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!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. Karen says

    The plates look really lovely, very nice use of colour and contrast. Very sweet about the adoption dates and names which you’ll save for the last one. x

  2. Jodi M says

    Cute… love the “25” wedding plate! Gonna have to steal that idea for my plate wall! My hubby and I were married Feb 25 and our first date was a 25 and engaged on a 25! Love 25 stuff! Loving your sunroom!

  3. Seana says

    I love the plates! When you spray painted that one plate, did you do anything before hand to prepare it? I have some plates that I love the structure of the plate but not the design painted on them.

  4. says

    Wouldn’t it be something if your gotcha date turned out to be the 25th?! Whatever it is, that date’s going to become awfully precious to you, too. It’ll be such fun to celebrate with you!

    Your plate wall looks wonderful; it’s great to see how that room is coming together so beautifully.

  5. Bernie says

    I love the whole scheme, but am sad you painted over such a pretty plate. (the colors would have looked nice with your scheme…at least on my monitor) Couldn’t you have found something really ugly to pain over????
    Aaah to each his own! Love the sentiment though.

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Bernie! :-) And you’re right- the phrase “to each his own” might be the best one for me to add right here, too- LOL. #KevWasntAFan ;-)

    • Susie says

      I’m with you Bernie. That is an old lemon server that was used to serve lemons to the ladies when they had their little tea parties. Love the plate wall and the initials add a great personal touch.

  6. says

    what a fantastically sweet way to capture your adoption date on the tag hanging from the plate. It screams “from the heart” which comes through everytime I visit your blog! My best as your journey rolls full steam ahead!

  7. says

    Great big thank you to you, sweet girl! I have a collection of plates I want to decorate with but haven’t yet – only because all I knew to use were those brassy claw-like plate holders for hanging them on the wall. Yeah…eww. I had asked another decorating blogger about her plate collection and how she hung her plates but she never responded so I’ve been sitting here with these plates in a pile. So thanks! Now I can get movin’! :D

  8. says

    Your Sweet P plate gave me a lump in my throat. Love it. I hung a collection of plates above my couch last year (had a bunch of my great grandmother’s, and “found” some more), and it’s my favorite thing in my house!

  9. Donna Doble-Brown says

    Oh my gosh! who knew a can of paint could transform in such a way???? I absolutely “Sweet P’s” plate and charm! and I know they will too! the sunroom looks so comfortable and inviting! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

    Can’t wait to see what else you two creative geniuses do to your new house!

    Thanks, as always for sharing AND including the animals in the pictures too! I get such a kick out of seeing them!

    Stay well . . . .xo

  10. says

    Your plate wall collage adds a touch of whimsy to your sunroom and a true reflection of your personality. I get happy reading that you get so giddy thinking about all the little letters and numbers that represent a little life and a lot of love!
    Your Friend,

  11. says

    shut up. this wall is perfect. i especially love the white spray painted plate. i was wondering what the loopy thing was all about. looks so stinkin awesome!

  12. says

    Your plates make me Happy. I love that they have a family meaning to them. So Sweet.
    I have also found that when hanging groups on the wall , it works best to just eyeball it rather than have a “floor plan”

  13. says

    I love mixed and matched collages with a cohesive theme. The spot you chose is a perfect space for added visual interest because it can be seen from different rooms. Great job and the hassle was well worth the result!

  14. says

    Your plate wall looks fabulous! I love the coolrs and the sentiment behind each of the plates especially the one for “Sweet P”. I have been keeping you all in my prayers for your journey to God’s perfect bundle just for you.

  15. Allison says

    There’s beauty in the abstract and I love how it all turned out, once placed, in their own personal “home” on your wall. The anniversary and Sweet P plates…to die for. Too much precious for this ol gal to handle!

    Once again, great job guys!

  16. says

    I love that you have a Christmas plate up all year long because I keep a gingerbread house candle (small) on our wall in the hall to remind me to keep the spirit of Christmas all year. I can’t wait until you are able to write in the date and name and add an extra letter to the wall!

  17. Sarah M. says

    Ooooo, pretty! I do love me a good plate wall! Our dining room has a plate rail that I’m slowly decorating. I’ve been very picky with my selections, but I love how you spray painted your sweet p’s plate. What a great tip! It opens up a lot of other options for me. I also love the number 25 because it’s my birthday today!

  18. says

    I love the plate collection. The subtle mix of patterns, sizes and colors is perfect. I have a few talavera plates I’ve collected from mexico over the years and the collection has always been one of my favorite wall decorations.

