How to Hang a Plate Wall with No Stress or Measuring

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to Hang a Plate Wall
Did you want to make a plate wall to cover up some big naked wall space that you have?

But when you google "how to design a plate wall" and see photos like this your eyes glaze over and you think you would rather chew off your own hand than trace all your plates, cut out templates, measure where they go and try to arrange them on your wall?

Me too! I just can't.

Which is why I'm sharing my super spiffy tips for...wait for it...

How to Hang a Plate Wall without Measuring
That's my lovely creation right there and I'm not ashamed to admit that I have a big fat dishy crush on it! I want you to feel the same way about your wall so let's begin with a little plate psychology to get you prepped to hang without stress and without measuring.

First, it's 100% okay to have TONS of nail holes in your wall from hanging a plate, deciding it's not right, and moving it 1/2 of an inch. If I had hung my plates exactly how they are now on the first try I'd still have 20 holes in my wall-there's no way that when I'm ready to take them down I won't have to fill and paint.

So who cares if you have to fill 20 holes or 60 holes? It's just a quick swipe of spackle; no trouble at all!

eclectic plate wall
Second, I'm sorry, but this idea I see everywhere that you're going to arrange your plates on the floor and then hang them on the wall is ridiculous! Your plates don't look the same on the floor as they do on your wall. The final look is totally affected by your wall color and the furniture, doors and windows surrounding the plates. You just can't tell what will really work until those plates are on the wall!

The one thing you really do need to hang a plate wall is a friend. There is a lot of holding a plate up to the wall and asking, "here or here?" You need someone to help with that, and if that friend wants to hang a plate wall too, all the better, you can help each other!

A quick note-I used E600 and a safety pin to hang my lighter plates. Be sure to let it cure for 48-72 hours.
And these 4" disc plate hangers for my bigger plates. If I wasn't sure then I went with the disc hanger; they are super secure!

Okay, on to the actual hanging. Since we're not measuring it's better to pick an organic shape than a totally symmetrical shape. There are a lot of beautiful examples out there.

Here are a couple of my favorites. This first one was also my color inspiration before I even began collecting plates.
That up there is the wall I made with my friend Tonya who then was obligated to come help me hang my plate wall!

For my wall I imagined a football shape that was being thrown up towards the right corner of the wall.
I didn't try to "fill in" the imaginary line exactly, I just used the general idea to help me get started.

Pick your favorite plate and hang it in the middle of your imaginary shape.
It looks all weird and lonely. Save it by adding two more plates around it. Don't stress because you've already decided that if you don't like something you'll just move it.
Hmmmm, after I hung that we decided the F plate was a leeetle too close to the pears. We tried a different shaped plate and liked it better. The F actually ended up on the other side of the pear plate.
Keep working out from the middle and filling in the space evenly. Have one person hold up a plate while the other person steps back a bit and checks for balance in colors and shapes. When it looks right use a pencil to make a small mark on the wall where the top of the plate is. Flip your plate and check how far down the hanger is and make another mark that far down from your first mark and hammer a nail in that spot.

As you back up and check your arrangement you can always swap out plates to see how different sizes and colors look. 

This is where the extra set of eyes is better than all the measuring in the world. My friend Tonya and I noticed that we each were more confident in making decisions at the other person's house-kind of funny, but true.

My final tip is to avoid a static look by breaking up your imaginary lines with some plates that "go outside the line."

On my wall the white plate with yellow butterfly balances the blue plate with flowers in the middle and they both help keep the arrangement from feeling too deliberate.
Good luck with your own plate wall! They are super happy making.

4 Responses to “How to Hang a Plate Wall with No Stress or Measuring”

  1. Oh, Shelley--I love it so much!! I need to see this in person. It's brilliant.

    1. Thanks Mon! You are so sweet.

    2. Thanks Mon! You are so sweet.

  2. One time when you were telling me about the crafty things you do you said something like, "I don't try to make it perfect. If I spent forever making it perfect then when it's done I notice one small thing that's slightly off I would want to scream. So on most things I just do a mostly good job and then I'm happy with the outcome." Some of the best advice I've ever received. And that plate wall is seriously rocking.


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