Decorative Plate Wall Decor Made Easy: A DIY Tutorial

Create a stunning plate wall decor display with our step-by-step guide! Learn to choose & hang plates safely, and create beautiful vintage plate wall art!

Plate wall decor is a fun and creative way to add your own style to any room. It involves hanging decorative plates on a wall in an eye-catching design. You can use vintage plates to make a beautiful wall decoration, even in your bedroom!

One of the good things about plate wall decor is that it is very versatile. There are many different styles, colors, and patterns of plates available, so you can create a look that you like and that matches your other decorations.

You can also find plates at thrift stores or garage sales for a very low price. This makes plate wall decor a cheap way to make a room look more interesting. Most of my plates cost less than a few dollars each. Some were even free!

This platter decoration idea is a great way to create unique gallery walls in any room of your home!

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charming vintage plates

Decorative plates are a timeless and charming addition to any home decor. When hung on the wall, they create a unique and eye-catching display that can instantly transform a bare wall into a gallery wall.

Decorative wall plates come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect fit for any room. Whether you prefer classic floral patterns or modern geometric designs, there is a plate out there that will suit your taste. I chose to use vintage ironstone for my wall art.

One of the greatest benefits of using plates as wall art is their versatility. They can be arranged in a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern, grouped together or spaced apart, and mixed and matched with other wall decor to create a truly personalized display. My plate wall is a mix of ironstone, vintage silver pieces, an antique mirror, and even thrift store brass candle wall scones!

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, decorative plates can also be a practical solution for adding a pop of color or texture to a room. They can complement existing decor or as a focal point in a space.

vintage plates hanging on a wall

choosing the right plates

When it comes to decorating a plate wall, choosing the right plates is crucial. Here are some factors to consider when selecting plates for your display.

antique vs. modern plates

One of the first decisions to make is whether to use antique or modern plates. Antique plates can add a unique and timeless feel to your display. They often have intricate details and designs that are not found in modern plates.

However, they can also be more fragile and expensive. Modern plates, on the other hand, are more readily available and can be less expensive. They also come in a wider range of sizes and styles, making it easier to create a cohesive display.

You can also choose the same shape for your plates as I did. My kitchen is already full of oval-shaped ironstone in all sorts of sizes so picking out plates wasn’t that difficult. I have also been collecting oval ironstone platters specifically with this project in mind over the last few months when I have been out thrift store shopping.

lady hanging brass wall sconce on wall

sizing considerations

When choosing your plates, consider the size. Using a variety of sizes will have more visual interest than plates that are all the same size. Unless of course, you are creating a symmetrical pattern. The plate wall art I wanted to create needed to have a variety of sizes, color tones, and even patterns to create the flow I was going for.

My plate wall also included an oval mirror. BTW, I bought it for only $7.99 while thrift shopping at my local Goodwill! 

A good rule of thumb is to start with a larger piece at the center and work outward with smaller pieces. I used this design concept and used the oval mirror as my starting point. I centered it over our faux fireplace. This would ultimately create a balanced and visually appealing display.

When creating your own plate wall, try to pick a larger platter to be your focal point. It will be good use of an old platter!

lady showing how to hang plates on a wall

arranging your plate wall

Creating a visually appealing plate wall requires some planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help you arrange your plate wall.

designing a gallery wall

To create a pretty gallery wall, start by laying out your plates on a large table or the floor. Arrange them in a way that looks pleasing to you, using straight lines and spacing them out evenly. Once you have a layout you like, take a photo of it to reference it later.

Here is another option to create a balanced look for your space: use an online design platform like Canva. It’s free to use, you can create whatever size space you need, and the best part? You are not putting holes in the wall and then changing your mind! Ask me how I know!

I used Canva to create my wall art with vintage ironstone plates, platters, and silver trays. You will see in the video I have created for you how easy it is to use. The video is linked later in this post.

Here are the steps I used to create my virtual plate wall design:

  1. Measure the wall where your plates will be displayed then create that custom-sized blank canvas in Canva.
  2. Choose free graphics from the Canva library on the left of the screen by searching for wall mirrors, plates or frames.
  3. Duplicate as many of the elements as you have in those specific sizes. For instance, I had approximately 4 size 9″ silver trays so I just duplicated the first one until I had all 4.
  4. Resize the elements the best you can. This won’t be perfect but it will give you a good idea and starting point for the next step. Each of the squares in the grid are 12″ and that is how I resized each of the elements.
Canva graphic showing plate wall decor design

using plate templates

Use your plates, silver trays, mirrors, or other pieces you have and create paper templates using brown craft paper like I did. Label each template with the correct size. This step will help especially if you have a ton of plates like I do!

Cut them out and use your Canva design to tape the templates to the wall using painter’s tape and adjust them as needed. 

I recommend you live with the designs for a couple of days. Make sure that it is balanced and pleasing to the eye. Stand back and look at it with ‘blurry eyes.’ It’s amazing how much this helps to see the design as a whole unit!

Once you have a layout you’re happy with, use the templates as a guide to hang the plates on the wall.

The best part about arranging a plate wall is that there are no hard and fast rules. Experiment with different layouts and arrangements until you find one that works for you.

And remember, the outline of the plate doesn’t have to be the only thing you consider. You can also play around with the spacing between the plates and the overall shape of the arrangement.

With a little creativity, you can create a plate wall that’s both beautiful and unique.

brown paper templates to create plate wall decor

how to hang plates on a wall

Hanging plates on the wall doesn’t have to be hard. Follow my step-by-step ideas to create a gorgeous and unique plate wall display!

adhesive plate wall hangers vs metal plate wall hangers

When it comes to plate wall decor, securing the plates to the wall is an important step. There are a few methods that can be used to do this, including metal plate hangers and adhesive plate hangers.

