How to Artfully Display Plates on a Wall

People who have a passion for decorative plates live in all four corners of the world and a common challenge is what to do with the collection once it starts growing. For some, arranging them on plate stands in a cabinet works. For others, dotting them here and there does the trick. But an authentic and age-old way to appreciate decorative plates is to hang them from the wall, especially in the kitchen and dining areas.


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    Purchase plate wall hangers. There are various possible types, your choice dependent on what you need, budget, and your color scheme:
    • The wire wall hanger tends to be the most popular, in brass.
    • A variation on a basic wall hanger is a plate and cup wall hanger - this allows you to arrange both the plate and the cup together.
    • White vinyl coated wire plate hanger.
    • Brass stretch plate hanger.
    • Heavy duty brass plate hangers. These are suitable for the really large and heavy dishes, including serving dishes.
    • Adhesive paste-on hangers. These are plastic with stickers on the back. Very good for leaving a mark on your wall but they do remain out of sight.
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    Select your favorite plates that you would like to arrange on the wall. Set them out on a large surface such as a table. Looking at them, consider what design arrangements come to mind. Arrange the plates in this order and stand back to see how it works for you. Make changes until you are satisfied with the result.
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    Consider these possible design layouts as you're working out your arrangement:
    • One large plate in the middle with a semi-circle of small plates around it
    • Plates arranged in a star shape
    • Plates arranged in a circle
    • Plates arranged in order of size, smallest to largest or vice versa
    • Color schemed plates - blues together, greens together, maroons together, etc.
    • Theme arrangements - animal themes, farmyard themes, floral themes, cottage themes, etc.
    • Plate artist theme
    • A plate arrangement around an existing or new painting/picture (you might even consider matching the plates and the painting by theme, color, etc.)
    • Calendar year theme - ideal for the collection of plates that are dated each Christmas; place them in order of receipt either horizontally or vertically on the wall space.
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    Think about appropriate hanging places in the house. If you have a small collection, you might add it to the kitchen or eating area. If you have numerous plates, it might be best to place them in different areas of the house, perhaps according to some of the themes suggested above.
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    Hang the plates. Use a tape measure to ensure that you have the distances between plates even or at least where you'd like the distances to be; mark gently with a pencil. Attach the plate hangers according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer your arrangement from the table onto the wall. Stand back and admire!
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  • Don't forget to include wooden plates, metallic plates, glass plates, etc. in your creativity of arrangements. Mixing and matching the different textures can create some amazing artistic effects.
  • Remember to wash the plates once a year and dust them at least once a month. Clean them more regularly if they overhang a food eating space.
  • Visit a museum that displays old plates to use their display methods as a source of inspiration.


  • Plates break if dropped; be very, very careful handling those heirlooms! Get another pair of hands if you feel jittery.

Things You'll Need

  • Plate collection
  • Appropriate plate hangers
  • Tape measure for getting distances accurate
  • Hammer

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating