Decorating With Plates

I love decorating with plates, and even though the ones in today’s post gave us a little trouble at first, I’m really happy with how the whole collection (eventually) came together.

Let me start at the beginning. I thought I had them all laid out the way I liked them, so I attached Disc Hangers to the backs of them. I rolled out a long piece of brown Kraft paper, and used a pen to trace circles around them, and then drew a small circle where each Disc Hanger loop fell so I’d know where the nails should go into the wall.

After that, I recruited my darling hubby to make sure my template looked straight on the wall:

Next, I drove little white nails into all the dots I had drawn on the paper, and after that, I removed the paper from the wall and Kev secured our wooden initals (gifts from our friend, Shannan) directly to the wall…

Before we hung up the dishes, I tidied up some of our Disc Hangers with a little Gray Lake-colored paint so that the visible parts would match our walls:

Now this is where the story gets wacky. You’ll notice that bowl in the photo above didn’t make the final dish collection cut. Turns out what looks good on the floor, doesn’t always look right on the wall. It hit us during American Idol on Tuesday night. We were both sitting on the couch, watchin’ away, when boom: we both felt like there was something off with our new “art” over yonder in the sunroom. It was too clutter-y, and too contrast-y, so I jumped up and started removing and rearranging. The next day I played around with it some more, and then sanded off the black paint on our wooden initials so they didn’t overpower the plates so much. The pattern we ended up going with is totally random, and yes, we had a handful of holes to patch and touch-up paint, but we’re really diggin’ it, and it’s fun to finally have something up on the walls in this place- ha!

Here’s a close up shot of how the Disc Hanger loops look when the plates are up on the wall:

As for our initials, we just pushed those back into place and I love how they “speak” to the color of the floor rug. I also love mixing finishes, and how there’s a really visible pop of rusticity amongst all those smooth, glossy plates now:

And speaking of plates, I have some favorites I want to show you. One has our wedding day on it:

We were married on June 25, 2004- so, of course, I’m a sucker for all things 25. The charm and hemp string came from Hobby Lobby. I found them in the jewelry making section.

To create our “anniversary plate”, I just wrapped some of the string through the loops on the charm, and then secured it to the back of the plate with a couple dabs of hot glue.

Another one of my favorite plates, is the one we picked up for a few bucks at Midwest Memories Antiques on the way home from recording our adoption song:

I’m a sucker for grass green, and the style of art on it sort of reminds me of toile (which I also love). It kind of has a Department 56 Snow Village vibe too, which reminds me of my mom because she’s been collecting pieces of it since I was a little girl. Last but not least, don’t even get me started on that scalloped edge. #LUSCIOUS

The last plate I want to show you is the one we hung up for our Sweet P. I picked it up for $1 at a local flea market, and it started out like this…

I thought it was kinda cute as is, but we decided to give it a few coats of glossy white spray paint…

…and finish it off with a few little embellishments (also from Hobby Lobby):

Here it is now:

We’re going to fill in the date line with our adoption “gotcha day”, and then we’ll write Sweet P’s name on the line above it. *Squee!* I get so giddy thinking about all the little letters and numbers that’ll eventually be written on that charm!

Happy Weekend!

Condo Kitchen - Pick My Presto
Seed Sack Pillow

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    gorgeous….love this wall.
    I love sweet P’s plate!!!!!!!!! Precious.
    Hint……..give it a try……..get some glass head pins from JoAnn’s. Do you know how much weight you can hang on a plain ole pin????? I am serious. Sure does eliminate big holes in the wall.
    Just practice and hang something in a closet and test the weight. Seriously, we do it all the time.
    That’s my tip of the day.

    • Layla says

      Kev’s mom does that too, Ter’e! SUCH a great trick! I actually liked the look of these nails because they matched our wall color and so many of them are visible from the side, but I’m totally gonna use that pin trick sometime too! 😀

  2. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    I am sitting here (with frozen toes – it’s cold in FL today) – and I am giggling up a storm. Layla, you totally crack me up.

    You know a TRUE DESIGNER when they match the nail color to the wall paint.

    I have this lonely little piece of wall in my kitchen (my whole kitchen is open and has cabinets) and I have one little plate hung on it. BORING!!!!!!! I was going to save for some more Fitz and Floyd plates to match! Have thrown caution to the wind and now I am going to head to the Goodwill and see if I can find some random plates to hang with it. Shoot, if I love the shape and not the color – I can just spray that sucker!!!!!!!! I also feel a trip to HomeGoods coming on.
    Thanks for making me laugh!!!!!!! I am still giggling at you!

    • Layla says

      Well, I don’t know about the “true designer” part- but I sure do love the “little things” when it comes to interior decorating! 😀

  3. says

    I’ve never heard of DISChangers!
    (And, now I want them!)

