DIY: Monogrammed Plates

March 19, 2009

I’ve owned a dozen clear glass plates for about 10 years. I was about to donate them to the Goodwill thrift store when I saw a photo in a recent BH&G magazine of a plate painted with a bird stencil. This inspired me to paint my stash of clear plates for the first meeting of my newly founded Martini Book Club. I wanted to make a monogrammed plate with the initials “MBC” for my club.

Here’s a peek at my final plate:

monogrammed final silver

I went to the local craft store and purchased paint made specifically for glass and ceramics.

monogrammed paints

I also purchased some foam alphabet stamps to apply my paint. Because the paint is applied to the underside of the plate for food safety, it is very important to buy letters that are not italicized or script. The letters are reversed in their application to the back of the plate, therefore you must invest in a font that can be rotated on the vertical for it to read correctly as a monogram. Confused? You’ll see what I mean in a moment. Here are the double sided stamps I purchased (outline option on the back):

monogrammed letter stamps

As you can see in the next photo, the stamps are applied in reverse. What you’re looking at is the backside of the stamp I am using (showing the outline option) sitting on top of the back of my clear glass plate.

monogrammed stamps reverse

Applying the Paint: Choose your color for your middle foam stamp. It is always best to do the middle initial first in order to center it properly. In my situation, my center initial was a “B” and I had to apply my paint in two steps, because a “B” does not translate in reverse. I had to apply the upper part of the “B”, stamp, then come back and apply the lower part of the “B” and stamp again. The “M” and the “C” were much easier, since they can be flipped either way and will stamp in reverse just fine. If this all sounds confusing, it is! I had to go through it several times with the foam letters in my hand to grasp this. Remember, you are basically rotating your letter on the vertical, like you would if you held it up to a mirror.

Here I am, stamping my plate with the brown paint I applied to the foam letters. (I applied it with a Q-tip.) Because your plate is clear, it is best to press the plate on top of the stamp, rather than the stamp on the plate. This way, you can position it perfectly, and you can add pressure by pressing on the plate to make the paint adhere better.

mongrammed letters

After your foam letter is applied, you will see that the paint is not uniform. You will need a very fine tip paintbrush to fill in the uneven spots. The higher the quality of your paintbrush the better, because you’ll be able to stay within the lines more precisely. Let your monogram dry for 1 hour. After an hour, apply a second layer of paint with your fine tip brush by filling in the monogram again. You’ll be pleased that you applied a second coat because it makes for a bolder statement. Let dry for 1 hour. Repeat this step for however many plates you want to complete.

Simple letters would be fine, but I chose to add a second background layer for interest. I found a large foam stencil style stamp and chose to add it in a separate color for a bigger impact. Remember, you must apply your letters first, because your second layer will be hidden behind the monogram and this is the look you’ll want to achieve. Do not do the decorative layer first! Don’t be shy about mixing your colors that come with this kit. I didn’t like the pastel pink that came with it, so I simply mixed a bit of red into the pink and came up with a fresher pink color for my decorative background stamp. Apply the second color of paint to the decorative stamp with a Q-tip or second paintbrush (other than your fine tip brush).

monogrammed overlay

Again, lay the stamp paint side up on your newspaper, and press the plate directly on to the stamp.

monogrammed imprint

Again, you’ll see that the paint does not apply evenly, but it does give you the shape you desire. Fill in the design with your fine tip paintbrush.

monogrammed fill in

 Let first layer of paint dry 30 minutes. Come back and fill in a second layer with your paint color and brush. Repeat this step for all the plates in your collection. Now you’re done ! Let all plates cure for 21 days, or to speed up the process, bake them in the oven according to the directions on the box. Dishwasher safe too (although I will handwash mine just to make them last).

Here is two versions of the final product, sitting on top of a plain white plate, with two different chargers underneath:

monogrammed plate final brown

monogrammed final silver

Idea Gallery:

Bridesmaids – Imagine doing this for a bridal shower you are hosting. How stunning an impression you would make to set a table with these personalized plates, and then give the bride the set with her new monogram ! Or wrap them up in a beautiful hatbox and give as a gift.

Everyone loves a personalized keepsake. Take an afternoon to make a set of plates for your family, with everyone’s separate name on a plate.

Monogram some wine glasses for friends and give them as gifts during the holidays, with a set of wine glass charms.

Find stamps with leaf imprints, and decorate the outside of the plates for your Thanksgiving feast. Think snowflakes for Christmas.

Now think about the possibilities with stencils. What kind of motif will you come up with? This project is fun, crafty, creative, and centsational! If you do this project, send me your photos, and I’ll post them.

Now, it’s time to mix those martinis !


9 Responses to “DIY: Monogrammed Plates”

  1. Elise says:

    Is there no end to your inspiration! I love it! Those look as designer chic as ever! Is event planner on your resume! I want a party thrown by you!

  2. Stacy says:

    Beautiful! Love it!

    Thank you SOOOO much for looking for that Y. Really. You rock. :)


  3. Jen says:

    Fabulous – this is one I might actually do!

  4. jannypie says:

    i bookmarked this, i love it!

  5. Anna Lindsey Sailer O'Reilly says:

    It’s beautiful!

  6. Kim says:

    Love this idea!! And so easy…thank you!

  7. Sugar Mommy says:

    So, are these dishwasher safe? Paint won’t peel, chip, or totally come off when washed in hot water?

  8. […] and you’re in business.  Stamps would make it easier to perfect the letters, like I used for these monogrammed plates.  Imagine this hanging from a porch or positioned in an entry, or on top of a hutch.  Charming […]

  9. […] to touch when I can follow in Kate’s footsteps and make something for a lot less? Another Centsational Girl find that I’m really looking forward to doing. I may even make a few just for display as wall […]

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