How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack | i should be mopping the floor
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How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack

This post for a Wall Mounted Plate Rack contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I make a small portion when these links are used, at no additional cost to you.

We're excited to finally share our new wall mounted plate rack. My dad engineered this one to be a bit unique, in that I can layer my plates while they're on display. We're sharing some of our tips below on How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack.

Wall Mounted Plate Rack
Today is also a Thrifty Style Team day...with a twist! Instead of our usual projects, we've invited our husbands, dads, sons, brothers, etc. to take part in the thrifty project we're sharing. It's the guys' turn! Since my dad moved in with us last December, projects are the name of his game. He likes to have tasks and things to engineer around our place, so inviting him to be a part of this month's Thrifty Style Team post was perfect for all of us. See how he created this Wall Mounted Plate Rack for the side of our pantry below.

DIY Plate Rack
Many of you have met my dad before (pictured above). He has engineered some of my most popular projects here on I Should Be Mopping the Floor, including my DIY Crates, DIY Planted Posts, and Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Area. After seeing my friend Vanessa's plate rack on At The Picket Fence a few years back, I realized I had a similar spot in my kitchen just crying out for one of these, too. When I mentioned it to my dad, he got pretty excited. 

Christmas Plate Display
The above photo was taken during Christmas of 2020, shortly after we updated and repainted our kitchen. I couldn't part with my favorite plate rack, so it got a coat of white paint to match the new colors of the space. I love displaying my Christmas Spode dishes from my mom in this space.

Update: my sweet dad passed away in February of 2020 after a very brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer. This plate rack was the last project he and I worked on together and I cherish those memories.

Wall Mounted Plate Rack

How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack
The Wall Mounted Plate Rack that we built here was designed for our dimensions, and such. But, below, I've shared our best tips and tricks so you can configure one to your own space. 

I'm such a dish-junkie that an additional place to display a collection was a no-brainer. These plates are actually my mother's set of china. They're over 100 years old and belonged to her grandmother. I love that they now have their own spot to be admired, rather than tucked behind a cabinet door.

Decorative Plate Rack
Because the dimensions of the wall on the outside of my pantry were a bit narrow, we decided on layering the plates for display. This enabled me to still fit three plates in each shelf, or even one large serving platter. 

Plate Rack Display
I love changing out the plates in this rack seasonally.

How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack

China Display
Again, we're just sharing some guidelines below. A plate rack of this nature would need to be designed for each space, according to dimensions. 

Supplies for a Wall Mounted Plate Rack

  • 1x4s cut to the width of shelves
    • The number of 1x4s depends on how many shelves you'll be adding to your plate rack.
    • The size of your 1x4 shelves depends on the size of your space where your Wall Mounted Plate Rack will go. 
  • 1x4s for the sides, cut to the height of the plate rack (we used two, one on each side)
  • 1x4s for the top and bottom pieces
  • quarter-round moulding 
  • screen moulding
    • We used this to create the double plate rails.
    • We also used this to trim the edges of the sides of the plate rack.
  • 1/4" wooden dowels
    • You'll be cutting these to the width of each shelf, plus a few inches to hold them in place.
    • We used two dowels per shelf.
    • These are really more decorative in nature, but really add to the overall look of the plate rack.
  • decorative moulding
    • We used quarter-round and baseboard moulding to trim out our piece.
    • Honestly, we didn't plan out our moulding ahead of time. Once the plate rack was in place, my dad would put a bit here or there to make it look nice and cover nail holes, etc. Once it was all painted, it looked seamless. It's fun to experiment with different types of moulding on these...get creative with yours, if you build one!
  • tools: drill, saw, sander, level, square, etc.
  • You'll also need nails, finishing nails, sandpaper, wood filler, wood glue, and paint.

Putting Your Wall Mounted Plate Rack Together

Double Plate Rack

  • You'll start by cutting your screen moulding pieces to the same length as your shelves (your shelves are 1x4s). You'll need two pieces per shelf to achieve that layered plate look.
  • We placed our moulding pieces half an inch from the edge of the shelf and then the next one half an inch from the edge of the previous moulding piece (as pictured above).
  • Run a line of wood glue and lay down the moulding. Use finishing nails to completely attach the moulding. Allow to dry before assembling the rest of the plate rack.

Plate Rack Tutorial
The above photo shows how those two screen moulding pieces will sit on the shelves. They hold the plates in place perfectly.

