Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pretty Plate Wall {high impact ~ low risk}

 When I was visiting my sister, Carrie, this fall we were inspired to jazz up her kinda-boring kitchen 
with a plate wall. I'd been wanting to try one for a while, but I've run out of wall space at my house. 
Carrie was up for some low-risk (inexpensive) decorating, so we had a great time throwing this together.

What you will need:

10-15 plates (or more?) - All of these were already owned or cost around $2 - $5 or so.
plate hangers - We used the wire ones you can get at hardware stores.
butcher paper
a digital camera
hammer and nails

How we did it:

1. We started by collecting plates. Carrie had six of these plates already, but we went to Marshall's and Home Goods to pick up the rest. We were looking for a combination of bright, bold colors, lots of texture, and a mixture of patterns and solids. (You should check out all the plate walls on Pinterest to figure out what colors and styles you like.)

 (one of our earlier layouts)

2. We played around with the composition on the floor. I'd take a picture when the layout seemed close, then tweak it a little more, take a pic, compare, tweak, pic, etc., until we settled on a composition we liked. 

3. This step could be combined with two to simplify things, but we were putting this together over a few days time so we separated the steps. I measured the space we wanted to fill on the wall, then rolled out a length of butcher paper in the same dimensions on the floor. Using the picture I'd taken as a guide, I set the plates out in the composition we'd chosen. Then I traced around each plate, drawing circles on the paper to create a template. Once that was finished I taped the paper template to the kitchen wall.

4. I chose a plate to start with (it doesn't matter which one). First, I attached the plate holder to the back. Then I held it up to the corresponding circle on the template and marked where the nail should go. (I continued using the picture on my camera as a guide.) Then I nailed right through the paper and hung the plate. I repeated that process until all the plates were hung, but the paper was still taped to the wall with nails poking through it. Finally, I took all the plates off the wall, tore off the paper (leaving the nails in all the right places, of course) and re-hung the plates.

Pretty jazzy, right? Well, just in the last hours before I left to return home I was hit by a second wave of inspiration ~ that old IKEA table was calling out for a quick and easy update. 
But, alas, I had run out of time.

So when I went back last weekend (to visit my sweet new little cuddly nephew) I hit the ground running 
with a plan. I lightly sanded the table, painted it green and did a few coats of wipe-on polyurethane 
on the first day. The next day I applied another coat of polyurethane to the top with a brush. 
(I wanted to be sure to get a good strong top coat since the table gets such constant use.)

The next day it was finished in all its bright, spring-green, freshness.
 I love how Carrie's kitchen turned out and it was so fun and easy to do.

If you're contemplating an inexpensive, high-impact change--I say go for it!
What do you have to lose?

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