When I was growing up my Mom had this special red plate that whenever it was our birthday, or some other special occasion in our life, we got the distinct privilege of using it at dinner. :-) I’m sure many of you are familiar with the special red plate tradition.
It occurred to me the other day that I don’t have a special red plate for my kids! I think I did a LONG time ago when they were very little, but I have no idea what happened to it. I know my kids are older and probably wouldn’t appreciate the special plate idea as much as little ones, but even big kids need a little VIP treatment at times. :-) If I know my boys (and I think I do!) they would love to have a “special plate” to highlight a special day.
I decided to look online to see if I could buy the special red plate my Mom had. I found it easily enough on Amazon, but when I saw that the Waechtersbach “You Are Special” Plate was $39.99, I decided to pass. I mean it IS a special plate…but not THAT special! :-) A DIY project was definitely in order!
I’d seen a lot of ideas on Pinterest about using a Sharpie to decorate coffee mugs and such, but I had my doubts whether a Sharpie would hold up on a dinner plate that would have food on it and go in the dishwasher. So I did a little research and came up with this pen, the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 China Paint Fine Tip Marker, that I ordered off of Amazon for about six bucks.
You can use the Porcelaine 150 on china, porcelain, tile, metal, ceramic, glass and more. The paint is tack-free in a few minutes and fully dry after 24 hours. Once fully dry, you can bake the finished piece which gives it a dishwasher-safe, enameled finish.
I found these plain, white 11″ dinner plates at IKEA last week for $2.99 each. Now all I needed was a little inspiration!
It’s times like these that I really wish I were artistic! Specifically, I wish that I could illustrate! I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to illustration’s called “Illustration Envy” because I do so envy that talent. But since my talents lie elsewhere, I did the next best thing…I traced!
I wanted the plates to be very simple so I stuck with just the phrase “You Are Special Today.” I printed it out in a couple of different fonts to see which one I liked best. I settled on a really plain font because I thought it would look better, but after doing a slightly more “fancy” font, I felt like the fancy font was a little more forgiving and didn’t show the imperfections as much.
I looked at lots of image transfer methods online, but none of them seemed appropriate for transferring onto a stoneware plate….so I made up my own “transfer method”. I took a Sharpie and “traced” the lettering by making little dots on the paper that bled through to the plate.
It’s kind of hard to explain…but a picture is worth a thousand words here!
Then when I was done “tracing” the words with the Sharpie, I removed my template and started going over it with my porcelain pen. One of the great things about this pen is how fast it dries! Within a few minutes it was dry enough that I could go back over it and fill in any light spots.
Although I was going for very simple…in the end I couldn’t resist adding SOME embellishment in the form of tiny polka dots around the rim. Those I just free-handed. It didn’t take much illustration talent. :-)
After letting them dry for 24 hours, I then followed the instructions for making them “dishwasher resistant” and baked them in the oven for 35 minutes at 150°C (300°F). However, I will probably still hand wash them just to be on the safe side.
I’m pretty pleased at how my “special plates” turned out. Now when someone in this house has a special day (or maybe even a not-so-special day)….I’m ready! :-)
How do you commemorate “special days” in your house?