DIY Plate Rack Tutorial

  • Next, you'll build the outside frame of the entire piece, based on the dimensions your space will be. Again, you'll use 1x4 pieces for this.
  • You can fit your shelves inside the frame. We clamped the entire frame together during the process of fitting the shelves (this is optional, but helps as you space your shelves evenly. 
    • We based the amount of space between each of our shelves on the largest platter we'd be using in the plate rack. I would've hated to have gotten the entire thing in place and then realized the main platter wouldn't fit.
    • Glue the small edges of the shelves in place. Then use nails on the outside of the frame to secure the shelves in place. We did two nails on each end of our shelf pieces (so four nails per shelf).
  • You'll need to use a level and square to make sure the entire piece sits level, too.
  • At this time, you can also put your dowels into place.
    • Since our plate rack sits flush up to door moulding on one side, we just inserted our dowels on that end (after drilling a hole for each one of them). 
    • On the other side (where the dowel would meet the other edge of the plate rack), we just drilled about 1/4" into the wood, but not all the way through. 
      • If your plate rack will be open on both sides, you can use a good wood filler over your hole(s) for a more seamless finish. 
    • Since our dowels were hidden behind our door frame, we didn't have to make them flush. But, if your plate rack is out in the open, you'll need to trim them off to be flush with the frame of the plate rack. Just fill and sand to conceal them.

How to Build a Plate Rack

  • Our bottom was a bit trickier. I didn't want the last shelf practically sitting on the floor (it seemed weird to have a plate that low to the ground), so we built a little box to get that shelf up off the floor a few inches.
  • This box was also made from 1x4 shelf-sized pieces. And the bottom shelf sits directly on top of it (see below). 

Building a Custom Plate Rack
  • The inside of that box on the bottom is actually hollow. 
  • Now, you can mount the entire piece to your wall.
    • We lucked out here since we were attaching ours to the side of our pantry. We went through the pantry and screwed directly into the frame of the plate rack.
    • If you're attaching to a wall, I would use flat L brackets or similar, and screw into studs or with anchors to attach your plate rack to a wall. 

Plate Rack DIY
  • After the plate rack was securely attached to the pantry's exterior wall, we trimmed the seams with moulding and a nail gun, as pictured above (this is just preference, feel free to leave it as is, if you prefer).
  • You can see that we also added additional screen moulding to the edges of the frame, purely for aesthetic purposes.
  • Then I used putty to fill in all seams and nail holes.
  • In the above photo, you can see that we used one small piece of baseboard moulding on that box on the bottom shelf. There were a lot of wood pieces joining together in that spot, so it made sense to cover them with one piece of moulding.
  • Quarter-round moulding was used along the bottom of the entire piece. This mimics the quarter round on our cabinets, too.  

How to Make a Plate Rack
  • After all of the putty dried, I sanded the entire piece (carefully on the dowels) and then I wiped it clean with a tack cloth to remove excess dust.
  • I painted it the same color as our bottom cabinetry and pantry. It makes the entire piece look like it's always been there. The dowels were tricky to paint (as my dad warned me they would be!). But, nothing a tiny little brush couldn't tackle. 
    • The aqua/blue color used here is called Clear Pond from Behr. 
    • You can see our entire kitchen in its "before" state here on our Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodel.

How to DIY a Plate Rack
You know, it's almost like we created a miniature little butler's pantry in between the kitchen and dining area. I'm really in love with how pretty my mom's china looks on display here.

If you have any questions on How to Build a Wall Mounted Plate Rack, let me know in the comments. My dad and I will certainly do our best to answer them. This project was also quite budget friendly since it was mainly 1x4 pieces, dowels, and trim.

Thrifty Style Team Projects

Thrifty Plate Rack

Be sure to also check out all of the FANTASTIC projects from the other husbands and dad of the Thrifty Style Team group. They're all listed out below...what talent!

Plate Display Rack

Where would you put a plate rack?

Free Plate Rack Plans


  1. Hi Krisit's dad, your project looks awesome! With talents like that no need to be bored, you could be working the whole neighborhood!

    1. Thank you so much, Bliss! Yes, he needs to hire out...ha!

  2. Aww, I love that your dad gets excited when you need his help with a project! You can send him my way anytime ;) The plate rack looks amazing and is such a beautiful way to display your collections!

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! I really appreciate that. xoxo

  3. Kristi - your dad and his DIY skills are amazing! The plate rack turned our beautifully - and it really does seem like a mini butler's pantry. Well done!

    Vicki and Jenn ~ 2 Bees in a Pod

    1. Thank you so much, sweet friends! I really appreciate that! xoxo

  4. What a great use of this space! The plate rack is one of my favorites, especially the color. Well done dad!

    1. Thank you so much, Jacque! I really appreciate that. xoxo

  5. I love that your Dad was excited to do this for you. He did such a great job building it and the color is perfect! I'm sure you'll have fun filling it up.

    1. Thank you so much, Kristi! Yes, filling it up has been my favorite for sure! xoxo

  6. I am just looking around to see where I could put a plate rack like this! If I ever decide, I know where to get the directions! Your dad did an awesome job!

  7. This plate rack looks so beautiful in that spot! It honestly looks like it's always been there! Plate racks are always a good idea in my books. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Courtenay! Yes, I sure love a good plate rack, too! xoxo

  8. How very precious time spent with your dad was. My heart hurts for you & your loss....I have been down that road with both of my parents. What a blessing it is to know that we will see them again someday! Hugs & prayers to you Kristi.

  9. Using your instructions as a guide and inspiration, I built my own plate rack. I am very pleased with my results. Thank you very much.

    1. Wow! That's wonderful! You are so very welcome! I'm happy to know I was able to offer some inspiration! xoxo