Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Make a Sharpie decorated plate

I never know what to get people as gifts.  Maybe you're like me?  I walk through the entire store several times.  Each time around, I find different treasures and then mentally debate the pros and cons of the item for several minutes.  Then, I inevitably change my mind and movie onto the next item. Then, after about 2 hours of mumbling to myself like a crazy lady, I finally leave empty handed, with only a grouchy hubby and fussy baby to show for my effort.

So when I was invited to a friend's bridal shower, I knew I was in trouble.  If buying gifts for the building's superintendent already caused me grief, buying a gift for a longtime friend should have sent me into cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), Chuck's been having a rotten time with teething, so this time around I just took the easy way out:  gift card.  Packaged money.  And honey, who doesn't want money?

As I walked towards the cash register that nagging voice started whispering in my ear, "Leslie.  Is this really the best gift?  You've known her for how long?  Isn't this a bit impersonal?"  I tried responding back, "Shush. Chuck's actually behaving nicely.  If we leave now I can get good parking.  And I don't need to buy wrapping paper."

But the nagging voice continued, and I finally succumbed.  But this time a crafty idea also came to me and I took a quick trip to the kitchen section and grabbed a plate.

Because after seeing the gorgeous DIY Anthropologie knock-off mug from Home Heart Craft, I had to get into the Sharpie plate decorating market.

And after a couple of hours, I came up with this lovely plate:

I really like how it turned out.  It's beautiful, personal, quirky, useful, and *fingers crossed* long-lasting.  (I didn't try washing it... so I'm hoping the marker holds.)

Want to use Sharpie markers to unleash your creativity on some unsuspecting pieces of china?  Read on!

- Oven
- Plate (I got mine at Target)
- Sharpie markers
- Paper
- Pencil
- Scissors
- Tape
- Q-Tip

1.  Trace your plate onto a piece of paper and cut out the resulting shape.  Now you know how big to make your design..

2.  Come up with your design.  (This was super hard.  I knew I wanted to practice my handwriting skills and include something romantic and slightly naughty.)

3.  Turn your paper over.  On the back, rub your pencil over the back of your design.  (Guess what?  You've essentially made your own carbon paper!)

4.  Tape your design to your plate.  Trace over your design with your pencil.  Lift up your paper and you'll find a faint imprint of the design underneath.  (Magical!)

5.  Use Sharpie to trace over your design.  I have shaky hands, so I did this very slowly and carefully.  Some parts of the lettering came out a big uneven, so I retraced over parts to make sure that everything looked uniformly black.  Once my Sharpie dried, I brushed off any visible pencil residue with a Q-tip.  Feeling inspired, I also free handed a design on the back.

6.  Pop your work of art into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then, admire your handiwork and wrap it up.

(Have you ever tried to draw on plates or mugs with Sharpies?  Did the Sharpie marker stay on even after you washed the item?  I'm hoping my design stays on.  Hubby received this lovely mug decorated with Sharpie from his students last year.... and the message they wrote washed away after several rinses.  Luckily we took a photo of the mug before everything disappeared... but it was still pretty disappointing.  *Crosses fingers*)


  1. I've been wanting to do a project like this! Thanks for the how-to.
    Jillian -

    1. Let me know how it turns out for you. I'm still hoping that the Sharpie marker stays on...

  2. Beautiful! I think you could go into business, crafty girl.

    1. Thanks Lisa. You're really too kind. (Another friend's birthday is coming up, so I'm going to try making a plate for her too... although I still don't know if the Sharpie marker washes out or not.... eek)

  3. I LOVE what you did! I know the Sharpie will work for at least a little while - but I'm not sure how long. However, DecoArt Glass Paint Markers work really, really well. They are permanent and they write like a Sharpie. There are lots of colors and super easy to work with. Sometimes stuff like that doesn't work - great concept, bad execution. These aren't like that - I really like them. They are also much easier to control than the normal glass paints.

    I so love your creation - I would be honored to get such an amazingly thoughtful gift. You go with your bad self! :)

    1. Oooh! Thanks for the information. I'll definitely look out for those DecoArt Glass Paint Markers when I go to Michael's. (Hmm- I wonder if they're food safe?) I'm probably going to make another plate for a friend this week, so I won't be able to try out then pens before then.... :) but your tip will certainly help in the future.

  4. Love this! Cute handwriting too! :)

  5. Hi Leslie, With end-of-the-school-year, birthday, and Father's Day gifts to get (or make?) I could not resist! I went and used my 50% off coupon at Michaels to get a Sharpie set and plates and mugs from the BB&B next door. I made a mistake - I read somewhere else that 30 min @ 350 would make the sharpie permanent, but a lot of it washed right off when I tested it out with a very gentle handwash. So I redid them and popped them back in for a second try. Also, I found that you can use a wet napkin to wash off/tidy up the unbaked sharpie. That is really nice for doing projects with the kiddos - so I don't have to get so uptight about them making it "nice" the first time around.

    1. Ooh! Thanks for letting me know about the temperature. Did it work out better at a higher temperature?

      :) so glad you had fun trying it out. Chuck and I will definitely try making something with Sharpies once he gets a bit older!

  6. can we eat in these plates?lovely project

  7. Great question! Personally... I wouldn't... but other people have said that you can..... so I guess go with what you're comfortable with!


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