    It’s amazing how the glossy white paint made that plate handle pop! I can’t wait for the day you announce those digits!
    ~ Dana

  4. lee ashley says

    Haha, I have plates in my dining room area and I totally did the same thing…laid them out, hung them up, and realized it was….much. I also did some editing after a few weeks. We pulled out some “extra” plates for a recent holiday and I realized they still had the hangers on them. Oh well. :)

  5. says

    Dear Layla,
    I love posts like this because sometimes even small projects can seem so intimidating (especially for people who have a hard time visualizing a completed project!) – and the fact that you completely rearranged your plates- and even sanded off the black paint- is a great example that IT IS OK to switch things out if they don’t work the first time!! Patching a hole (or twelve: ) and touching up a little paint is really no. big. deal.
    In a nutshell – it gives people inspiration to TRY!!!
    LOVE the plate for Sweet P (my son Patrick was Sweet P too!!!)
    So happy for you guys about your upcoming adoption..such an exciting year!
    Leah: )

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Melanie! We got the letters from our friend Shannan. There’s a link to her (awesome) blog up there in the post next to the photo of the black-painted letter “L”. 😉

  6. gourmet goddess says

    hi, discovered your website a few months ago and i am enjoying reading about your journey and all the “doable” diy projects.

    just wondering where you purchased the plate holders and in your opinion are they pretty secure ?


  7. says

    Love your post! Just the right feel of darks and lights! What an awesome journey your adoption will be. We were married for 15 years before we added our two beautiful babies from the country of Kazakhstan! They are now 13 and 11 and they love to hear their adoption stories! You have something special and Sweet P will feel special!

  8. Ginger says

    Hi! I’m visiting from the nestor and just had to ask about the last plate you showed, before you painted it. It was hand-painted and could have been painted by my grandmother. She taught china painting classes in her home around 1920 so I imagine it was a popular pasttime for ladies. Do you recall if there are/were any initials or words on the back that would indicate who painted that lovely design? Thanks for checking ’cause I’m just curious.

    • Layla says

      Hi Ginger :-)
      I think I can see the name “Itta Beckham” poking out behing my Disc Hanger…but I can only see the top edges of each letter, so that might not be exactly right! 😀

  9. Amy says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sweet P plate! As well as the anniversary plate. The Christmas plate with the scalloped edges is very nice.
    You are so creative!

  10. Rachel says

    Layla, I ‘inherited’ my mother-in-laws family sterling. Not going to use it….ever. BUT…I think I am going to ‘frame’ it (sort of what you did) and use it as my wall art….a nod to my husbands family and I won’t have to polish it.

    Love the sweet p plate as well!

  11. Rick S says

    I came here from Nester too. Love your plate wall and can understand measuring and plotting and making it “just so” before you hammer a nail. It sometimes looks better tweeked on the wall.
    I look forward to seeing your upper case letters joined by a little lower case letter :) . I do like the look of the painted plate and can see it had wear and gets a new life and love. My aunt uses a handpainted divided relish dish for earings and pins on her dresser. Too pretty to pass up.

  12. Leigh in Dallas says

    Hi Layla,

    Just wanted to say that I love your “Gotcha” plate! What a sweet way for your little one to know how much you loved and prayed for them before you even met! I’m adopted, and my parents and I celebrate “Gotcha” day too. We are definitely all thankful that God brought us together. :)

    Hugs from TX!

  13. Joni says

    i can’t believe i never knew about dischangers!! i just went online and ordered 15!! i can’t wait until they arrive ……i will be hanging plates in my family room by that evening :) thank you, thank you, thank you for the great tip!

  14. says

    So cute!!! I love plates on the wall, but so does my mother-in-law. It drives the hubby crazy, so I don’t have plates on my wall….so sad :-(

  15. ashlee c says

    it’s very inspiring that you have things OTHER than family photos all over your walls. don’t get me wrong – i’m a HUGE fan of family photos! but it’s so nice to see something as unique as a plate collection. i have a massive bin filled with family photos that are ready to hang – i’m slacking on it because i don’t even know where to start! eek! i have pictures all the way back to the 1800s, starting with my great grandparents. i have interesting documents, too. like immigration papers, birth certificates, things that deserve to be on display in our home. but….family photos all over god’s green earth seems to be a bit…overdone. i’m brainstorming for other things to include in gallery walls. any ideas?

  16. says

    OMG…. love the plate wall … and esp. the anniversary plate and the plate for Sweet P! Someday (hopefully soon) I think I’ll start a wall of grandbaby plates!

  17. Erika says

    Love your website and this post helped me with trying to figure out how to mount some plates I have! Thanks!

    Also, I am dying to know where you got that green and canvas tote that looks like a picnic basket? I love it!!