In the past, I have used metal plate hangers on the plates but I have chipped some of those plates. I wanted another method.

lady showing adhesive disc plate hangers

The adhesive plate hangers seemed like a good idea so I decided to use this tried and true method. These plate hangers have been used in England for over 40 years! Fortunately, I found a local supplier online. Local to the United States that is! 

Vanessa from The Flatirons Disc Company in Boulder, Colorado was excited about this project when I reached out to her. She sent me a variety of sizes for my ironstone plates and silver trays.

lady showing old plate with adhesive all hanger on back

The adhesive plate hangers couldn’t be easier to use. Choose the correct size for your specific plate. Then wet the back of each of the discs with some water, allow them to set for 3-4 minutes, apply a bit more water, and wait another 6-8 minutes for the glue to become active.

Apply the adhesive discs to the back of the plate making sure the top of the plate lines up with the D-ring on the hanger. Allow it to dry overnight and you are ready to hang the plates on the wall!

My kitchen island was covered in upside-down plates the day I did this step. We ate dinner in the living room that night!

plate wall anchors

Once all of the plates had the hangers attached, it was time to put the wall anchors into the wall. The paper plate templates really came in handy! I was able to tap the wall anchors into the wall in the exact spot I needed them.

Here’s another tip: leave the paper templates in place until it is time to hang the plates! If you don’t, things could get confusing!

lady showing picture hanger on wall

keep this in mind

Plate wall decor can be a great addition to both living rooms and dining rooms. In a living room, a plate wall can add color and texture to an otherwise blank wall, while in a dining room, it can serve as a conversation starter and an opportunity to showcase the fine art that these plates can be. At least in my humble opinion!

Magazines have featured plate walls as a trend in farmhouse style home decor, noting that they can be a unique and affordable way to add personality to wall space.

When purchasing plates, it’s important to consider the quality of the pieces. Look for plates made from fine materials, such as porcelain or bone china, for a more elegant look. Head out to your local thrift store to find vintage pieces that coordinate the style of your home. Plates are often only a couple of bucks each!

If you are searching for antique ironstone pieces to decorate your bare walls, Etsy is a great place to look! I’ve included some choices later in this post.

My hubby and I frequent our local auction and estate sales so we have found the pieces for our wall.

plates displayed on a wall in a bedroom

YouTube Video

Click the image below to watch the video!

graphic for youtube video with text "How to hang vintage Plates on a a wall for decor"

frequently asked questions

What are some other platter decoration ideas?

There are many creative ways to display decorative plates on a wall. One popular method is to arrange them in a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern, either in a straight line or in a cluster.

Another option is to mix and match different sizes and shapes of plates to create a unique and eclectic display. You could also use plate hangers to create a tiered effect or to hang plates at different angles for a more dynamic look.

I’ve even hung some of my old plates as an alternative Christmas tree! Stay tuned because I have another idea for hanging plates on a wall coming soon!

How can I mix and match different styles of plates for a cohesive wall display?

When mixing and matching different styles of plates, it’s important to look for common themes or colors that tie them together. For example, you could choose plates with similar patterns or motifs, or plates in complementary colors. Another option is to use a neutral color palette (my fave!) and mix in plates with different textures or finishes for added interest.

plates wall display near a faux fireplace

What are some tips for displaying plates on a wall securely?

To hang plates securely on a wall, it’s important to use the right hardware. Plate hangers are a popular option, as they are specifically designed to hold plates of various sizes and weights. You could also use adhesive plate hangers or picture hanging strips for a more discreet look. When hanging plates, be sure to use a level to ensure they are straight, and consider using a template to help with spacing and placement.

Where can I find unique and affordable ceramic plate wall decor?

There are many places to find unique and affordable ceramic plate wall decor, including thrift stores, flea markets, and online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay. If you have a grandma who isn’t using her china, ask her if you can have them! It would probably thrill her soul to know they are being used and enjoyed instead of sitting in a cabinet!

Are there any DIY plate wall decor ideas that don’t require drilling into the wall?

Yes, several DIY plate wall decor ideas don’t require drilling into the wall. One option is to use plate stands or easels to display plates on a shelf or mantel. 

supplies you need!

Below are several ironstone plates to choose from if you need to add to your collection! I’ve also included the adhesive plate hangers, a variety pack of wall anchors, and the battery-powered candles I used in those gorgeous brass wall sconces!

Click the images to purchase. Thanks for supporting my blog in this way. 🙂

Pinterest graphic with text overlay How to hang Plates on a Wall

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Cindy Rust

Cindy has been decorating her home with thrift store finds for 40 years. She is an avid thrift store shopper who loves to makeover the items she finds into vintage-inspired home decor and furniture. When she isn’t thrift shopping or painting a piece of furniture, you can find her making homemade butter, working in her garden, or painting with watercolors.

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  1. Do Dodson says:

    I absolutely adore this, Cindy! I love how you have them displayed in a flowing pattern. It’s a beautiful addition to your room. I guess I need to hit the thrift stores and look for plates. Thank you so much for the inspiration. xo 😘

    1. We are loving the plate wall too! It turned out better than I expected. Go find yourself some vintage plates!

  2. Cindy, your wall turned at great! Those adhesive discs are the ticket for hanging plates. I got rid of the old kind. The templates is a great idea for placing on the wall first to get your design. Love it!

    1. The templates were a huge help! And so was Canva! Thanks for stopping by Tammy!

  3. This is so gorgeous, Cindy! I love that you used all different kinds of shapes and sizes and mixed in ironstone with silver. It’s such a pretty combination. Thank you for the recommendation on the discs too. Mine are all still on OG plate hangers so I will check them out. Big hugs, CoCo

    1. The discs are working out great. And I trust them since they have been around for so many years!