follow and Mod Podge is not food safe, just FYI.
What paint to use to decorate plates?
There is a specific type of paint you can use on glass if you want it to be permanent and it will clearly say on the label. They are usually called “Glass,” “Enamel,” or “Multi Surface.” There should also be curing instructions.
Oil based paint markers and spray paint are also typically permanent, but make sure to check on the label.
You can use chalk paint and regular craft paint, but they aren’t washable, usually. I always have to clarify that all of these tips are “typically” because the ceramic or glass plate you are working on also makes a difference in the permanence.
For food safety: there are few brands available, but Pebeo Porcelaine 150 is a great one. There are markers and liquid paint, and they are food safe, dishwasher safe, and heat resistant.
Now that you’ve gotten my tips, I’d love for you to check out these projects! Leave me a comment and let me know which one(s) you’d like to try. Enjoy!
Get great ideas for decorating plates in a variety of ways! Maybe you want to make them pretty for a holiday or party - or you just want tableware that is new and different. Either way, you'll find some unique projects below.
Decorate Dollar Store Plates with Confetti
These DIY confetti plates are made using tissue paper, dollar store supplies, and Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. They’re perfect for parties!
DIY Watercolor Plates
These DIY watercolor painted plates are an easy and cute way to spice up your kitchen. Using porcelain paint, add a little color to any of your dishware.
Bird Plate Wall
Here's an easy way to fill up a blank wall! You'll need a bunch of plates and some vinyl decals of your choosing. In this case, the birds work very well.
All you need is some painter's tape and paint and you have the magic ingredients to create your new fabulous dinnerware!
Boho Glass Plates
You can eat off of these cool plates because all of the decoration is on the underside! Using positionable spray adhesive is the key when applying the doilies.
Painting Porcelain Plates
How to paint porcelain plates without using a kiln! This is such a great handmade gift idea. You can make the design as simple or as complicated as you like.
Mod Podge Plates
Grab glassware from the dollar store and some fabric to make these Mod Podge plates! Guests will love these, and they are perfect to make for the holidays.
DIY Lettered Dinner Plates
You'll love these DIY lettered glass plates that you can make at home using your favorite fonts and a white paint pen! These would look so beautiful for a wedding and are easy to do.
Dollar Store Sharpie Plates
This awesome dollar store craft will be a crowd pleaser. DIY Sharpie plates make great personalized gifts and are so easy cheap to make! You can also get great tips for success here.
Colorful Swan Appetizer Plates
If you want a bright look for your dishware according to a theme, this is an awesome way to incorporate a color palette.
DIY Halloween Silhouette Plates
I love Halloween, especially vintage Halloween! These would be fun to display, especially during a holiday party.
Washable Decoupaged & Painted Plate
Paint your plate and then use washable decoupage medium to a attach a doily! Because it's on the bottom, you can eat off the top.
DIY Marbled Dinner Plates
Wow your party guests! Learn the tips and tricks to make your own marbled dinner plates with this easy paint pouring technique.
Spray Painted Custom Tableware
Make your own custom tableware with a bit of spray paint! I love the modern shapes of these that let the pattern shine through.
Hand Painted Dish Set
This project shows you how to make beautiful, complimentary dishware that features a bold pattern combined with black and white. No painting skills required.
Gold Paint Marker Plates
These plates were decorated for an Oscar soiree! I love that they would work for Christmas or New Year's as well.
Decorative Plate with a Quote
Find out how to upcycle a pretty old plate into fun quote art for your home! This is a great method for transferring the letters so you can just fill it in.
DIY Abstract Painted Tableware
You know what I love about decorating plates with an abstract design? You don't need any painting skills! I love this color palette, too.
Foodie Face Plates
The fun thing about these plates is that the face can be decorated - with food! These are a cute idea for a kids' gift.
DIY Plate Display Using Vintage Photos
Learn how to create a DIY plate display on a budget! In this project I used vintage photos for the perfect Mother’s Day gift.
DIY Moon Plates
Transform plastic dollar store plates into moons, as the perfect backdrop for your Halloween treats!
Marbleized Nail Polish Plates
I'm used to ceramic mugs decorated with nail polish, but I've never seen it done with plates! These are so fun to make for a colorful celebration.
Easy Fall Plates
Create a decorative plate perfect for your autumn home decor. It cost less than $2 to make and includes a free printable!
Decoupage Plates with Fabric the Easy Way
These decoupage plates are so easy to make – and they don’t have to be owls. Choose your favorite fabric and shape; just add Mod Podge.
DIY Striped Painted Chargers
Striped painted chargers are the perfect easy DIY for your summer tablescapes! You can use this same method to decorate plates.
DIY Upcycled Vintage Plates
I've never used waterslide decals, but this project is a good reason to try them! The bug images are striking on the vintage plate background.
Food Safe Dishes with Alcohol Inks
Learn how to easily make food safe dishes with alcohol inks! Turn a thrifted glass plate, glass, or bowl into a colorful work of art.
Dollar Tree Galvanized Metal Chargers
Make your own DIY Dollar Tree galvanized metal chargers without the expense of real ones! They're super easy to make using this process, and this can be done on any plate.
Polka Dot Christmas Plates
Polka dot plates are super easy and quick to make, plus they cost only $1 each! Perfect for your holiday table and Christmas entertaining.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment letting know which project is your favorite! I’d also love for you to check out these other posts:
- Paper Lantern Crafts for Party or Decor
- 50+ Fun Crafts You’ll Be Excited to Try!
- Wine Bottle Decor: 35+ Crafts for Your Home
- How to Make a Banner: 50+ Genius Ideas!