Decorating with plates is an easy and fun way to add visual interest to any space. Plates come in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, making them a versatile decorative accent. When artfully arranged, plates can transform an ordinary wall or tabletop into a striking decorative focal point. This article will provide tips and inspiration for beautifully styling plates throughout your home.

Introduction to Plate Decorating

Plate decorating involves using plates as decorative wall art or as part of tablescapes. It offers an affordable way to accessorize since plates are inexpensive and widely available. Vintage plates boast charming retro designs that make wonderful statement pieces. Meanwhile, plain white plates act as the perfect neutral backdrop for displaying colorful objects or serving food in style.

Decorative plates have many advantages as home accents:

  • Visually appealing – Plates come in limitless color palettes and designs to match any decor. Their graphic patterns and textures add visual flair.
  • Easily changed – Plate displays can be switched out seamlessly to create a fresh new look.
  • Budget-friendly – Plates are an economical way to decorate compared to large wall art or pricey home decor items. Finding deals on plates at thrift stores or yard sales makes decorating with them even more affordable.
  • Multifunctional – Many plate arrangements double as functional serving pieces that can be used when entertaining.

With minimal time and effort, plates can transform boring walls, tablescapes, and other areas into eye-catching displays. Read on to explore creative ways to decorate with plates throughout your home.

Wall Display Ideas for Plates

One of the most popular ways to use plates decoratively is to arrange them into stunning wall art. Plate wall displays add pops of color, interest, and personality to any bare wall space. Here are some ideas for creating beautiful plate wall accents:

Plate Collages

Plate collages make a major style statement by clustering plates together in an artistic formation. To create a collage:

  • Select plates in coordinating colors, patterns, or themes. Both uniform and eclectic plate collections can work well.
  • Arrange plates close together, in some overlapping, to form an abstract composition.
  • Mix plate orientations, angles, and sizes for multi-dimension.
  • Fill in background space with additional smaller plates.
  • Hang plates at varying heights for interest.
  • Consider mixing in non-plate items like wall hooks, shelves, or shadowboxes.

Plate collages have an organic, free-form look when plates are arranged in non-linear placements. Planning the overall color story and balance will result in a polished collage worthy of any wall.

Plate Wall Grids

For a more uniform look, plates can be aligned in orderly rows and columns to form a grid wall layout. This gives a modern graphic element to walls. To create a plate grid:

  • Measure out plate spacing equidistant vertically and horizontally on the wall.
  • Use painter’s tape to map out the plate positioning.
  • Fill in the grid by hanging plates in an orderly progression.
  • Combine plates in matching or coordinating color schemes for optimal effect.
  • Alternate the direction of plates for added diversity.
  • Use plates in a consistent size or create interest by mixing up scale.

The structured format of plate grids make them ideal for minimalist or industrial decor. Try a bold pop of color or stick to crisp white for a clean modern aesthetic.

Plate Picture Frames

Plates cleverly stand in for frames when showcasing photos, prints, or mixed media behind glass or acrylic. To create:

  • Select plates with openings large enough for the artwork.
  • Attach artwork to the backside of glass or acrylic cut to size.
  • Affix glass or acrylic securely to the back of the plate with strong adhesives or hardware.
  • Hang the completed plate “frame” and enjoy your customized art piece.

Choose plates in colors and patterns that complement the encased artwork. Metallic edged or handpainted plates work nicely for a finishing frame-like touch.

Plate Sunbursts

Sunburst plate formations make for stunning focal accent walls. This look involves arranging plates to form a circular sun-like pattern.

  • Mark evenly spaced dots on the wall in a half circle to map out plate placement.
  • Hang plates pointing in alternating up, down, left, and right directions.
  • Start each row with plates oriented in opposite directions for balance.
  • Use plates in the same color family or coordinating hues.

Plate sunbursts look spectacular over beds, seating areas, or as the backdrop to entertainment units. The circular pattern makes the display visually commanding and distinctive.

