Decorative Plate with Quote DIY

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Today I’m joining the Upcycled Project Challenge with this decorative plate art idea.

I acquired this pretty plate recently when my mother in law was downsizing in preparation for moving and was gifting some of her things she no longer wanted. Most items have gone to charity shops or family and friends but I kept a few bits like this plate, knowing it would be perfect to make some art.

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How to add a quote to a decorative plate without a vinyl cutting machine

This is a really simple upcycle project, you don’t even need to be able to do fancy calligraphy. It’s not a very expensive or valuable plate, the roses are a transfer and are very slightly scratched in a few places. The gold edging is a little patchy but there is still enough to make it unsuitable for the microwave. We are never going to use it as a plate but it has made some really fun art for the walls.

What you need to make a decorative plate with a fun quote:

  • An old plate, the fancier the better

  • A computer and printer to print a quote in a fancy font

  • A soft pencil

  • Paint pens

Start by choosing a quote and printing it in a fancy font. Mine is one called Modern Love.

Transfer the quote

Transfer the quote to the plate. I did this with the old fashioned method. I traced the font on the back of the paper using the soft pencil and then laid it on the plate in position and scribble over the letters again. This transfers just enough of the pencil marks onto the plate to be able to see the letters.

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Fill in with paint marker pen

Use the paint marker to go over the pencil lines and write your quote. If you want the fancy calligraphy look then create this by thickening all the down lines. It’s a fake or faux calligraphy look.


That’s it! It really is that simple. The plate is not going through the dishwasher or even being washed so there’s no need to seal it or use special porcelain pens that need to be baked.

If the plate gets dusty I can give it a wipe with a damp cloth, the paint will stay put for that, no problem.

Make your own vintage plate with a fun quote

This might just be my favourite quote of all time. I say that about a lot of quotes to be fair but I do really love this one. It feels like words to live by!

And here it is in the wild! I’ve put this plate with it’s fun and inspiring quote by my desk - I’m not a tidy person so I don’t do a lot of craft space reveals. I used to work from the dining table but when our daughter moved out I graduated to her old bedroom which is my craft space plus our guest bedroom. This is where the magic happens people!

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I’m not entirely sure why I had 2 pincushions, a magnetic pin dish and 2 pairs of dressmaking scissors on my desk at this exact moment, and it feels like half the things I share on Instagram end up on my notice board. What can I say? I like to look at pretty things!

The pinkness of the walls is really throwing the colour balance out on these photos but you get the general idea. When we moved in we said we would paint over 3 pink walls with white, tone it all down. Almost 6 years later the urgency seems to have worn off!

Any time I’m feeling a bit stressed by someone else I can just glance up at my wise plate now :-D It looks nice along side the floral collage canvas that I made for our daughter years ago.

Update an old plate with a fun quote
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I love the contrast of the old fashioned quaint plate and the sass of the quote. It’s a bit like the trend for subversive embroidery. You can add any quote you like to a plate, I’ve kept it reasonably family friendly but you could go all out sweary if that’s your thing or make it sweet with a more wholesome quote. Isn’t that the beauty of a DIY project? You have control of what you do.

Now let’s take a look at what the other participants of the blog hop have chosen for their upcycle project.

A selection of Spring themed upcycling projects