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I've been super excited to show you my new cottage-style antique plate wall in our master bedroom. I've spent years collecting the plates for this display. I'm really happy with how it turned out...with space for even more pretty plates, should I stumble onto some (which, I will...wink).
I literally hammered the last nail into the wall for this one the night before I hosted Thanksgiving for 20+. To say I'm decorationally-motivated by people seeing my actual house in person is an understatement. I used some super cool tools to hang this with, too (read: no stretchy wire plate hangers that show their "fingers" from the front). Check it all out below.
I'm a plate person. I already have a small all-white-plate display on a wall above the refrigerator in my kitchen (see portions of it here). And through the years, I've had lots of plate walls in the homes we've lived in. My favorite was my collection of kitschy state plates that was in a guest room of the condo I had as a single girl right out of college. I still have all of those state plates (and even more) with hopes of finding another good spot for them one day. There's just something about a plate wall that evokes happiness in my heart. This one I am particularly proud of because the collection was not rushed. I've had some of these for 15 years...but I started hard-core plate collecting for this purpose about four years ago. If you try to collect this many similar plates in a small period of time, it isn't quite as meaningful, in my opinion (and can sometimes look a bit forced). Part of the beauty of a collection like this one is pointing to a certain plate and thinking about its story...I purposefully look for plates on vacations (yep, I thrift on vacation, too) so I can have that memory. It's the perfect souvenir for a dish junkie like myself. I lucked into finishing this collection (really, is a collection ever finished?) on our family trip to New York in the fall. I'd been wanting to go to a store called Fishs Eddy (yes, that's spelled correctly) ever since I started following them on their Instagram account a couple years ago. I think the store was built with me in mind. You can get old hotel plates for a couple of dollars...amongst a billion other amazing things. (Y'all, I'm almost embarrassed to say that I had to have four boxes shipped home from their store...I've never done that before. It was bizarre.) Three of the plates on this wall are from Fishs Eddy. Two are the only two matching plates on the wall (the cream with blue-lined trim). And one is a saucer from their saucer bin (because they have a saucer bin, y'all...with $1 saucers. I die.).
Believe it or not, this is only half of the plates I collected for this. But, as I started to lay the design out, the floral theme kind of rang out and I eliminated several plates simply because they didn't fit in (a lot of the ones that didn't make the cut are old church plates...I now have big plans for a church plate wall down the road).
Besides my Fishs Eddy jaunt, these were collected from everywhere...and a few are even family heirlooms. The largest round platter in the dead-center belonged to my maternal great grandmother. My mom had it displayed on her mantel for years and then just got tired of it so it ended up at my house. All of the tiny saucers were my mom's, too...they actually have mini tea cups that coordinate. I've had her mini tea cup collection for years but haven't ever had a good spot to display them. Nor would I ever use them...who the heck wants mini tea, y'all? ;)
For the plates I actually purchased, my biggest rule was never spending more than $10 a plate...and honestly, most were less than $5. A few are from Goodwill or other thrift stores...a lot are from junking. Some from Round Top. Some even from California, Florida, and other family trips. I'm a practical souvenir kind of girl.
Since I worked so hard on collecting these for some time, I had a certain look I was going for when I went to hang them. I wanted a "wireless" hanging. In the past, I've always used those wire hangers...but they can scratch and even leave rust marks on plates (I learned this from having a couple of plates once hanging in a bathroom...the humidity mixed with the metal of the hanger was not pretty). I did a little research and found these cool flat adhesive hangers. I read a ton of reviews and followed the directions exactly. I was actually really impressed with these. I purchased mine here on Amazon.
They come feeling a bit odd...but that's okay. You have to moisten the adhesive side to activate the glue. Then let them sit for several minutes (seriously follow the directions exactly on these...I forgot to let one sit and it did not adhere!). Then you flip it over and stick it to the plate. I used a gift card to smooth out the bubbles.
Super important...let it sit on the plate overnight before hanging. It will allow the adhesion to properly dry into place (these are water soluble and can be removed later). Just FYI, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just really liked this product.
Be sure to watch the size/weight of your plate. For my great grandmother's 100+ year old heirloom plate, I used the largest disc made. It probably would have been okay with the smaller one, but I just didn't want to take any chances. Seriously, could you imagine? Oh wait, let's not.
Here are links to their sizes (they can actually be trimmed with scissors if your plate's exact size is not available.):
Then they just simply hang with a nail.
I originally laid my design out on the carpet and then took a pic with my phone. Then I applied my hangers. It was perfect to refer back to my phone when I hung these babies up. I did stray a slight bit from my original layout...but you get the basic idea.
Don't disown me, but my ordering was short on my hangers so I had to improvise on a few of the tiny saucers. I would never do this with the heirloom plates or anything larger than a saucer. Buuuuuut, I did my ol' college-trick of hot glue and paper clips to the remaining saucers since I was in a time crunch. Here we are six weeks later and only one of the heavier saucers has come flying off the wall (that was a fun 2 am surprise. It was right up there with the headboard Christmas wreath that attacked me in my sleep, too. What is it with our bedroom and junk falling off the wall...perhaps it's my thumb tacks and hot glue methods....ahem?). It truly was probably just too heavy for this method. Can we even call it a method? I'm slightly cringing to even post this photo, y'all. One thing I learned from my college days was to use high temp glue versus low temp. Heartier glue, my friends. And yes...I hung plates on my wall in college. I decorated like a grandma before it was cool, man.
I kind of want to sit here and tell you the precious story of each and every plate.
Don't worry, I won't. But it is fun for me to stare at this wall and reminisce.
The wall color in this room is Sea Salt from Sherwin Williams.
Are you a fan of plate walls?