Tablescape Ideas Using Plates

Beyond walls, plates can be used to creatively style tabletops as part of tablescapes. Coordinating plates act as decorative accents on their own or as vessels for displaying foods, centerpieces, and serving ware. Some ideas include:

Stacked Plate Centerpieces

Turn stacks of plates into eye-catching centerpieces. Select 3-5 plates in graduated sizes and stack rims together. Add interest with:

  • Coordinating solid colors or eclectic patterns
  • Mixing plate shapes – round, square, scalloped edges
  • Layering plates on candlesticks for height
  • Tucking decorative accents into plate openings like flowers, driftwood, pebbles, pinecones
  • Wrapping plate bottoms in burlap or lace for texture
  • Separating layers with risers like wood slices or glass beads

Plate and Serving Piece Displays

Create appetizing displays by artfully arranging plates alongside serving pieces. Try combinations like:

  • Pairing soup plates with ladles, spoons
  • Serving spoons, forks with dinner plates
  • Nesting bowls within salad plates
  • Plating deserts on decorative saucers with forks
  • Displaying breads in baskets with butter plates

Mix and match plates and serving pieces for a coordinated presentation. Multi-piece place settings also make interesting table designs.

Plate Underlays

Use plates as decorative bases underneath clear glassware, vases, or candleholders. Choose plates in a shape and size that complements the overlaid piece. Try layering patterns, alternating plate sizes, or using plates in a matching color. The plate below acts as an anchor to ground the tableware display.

Mix and Match Decorating With Plates

When decorating with plates, don’t limit yourself to just walls or tablescapes. Get creative by displaying plates anywhere around your home. Here are some fun ways to integrate plates as accents:

Kitchen Plate Racks

Hang vintage plates from wrought iron racks to infuse country charm in kitchens. Mount plate racks on walls or ceilings for a stylish way to store plates in plain sight.

Plate Mirror Frames

Glue plates in decorative shapes – triangles, diamonds, waves – around the edges of wall mirrors for a one-of-a-kind framed mirror look.

Bookcase Plate Brackets

Attach plate wall mounts onto bookshelves to display favorites among book collections. Plate designs that tie into shelf themes – nautical plates in seaside-themed shelves for example – make pleasing vignettes.

Stair Plate Railings

Affix a line of plates along stair banisters for a whimsical railing. Mixing fun patterns and colors makes for an eye-catching accent on staircase detail.

Hanging Plate Garden Art

In outdoor spaces, hang plates from tree branches or hooks to add color and reflect light. Ceramic and metal plates stand up to weather and create garden shine.

Get creative with displaying plates in unexpected spots indoors and out to show off their versatile decorative flair in any space.

Tips for Decorating with Plates

Decorating with plates is simple, but following some basic principles will take your displays from average to absolutely stunning:

  • Combine cohesive color palettes – Matching colors in grouped plates helps arrangements look polished and purposeful. Stick to one dominant scheme or a coordinating mix.
  • Mind the visual weight – Larger plates visually anchor arrangements, while small plates lighten up displays. Balance sizes and positions for stability. Top-heavy designs risk looking haphazard.
  • Highlight focal plates – When grouping collections, use bold colored, patterned, or shaped plates as focal points to draw the eye. Surround with simpler plates to frame them.
  • Elevate with risers or stands – Lift towering plates or stacks off table tops using candlesticks, glass vases, trays, or other items as risers for added height and dimension.
  • Overlapping adds depth – Layer plates slightly over one another rather than spacing them apart to create a fuller, dimensional look.
  • Angled plates break up repetition – Tilt plates in assemblages to varied angles rather than keeping all plates flat and facing forward. This gives arrangements more organic life.

Following basic design tenets results in artful plate decor that impresses. Before decorating, plan the plate color scheme, sizes, and arrangement blueprint. Analyze the display space and brainstorm ideas for eye-catching designs that enhance – not overwhelm – the intended decor. With mindful planning and styling, plates become magnificent decorative additions to any room.

