Monday, January 21, 2013

Plate Wreaths How To


These plate wreaths take a little time but are fairly easy once you understand the construction.

This is my first layout of a wreath ... I'm sure I'll be moving the plates around before I'm through. I think I want the birds on the bottom...

Gather your plates and any accessories you want to use.  Small plates, bread and butter plates, ash trays and saucers work best with maybe one or two larger plates.  Bird salt and peppers, small bird or butterfly figurines, ceramic flowers, teabag holders, butter pats, coasters and napkin rings are some of the things I use to fill negative space or enhance the wreath.
I used a wreath frame, you can find at Michael's Craft Store in several sizes. small round wooden plaques,( Michael's or Hobby Lobby .79 each) and other small sizes of wood, different thicknesses.  I had some packages of wooden blocks they are 1 1/4" thick and packages of other wooden shapes in different thicknesses (can also find at the same stores). You need these to fix the plates to the frame and to raise the plates up for differing heights.  If desired, off white paint to paint the frame and wooden bits.


You need a hand drill, a 1/8" drill bit (or one a bit smaller than the screws you use) for pilot holes, the roughest grit sandpaper you can find, short wood screws, glue, screwdriver.  I use Gorilla Epoxy.  (Yes sweet sister Jeanne you can use E-6000 but it doesn't set up as quickly or as nicely as the Gorilla Epoxy and you really have to make sure it sets and holds so I recommend the Gorilla Epoxy.) For very heavily glazed plates, you can use Armour etch to take off some of the glaze OR you can use a small rotary drill bit to
scratch off some of the glaze. This will help secure the plate and/or items to a plate.
  The first thing I do is layout my plates the way I think they look best.
Using silver trays you can get the idea ...this is when I set them on the frame, with one of the holes that are already in the wreath at the top, then use the rounds and the blocks to lift ... use the round plaques for your lowest sitting and usually largest items. If it is too large for the plate, use something smaller but similar in height.   Remove the plates to the side .....
You should have your wooden bits still on the wreath ... remember you can stack the wood bits if you need to raise a plate a bit higher.   Next I draw a line along the sides of the wooden forms on the wreath, then drill a hole, if needed in the center of the outline, then drill a hole in the back center of the wood bits.   Now screw the wooden bits from the back to the form.  I paint the wreath and wood bits off white, all except the tops where the plates will be glued.
Lay out your plates again, just to be sure you still like the layout and that it still works. Rough up the backs of the plates where they will glue to the wood bits, wipe off.  Set them back around the outside of  wreath and get your glue ready.  You have to mix up the epoxy and use it within five minutes of mixing so you may want to do it in two steps.  Apply the epoxy to the top of the wooden bit, then set plate on top. For me it's best to do the top and the bottom plates first because I usually do have a top and a bottom.  The glue will set up in about five minutes so try to orient the patterns on the plates the way you want them BUT the nice thing about screwing in the wood bits it that you do have a little bit of play, you can turn the wood bits if you are off some AND you are able to remove a plate if needed.
After a half hour I return to add the birds, flowers etc. again using the Gorilla Glue.  You CAN do this before you even start your wreath, matter of choice and how sure you are of what you want to place them on.
To hang the wreaths I use two screws about 2" apart in the wall.
The important things are the wreath, the wood bits and the glue. I'm sure you will find ways that work better for you and maybe even a better method. Please come back and share your ideas and your wreaths.       If you have any  questions I'll be happy to answer them.
  These are the items I use, I am not paid in any way to endorse or recommend any product or store.
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11 comments:

Dorothy Crutchfield said...

Thanks, Francie! I'm saving these instructions to my computer. I may have to get some help with the power tools! :-)
Dorothy

Tanya Payzant said...

I love your plate wreath, Francie. Pinning these directions, for sure! I also love the plate in your post above this. I can't imagine being able to paint that scene. Wow!

victoriantailor said...

Great tutorial, would be a great way to use all those mismatched plates and saucers I have laying around! Please visit me, Celeste

victoriantailor said...

Great way to use all those mismatched plates and saucers, thanks for the tutorial, Celeste

Tami Kenner said...

What an adorable idea Francie!!
Looks wonderful!
Enjoy the week...happy creating..Tami @ pinkbuttercreme

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Thanks so much for sharing the instruction! Looks fab!
*hugs*deb

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I love the plate wreath and appreciate you sharing how to make one. I am adding this to my "to do" list.
xx, Sherry

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea with us!

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

I love these plate wreaths! Wow! So creative!

Custom Comforts said...

Your plate wreaths are so unique and pretty. What a great idea and what a creative way to use one-of-a-kind finds.
Cindy

Annesphamily said...

I willbe back to see if I can do this cool project! Love it!