Hanging a plate collection can completely transform the look and feel of your home. However, it’s important to do it properly so your plates are displayed at their best. Follow this DIY guide to learn the secret techniques professional designers use to hang plate collections perfectly every time.

Select the Right Location

Choosing the right spot is the first step to properly hanging your plate collection. Here are some things to consider:

Over Furniture

Hanging plates above cabinets, sideboards, dressers, or dining tables can create a dramatic focal point. Just make sure there is enough clearance so plates don’t hit people walking underneath. At least 18-24 inches of clearance is recommended.

On a Wall

Look for large, unbroken wall spaces to hang a plate collection gallery-style. Entryways, hallways, and staircases are great options. Make sure the wall is sturdy enough to handle the weight.

In the Kitchen

Hang plates decoratively on a kitchen wall or display them on open shelving for easy access. Stay away from heat sources like ovens that could cause warping.


Position the plate collection where there is plenty of natural or artificial lighting. Lighting accentuates the colors and designs on the plates.

Traffic Flow

Avoid high traffic areas where plates could get knocked into accidentally. And don’t hang them somewhere that will impede movement through the space.

Choose the Right Hardware

Using the proper hardware keeps your plates securely and stylishly hung. Here are some top options:

Plate Hangers

Specialty plate hangers have a curved cradle design that securely grips plates. They’re available in various metals like brass, black iron, chrome, etc.

Picture Rail System

A picture rail is mounted to the wall and plate hangers clip anywhere along the rail. This allows flexibility in plate arrangement.

Floating Shelves

Invisible floating shelves lined with plate rail hangers or non-slip mats can elegantly display plates. No visible brackets or wires.

Rail Molding

Add a decorative rail molding trim piece to build a small lip shelf. Use museum wax or grippy shelf liner to hold plates in place.

Plate Stands

Clear acrylic plate stands attached to the wall provide floating support underneath plates. Good for heavier stoneware.

Arrange the Plate Collection

Now for the fun part – artfully arranging your plate collection! Follow these tips:

Mix Up Sizes & Shapes

Create visual interest by mixing together plates of various sizes and shapes. Avoid a boring grid look.

Color Pattern

You can go bold with a vibrant, multicolored random pattern or stick to a subtle color scheme like all blues and greens.

Odd Number Groupings

Hang plates in odd-numbered groupings like 3, 5 or 7. Odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye than even pairs.


Aim for a balanced arrangement. If a heavy china plate is on one side, balance it with lighter plates on the other.

Height Variation

Vary plate heights so the collection doesn’t look flat against the wall. Use stands or spacers if needed.

Leave Gaps

Allow for 2-4 inches between plates to let them “breathe”. No need to cram them close together.

Hang Plate Collection Securely

Follow these steps for securely hanging your plates:

Mark Mounting Points

Lightly mark mounting points in pencil with plates in the desired arrangement. Remove plates.

Drill Pilot Holes

Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the screws going in. This prevents cracks in drywall or wood.

Use Proper Screws

Choose screw type and size based on what the plate hangers or hardware require and the wall material.

Use Anchors if Needed

For drywall, use hollow wall anchors to reinforce the mounting points and prevent pull-out.

Hang Hardware

Screw in any rails, shelving or other hardware evenly using a level to ensure proper alignment.

Attach Plate Hangers

Securely screw or clip plate hangers into place spacing them for the plate collection layout.

Hang Plates

Carefully hang plates on the plate hangers, stands or rails. Check for stability. Enjoy your new display!

Style Tips and Inspiration

Need a spark of inspiration for styling your plate collection? Here are some creative ideas:

Go By Color

Group together plates in coordinating colors for a cohesive collection. Try all blue and white or a rainbow of bright hues.

Monochrome Magic

Choose different shaped plates but stick to one singular color like black, white or red for dramatic impact.

Mix and Match

Showcase plates with eclectic patterns, textures and colors together for a fun, quirky style. anything goes!

Focal Point Style

Make the plate collection the star of the space by hanging an eye-catching arrangement above a console or sideboard.

Gallery Wall

Cover a large wall with artfully hung plates and decorative plates. Include wall art and photos for dimension.

Keep It Sleek

Display modern solid colored ceramic plates in clean rows and columns for a sleek contemporary look.

Rustic Charm

Weathered antique plates grouped asymmetrically on an exposed wood wall or shelf embodies rustic charm.

Bold Kitchen Décor

Make a big impact by hanging vibrant handmade plates or arrange by color in a chic kitchen.

Cleaning and Caring for Plates

Plate collections not only look great but are usable too when properly cared for. Here are some tips:

  • Use a gentle dish soap and soft sponge to hand wash decorative plates. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing that could scratch the finish.
  • Wash plates by hand rather than putting them in the dishwasher which can lead to chipping and fading over time.
  • Dust plates frequently with a soft cloth to prevent dust buildup, especially if plates are decorative only.
  • Check plates regularly for signs of damage or loosening plate hangers that may need adjusting.
  • Consider spraying plate collections with a clear acrylic sealer to protect the finish from moisture damage or UV fading.
  • Store plates properly when not on display. Wrap in soft cloth and place somewhere free of dust, direct sunlight, and moisture.

With proper care, your plate collection can stay vibrant and display-worthy for many years!

Frequently Asked Questions About Hanging Plate Collections

Still have some questions? Here are answers to some common DIY plate hanging FAQs:

How do I hang heavy plates on the wall?

For heavy plates, use sturdy picture frame D-rings screwed securely into studs or drywall anchors. Hang plates from wires through the D-rings so weight is distributed evenly.

What’s the best way to hang irregular shaped plates?

Odd shaped plates can be tricky. Using clear acrylic plate stands helps keep them flush to the wall. Another option is adhesive putty just for hanging.

Should plate collections be hung in groupings or a straight line?

Groupings are best for creating an artful arrangement. Straight lines work well for a grid wall gallery or displaying collectible plates in order.

How do I keep plates from rattling or swaying when hung?

Ensure plate hangers or stands grip plates tightly and hang straight. For swaying, run fishing line between two screw eyes behind plates barely visible.

What if my wall can’t handle heavy plates?

Use extender arm brackets to mount a 2×4 plate rail perpendicular to the wall instead of directly on drywall. The wood piece can handle the weight.

How do I fill in empty space between plates?

You can neatly fill gaps by hanging small framed art, wall mirrors, or compatible sculpture pieces at staggered heights between the plates.

What temperature should plates be displayed at?

Ideally, plates thrive at controlled room temperature between 68-72°F. Avoid hanging plates anywhere humidity fluctuates dramatically or temperature exceeds 100°F.

Display Your Plate Collection Like a Pro

Hanging plates can instantly upgrade your home’s style. With this DIY guide’s tips on picking the right location, hardware, arrangements, and care, you can display your plate collection like a professional designer. Soon your plates will be the envy of all your guests. Don’t be shy about showing off your amazing plate wall. Let your individual taste shine through in the arrangements and patterns you create. Most importantly, enjoy the satisfaction of DIYing an eye-catching plate display all on your own. Your home is sure to impress!