Inspiring Easy Plate Decorating Ideas

Need a spark of plate decorating inspiration? Here are quick and stunning ways to start showcasing plates around your home:

Entryway Plate Wall Grid

Welcome guests with a graphic plate grid flanking an entryway mirror or displayed in the adjacent empty wall space. Stick to a simple color scheme like all white or black plates for high contrast.

Kitchen Window Plate Curtain

Line up plates tip-to-tip across a kitchen window curtain rod to mimic a cafe curtain. Choose plates in coordinating prints or solids and alternate sizing. Hang with clips or rings designed for plate hanging.

Dining Room Plate and Candle Centerpiece

On a dining table or sideboard, stack two large plates rim-to-rim encasing pillar candles in the center hollow. Choose plates in tones that complement the tablescape like nautical stripes layered with sea glass green plates for a coastal dining theme.

Bathroom Wall Plate Flower Arrangement

Create unique flower wall art for bathrooms. Attach plate wall mounts in a scattered arrangement across a wall. Fill alternating mounts with small floral bouquets anchored in the plate holes by a frog or florist foam. Use complementary colored and patterned plates and flowers for a cohesive look.

Bedroom Vintage Plate Headboard

Affix assorted vintage plates in an eye-catching arrangement onto plywood cut to the size of the bed’s headboard. Hang the DIY art piece on the wall over the bed frame rails to emulate a customized headboard.

Decorating with plates allows limitless possibilities for adding visual wow without a hefty price tag or effort. Approach plate designs playfully – don’t be afraid to break design “rules” by going asymmetrical, unconventional, or wildly colorful! Express your unique personal style through imaginative plate displays in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Plate Decorating

Plate decorating is an easy DIY project, but if you’re new to designing plate displays, you may have some questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about decorating with plates:

How should I hang plates on the wall?

Use plate hangers designed specifically for hanging plates. Adhesive plate hangers stick directly onto plate backs. Wire plate hangers hang from small hooks screwed into the wall and keep plates dangling flat against the wall securely. Arrange plate hangers evenly for a straight display.

What types of plates work best for decorating?

Vintage plates offer fun retro color and patterns. Metallic edged plates reflect light beautifully. Glass plates create shine. Modern solid color plates act as easy to style neutrals. Mix and match plate types for eclectic charm! Avoid very heavy plates or those with uneven shapes that won’t hang flush.

How can I decorate plates that aren’t hung up?

Stack plates into tabletop towers by resting rims on risers like candles or wood slices. Scatter plates underneath clear vases and candleholders as decorative bases. Line plates along a bookshelf edge as bookends. Lean plates on mantels or shelves as mini easels displaying art or photos.

Should I worry about plates breaking when decorating?

Take precautions like using secure hangers, avoiding bumping into displays, and keeping plates away from high traffic areas. But don’t let fear of breakage deter you from using plates decoratively. The beauty plates add to a space makes it worth the very minimal risk.

How do I decorate with plates on a budget?

Check out thrift stores, estate sales, and garage sales to find interesting vintage plates at bargain prices to treasure hunt unique finds. Or simply rearrange plates already in your kitchen or china cabinet to give them new life in fun displays around your home.

Decorating with plates is meant to be an enjoyable creative endeavor. Don’t overthink it! Gather inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, or Instagram and then experiment with bringing beautiful plate designs into your own home.


Decorating using plates is an easy, affordable, and highly rewarding way to upgrade home decor. With limitless colors, patterns, and styles to choose from, plates can enhance any design scheme or tastes when styled creatively. Make ordinary walls pop with stunning plate collages and grids. Inject festive flair into table settings using plates for centerpieces or underlays. Display plates anywhere – indoors and out – to add a decorative focal point. With these tips and inspirations in hand, you’re ready to design standout plate decor that puts your personalized stamp on any space. Experiment fearlessly, have fun with different arrangements, and enjoy the beauty your artful plate designs add throughout your home.