DIY Upcycled Vintage Plates

My collection of vintage china is growing at a concerning rate. I’m addicted to scouring flea markets for the finest porcelain and snatching up affordably priced mismatched sets online. But honestly, what is one to do with all those saucers, tea cups and dinner plates?! When I saw Melanie Rose‘s upcycled vintage plates in London last summer, I was instantly inspired to DIY my own. No ifs, ands or bugs. And now finally, after some trail and error, I’ve finally narrowed down the proper materials and mastered the right technique. Thank goodness for all those spare plates!

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You’ll need:

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Start by printing images onto the glossy side of the waterslide decal papers. Let to dry completely before spraying the sheets with a coat of urethane clear coat. Allow to dry completely and then cut the images out carefully, leaving as little white space as possible. Place onto the plates to determine positioning.

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Place the decal in a bowl of warm water for about 15 seconds. When the decal separates from the liner, just by moving it between your thumb and finger, then it is ready to apply.

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Place the decal onto the plate, with the liner still attached. Gently slide the liner from beneath the decal using your thumb and index finger. Smooth out any folds or bubbles with your finger. Gently blot with a paper towel and allow to dry for at least an hour.

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Note that I’ve added the decals to saucers and not dinner plates or tea cups. These decals are not food safe and should not be put into a dishwasher or hand washed. If you need to clean it, simply wet a paper towel or rag and spot clean.

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Use as saucers for tea cups, jewelry trays, or even wall art!

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(images by HonestlyWTF)

Leave a Comment

69 Comments

  1. Nadja wrote:

    Awesome, I have some vintage plates laying around that were just waiting for an idea like this and I need more jewelery trays 🙂

    8.5.14
    Reply
  2. Georgie wrote:

    I have to try this!! I love vintage china, but I love this idea more!!

    Georgie
    xoxo

    styleprincessdiaries.blogspot.com

    8.5.14
    Reply
  3. Rachelle wrote:

    These are so awesome, love it!

    xo
    PinkSole

    8.5.14
    Reply
  4. Kiara wrote:

    Amazingly Gorgeous!!!!!!

    8.5.14
    Reply
  5. Denisa wrote:

    Very nice inspiration.
    xx
    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

    8.5.14
    Reply
  6. Such a nice idea <3

    8.5.14
    Reply
  7. This may be my favorite DIY of your yet! Heading to the thrift shop now!

    8.5.14
    Reply
  8. Curious. Could the decal be printed on the opposite side and still show through? Meaning you could attach it to the BOTTOM of a clear glass plate and then seal it…allowing the bug to shine through the glass? That way it could be food safe….

    8.5.14
    Reply
  9. Awesome Idea and simple too.

    http://thinkworkandgo.blogspot.com/

    8.5.14
    Reply
  10. Paty wrote:

    Beautiful blog!!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

    8.5.14
    Reply
  11. madison wrote:

    Such a great idea I have to try this!
    http://madisonboehm.weebly.com

    8.5.14
    Reply
  12. i.s. wrote:

    such a great idea! x
    http://www.vicariousLA.com

    8.5.14
    Reply
  13. Katie wrote:

    Gorgeous idea! Love, love, love this!

    8.5.14
    Reply
  14. I love this! I’m a huge fan of going to thrift stores and flea markets, but I always end up with a lot of stuff that I never use. I would love to upcycle some plates and teacups in the future.

    -Helen Grace

    http://www.sweethelengrace.com

    8.5.14
    Reply
  15. Jem wrote:

    Aww that was a bit disappointing. I got really excited when I saw the photos because I thought your DIY was going to teach us how to jazz up eating plates but these are now only decorative plates 🙁

    I’ve used waterside transfers before, they may look pretty but aren’t the most durable things in the world.

    8.5.14
    Reply
  16. Nikki wrote:

    Bugs? on dishes? I think that might help me stick to my diet lol. However, with a different decal that could be really cool!

    8.5.14
    Reply
  17. This is such a good idea!!
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    8.6.14
    Reply
  18. Emily wrote:

    I love this idea! I am also addicted to scouring the aisles of goodwill for vintage china. You never know what you’ll find 🙂

    8.6.14
    Reply
  19. This is such an awesome idea! I got to try this 🙂

    Check out the B.A.D blog: blogaboutdesign.com

    8.6.14
    Reply
  20. I’m not certain the place you are getting your info, however good topic.

    I must spend a while finding out more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for wonderful information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

    8.7.14
    Reply
  21. What a great idea, decal paper on plates! It is a shame they’re not food safe though, but the end results makes up for it.

    9.15.14
    Reply
  22. druk 3d wrote:

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options
    out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..

    Any suggestions? Many thanks!

    9.26.14
    Reply
  23. Zen wrote:

    Cute idea! Very quirky, reminds me of Liberty’s in London, one of my favourite stores! 🙂

    10.8.14
    Reply
  24. These are adorable. What a great way to upcycle. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    11.10.14
    Reply
  25. Maggie wrote:

    I love how this project took a very cool vintage piece and added a small touch to update it for modern decor. Great idea! What else would you try this with?

    11.10.14
    Reply
  26. susan stevenson wrote:

    Love Love Love this. Thanks for sharing your genius.

    11.11.14
    Reply
  27. Rebecca wrote:

    I see urethane or acrylic coat in the supply list, but no mention of them in the instructions. I think that might help the decal last longer!

    Thank The Bloggess if there is more traffic on this page.

    11.14.14
    Reply
  28. Rebecca wrote:

    Also: I vaguely remember a book that mentioned fine china with realistic insects. They belonged to an entomologist, but didn’t get used because of others’ distaste for “bugs” on their dishes.

    11.14.14
    Reply
  29. This is beyond great!

    12.7.14
    Reply
  30. Love the bee but beetles are my bug weakness…
    hermajestytheking.blogspot.com/

    12.30.14
    Reply
  31. Lauren wrote:

    I absolutely love this!! We have a load of old porcelain in the cellar – this would be such a cool revamp project!

    http://www.melondrum.co.uk

    1.30.15
    Reply
  32. Molly wrote:

    Brilliant!! And an amazing idea to recycle those vintage pkates

    5.7.15
    Reply
  33. Ashley wrote:

    Hi what kind of printer are you using? 🙂

    5.7.15
    Reply
  34. HCross wrote:

    cute bug plates!
    thank you 🙂

    5.8.15
    Reply
  35. eleisa wrote:

    thinking I might just make some of these and use them like chargers under clear glass plates ♥ best of both worlds xo

    5.8.15
    Reply
  36. ROSA DIANA wrote:

    What an awesome idea! Will def keep in mind as I too have quite a collection of mix matched china! -R
    http://ladydianaspearls.com

    5.24.15
    Reply
  37. Great idea. Lovely colors.

    6.15.15
    Reply
  38. Nora wrote:

    Oh my God! I surprised to see this awesome idea!

    7.26.15
    Reply
  39. Adam Khan wrote:

    What a great way to up the value and aesthetics of the plates. Awesome use of upcycle design and the finshing result was real nice. It has a great effect ! 🙂

    8.30.15
    Reply
  40. Victoria Valentine wrote:

    Great idea – but I love to find decals and a way of using them that can be washed and that is food safe. Any ideas

    8.2.16
    Reply