Make a $20 Plate Wall (and Tips For What NOT To Do)

plate wall ideas

Plate walls are really timeless, and they’re coming back into style. We had a massive blank wall in our kitchen that really needed personality, and I figured hanging plates would help.

How to make it cheap: Plate walls are great because they utilize a large amount of space for a low cost – making it a dream for someone decorating on the cheap (like me!) Our plate wall cost $20 because I used a special type of plate – MELAMINE! I also didn’t use the disc plate hangers because they were at least $2 each, which would double the price of the project. So I secured them a different way – well, quite a few different ways…as you’ll soon see.

plate wall

What plates to use: Melamine plates are perfect for hanging because they’re light and virtually unbreakable (it’s what kid’s plates are made of). I shopped for my plates in the spring and found lots of great affordable plates in the outdoor dining areas of Target, Kohls, Ross. I also found two charger plates at Kirklands and Hobby Lobby. All plates were under $3 each. I purchased 9 plates – always hang things in odd numbers.

Determine colors and patterns: I decided on a blue/turquoise theme to match a teal shelving unit in my kitchen. Mix patterns and solids half and half. It helps break up the patterns and pulls the color scheme together. I also used some small appetizer plates for visual interest.

plate wall

Secure the hangers: I found some floral wire and bent it into rounds – you could also use paper clips.I tried three different techniques for this – and broke 2 charger plates in the course of trying. Not a fun lesson to learn!

plate wall

Then I secured them with two large pieces of duct tape.But the tape didn’t hold and they all started falling down. Not a fun sound to hear as you’re laying in bed, the sound of plates bouncing all over the floor!

how to hang a plate wall

Enter the glue gun! I figured hot glue on plastic would work well, so I decided to remove all the duct tape and glue the plates. While this worked on the ones without price tags, anywhere that had glue on a price tag caused the glue not to stick. It also doesn’t work on charger plates. So you guessed it – another broken plate!

how to hang a plate wall

FINALLY – I decided on Gorilla Glue. This is what you should use. It puffs up and creates an incredible mess, but once it dries it’ll hold your little hanger in place perfectly because it oozes around the entire wire. I also sanded the charger plates where I was applying glue to create a rough surface for it to stick to.

how to hang a plate wall

How to hang the plates: Place the plates on the floor and started moving them around until you find the right layout. Measure the wall to find the center, then hang the middle plate in the center using a good ol’ hammer and nails.

how to hang a plate wall

Then just eyeball as you pick one plate off the floor at a time and hang it in place. It helps to take a reference picture of your “floor design” to remind you of where everything goes.

plate wall

Step back and admire your masterpiece! The beauty of plate walls is that you can always add to them as you find new treasures. So let us know – have you tried hanging a plate wall, and how did it go? 

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