How to Create your First Plate Wall

Plate walls have always been a popular way for collectors to display their plates in a unique and decorative way. Hanging them on the wall allows you to enjoy your collection every day, creating an eye-catching piece, which is not only special to you, but is also easily editable, so it can be changed with minimal effort. For those looking to start their own plate display, I have also curated a list of additional plates that would complement many styles.

Wall decoration with plates by Liz Marie

Pick up your dishes

Collecting plates can be a fun hobby that can be enjoyed on a wide range of budgets. In my case, I find almost all my dishes in second-hand stores, antique stores or flea markets. Dishes usually cost only a few dollars. I find countess options at most thrift stores these days, both in individual plates and in moderately sized sets. So if you’re thinking about starting a plate collection, the options are limitless, the fun really begins when you start honing in on a particular design, color and size to fit into your collection.

Find a place for your plate wall

Once you’ve completely collected, or as you continue collecting, consider where you’re going to hang your plate wall. As you can see, there is no need to limit the walls of dishes to only be displayed in or near the kitchen. One of my favorite elements of the plate wall is that it is continually editable, meaning you can move plates around within the layout or swap out plates as your collection deepens or even seasonally.

How to make a plate wall.

Plate Wall Layout

There are a few ways people prepare and style their board walls, I’ve done them all here, and I’ll share my favorite way to get the most accurate installation.

Paper cutting method

Using each plate as a template, trace on masking paper and cut out the dimensions of each design. Place them on the floor or even pin or tape them to the wall to get the desired design.

I’ve used this method a few times and it was great, but it’s not my favorite when you have a “full” plate collection ready to hang on the wall. Where I really like this method is when you have most of your dishes picked up, but you still need a few. You can cut out your current plates to get an idea of ​​the layout and get a visual idea of ​​the size and shape of the pieces missing from your collection.

The reason I don’t use this is because I have a hard time transferring the exact location when you add the plate hanger to the mix. I’ll cover the tools you need in this blog post; however, all you need are plate hangers and depending on the size, the part of the plate hanger that clips onto the nail on the wall varies depending on the size of the plate hanger and even manufacturer.

DIY wall plate

Computer modeling

If you are computer literate, this can probably be the quickest way to get a design idea. Me personally, when it comes to designing spaces, I am practical and stay away from the computer. José is the other side. You would love to put everything into a CAD before you start, but I personally don’t have the patience for it.

The advantages of this are the same as the paper cutting method, as it can help you find missing pieces in your collection as you go, and it’s a really quick way to adjust the design as you go.

Disadvantages: It’s also the same, transferring the plate hanger measurement can be complicated and not everyone has access to design programs and applications.

Floor tape method

While I’m sure there may be a few more, the third method, which I’ve called the floor tape method, is my favorite when you have a complete collection and are ready to install the wall plate. Create a quadrant on the floor of the general wall space using painter’s tape. Using the actual plates with the plate hangers installed, shuffle until you get the desired layout. Find and transfer measurements from the plate hanger, leaving no room for error. Let’s get into it more here…

DIY Wall Decoration Plaque

Plate Wall Installation (using floor tape method)

Identify wall space

Measure the height and width limits of the wall area. Keep in mind that you’ll want to get within a few inches of the top and bottom and, if the wall is in a corner, the sides. You’ll want to leave a little space for everyone so you can hang the plate on the nail, and I think leaving appropriate space around it helps frame the plates and look more intentional.

bring it to the ground

Transfer your measurements to the floor using painter’s tape. Start with a chart of the overall space and identify the vertical and horizontal center line using the tape to make 4 quadrants. Finding the visual center is still important even if your board wall is not symmetrical.

Precise design adjustment and installation of plate holders

Place your plates on the floor (face up) to get the desired look. Once you are satisfied, place all the plates upside down and install the plate hangers. Before, during and after doing this, frequently measure the gaps between the plates to maintain an average gap. You’ll be able to visually see if a plate feels out of place, so there will be some shuffling throughout this process.

How to make a plate wall.

Measure accurately

When it comes to placing the desired floor pattern on the wall, I measure from the top or bottom edge of the space, and to the left or right of center (i.e., the top right corner plate would be 4 inches down and 24 inches left of center). .) If you are making a symmetrical wall, this becomes really easy because whatever the location of one side is, the other side will be too.

So to accurately transfer the tape from the floor to the wall, I recommend starting with the outside/bottom plates and working your way up and then in. I recommend this because you will want to keep the center line free of nails.

Measuring to the center of the picture hook, measure from top to bottom and to the left/right of the center line. Do the same to the wall and install a nail, screw, or picture hook.

*Please note to check that your reference measurement points are level and square. Ceilings, trim, and floors may not be perfectly level, so you’ll want to keep that in mind during this process.

Here is a list of tools and materials I used:

Picture hangers (they come in different sizes, try to make them from the same manufacturer)
Measuring tape
painter’s tape
1/16 inch drill bit
*You can also use a hammer and nails (or picture hangers)

How to install a plate wall

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