  19. says

    Here I am, just lovin’ your plate wall, getting all sorts of ideas, and then bam! your anniversary plate and Sweet P’s plate…aaaah! Two fantastic ideas, and I love Sweet P’s plate painted! (whoa, try to say that 3 times fast, lol). Then, when I read your comments about filling in your little one’s name and date…I couldn’t keep from crying, thinking about all the love your little one is going to receive and how much anticipation there is! You know…there’s a reason why I check your blog, even if I don’t have time to do anything else on the web…You always manage to inspire creativity in the home while sending a message to the heart. Thanks. :)

  20. Wendy says

    wow – that looks like a lot of work. Im not that patient! I just eyeball and hang. Maybe I need to slow it down a bit cause your job looks great! :)

  21. Wendy says

    oh yeah- speaking of hanging things….one suggestion (Im sure you’ve seen this on the web) is to start a memory wall. I took one huge wall in our upstairs hall that I was always thinking “hmmm, what in the world is going to go there” and I have slowly, over the years filled it with special black and white and color photography in all sizes. The only thing that they have in common is they are all in black frames (not the same frame either) and almost all with white matting. I have just randomly filled in that whole wall – floor to ceiling – with photos of our life together – 15 years and 3 kids. From vacations to Halloween photos to silly and heartwarming. I can’t tell you how many times I (and anyone else who ventures upstairs) have stared at that wall. It really makes you grateful for the blessings you have even though life isn’t always perfect. Just a thought from one mommy to a soon to be one.

  22. says

    Layla, this looks so interesting. I love that you painted the plate and I love the sweet tag you made for the adoption date. I don’t comment often, but I just wanted to say that I hope you and Kev welcome your little one very soon. He/ she will be a blessed child.
    Take care!
    Hugs, Tina

  23. Melissa says

    Yeah – Love it! I have been waiting for this post since you gave us a teaser image. I have some lovely plates (from different generations of our family) I want to display like you did. Just wondering…can those adhesive plate hangers ever be removed without damaging the plate? Thanks!

  24. tse says

    any tips for using the disc hangers? I tried them once and the plates fell off the wall and broke? I even tried a size up and the same thing happened

  25. chrissi says

    i didn’t think you could out due that “25” plate until i read about the “gottcha” plate. too wonderful for any of my words.

  26. says

    I love it! There are several blank walls in our home- I keep trying to decide which would look best with a plate wall. Then the thought of trying to figure out how to arrange it overwhelms me, so I bury my head in the sand and continue to have blank walls. Ah, well. :)

  27. says

    Such a lovely and meaningful collection! I especially like the plate with your ‘Sweet P’s’ future adoption date waiting to be filled in. Just think the joy you will both experience when you write on that tag! :-)

  28. Em says

    You spray painted that lovely gold trimmed cake plate?
    I think I’m going to have an attack of the vapors.
    If you decide to paint that pink and white plate with the flower wreath around the center, please give me first refusal instead. It’s the pattern I grew up with and keep looking for…….

    You actually spray painted that gold trimmed plate???!!!!
    Tell me it ain’t so……

    • Layla says

      Yep. We weren’t 100% into it the way it was so we decided to “go with our grin”! :-D Now it’s our Sweet P plate and we love it! :-) I’m confused about the “pink and white” plate part though. ? The plate with the little brown wreath on it is bright white. There’s no pink on it, so your pattern must be a little different than the plate we’ve got. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for extra pieces of your version when I’m out and about! :-)

  29. Laura says

    You two were married exactly 10 yrs after my hubby and I… and we’re K & L, too! I love all things 25 as well; our anniversary, my birthday, and Christmas are all 25s!

  30. says

    I love how your wall turned out! We’re getting ready to put up some plates of our own. AND, we have the same anniversary- 06.25.2011! We celebrate our “monthiversary” on the 25th of every month… nerdy, maybe, but fun!

  31. Dawn says


    I love the plate wall and that it had to evolve to be just the way it is now. Green is my favorite color so those pops of green speak to me! I love that you personalized the Sweet P plate for the future! Awesome! Our Anniversary number is 28 and I love that you used your special number on a plate for you guys too! My only question/suggestion is does Sweet P get a letter added to the “L” and “K” on the wall when they come along? :)

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Dawn! We haven’t really thought past the Sweet P plate, so we’ll have to see when the time comes, I guess! :-D

  32. says

    I love the wall & especially the plate reserved for Sweet P’s info! I love that you painted it {and plan to steal that idea :)}, it coordinates beautifully with the other plates.

  33. says

    Well, aside from loving the plate wall, I’m obsessed with what you did with the plate for your BABY P! That is the cutest thing ever, and I’m so excited and happy to see what the following months bring for you and Kev! This is definitely such an exciting time in your lives! Your family is in my prayers.

  34. jill c. says

    Your plate collection reminded me of growing up. My mom collected plates and had them hanging in our kitchen. Also, each of the 5 kids had a calendar plate from our birthday year. Thanks for reminding me of a fond memory!

  35. Lisa W. says

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…your last little plate and talking about your sweet P is REALLY tugging on my heart strings. I get tickled when you do a decorating post, as I too LOVE to decorate, and isn’t it amazing how your “every day” moments big or small can be a part of your decor!!! Love that! AND so SO many times when I am doing a decor project when its just not right its just NOT right, AND you know it when it’s ALL GOOD!!! Love your new plate wall. You got it JUST right!!!

  36. 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! :-D

  37. 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! :-D

  38. 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. :)

  39. 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: )

  40. 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 ?


  41. 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!

  42. 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! :-D

  43. 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!

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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!

  47. 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!

  48. 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 :-(

  49. 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?

  50. 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!

  51. 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!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>