General Stuff · Repurposed · Tutorials

The Giving Plate – a Sharpie Craft

For as much as I love to shop in craft stores, they’re also a great source of inspiration for me. I find that a good hour of wandering through the aisles, with latte in hand, can do wonders for my creativity so I try to plan those times and make them happen.

Let’s call them R & D (Research and Development) sessions. It just sounds more professional. Haha.

On a recent wander, I saw the most adorable idea. It was a plate, called The Sharing Plate, and it had this little poem on it about the plate having no owner, and that if you received this plate you should enjoy what’s on it, and then refill it and pass it along. I loved the idea and the feeling of hospitality and love it conveyed, but I did NOT love the $40 price tag.

I’ve been meaning to try Sharpie art for a while, so this seemed a good time to try it out. I bought a plate from Dollar Tree for $1.25 and began experimenting until I had some real, personal success.

So, before you start… I find the Internet is full of tutorials for how to do things, but let’s be honest, following someone else’s instructions doesn’t always work out. If they did, we wouldn’t have those entertaining Pinterest “fail” boards, right? So when I say this is what worked for me, remember that you shouldn’t buy the most expensive platter you can find and dive in head first. I really suggest you do a “trial” plate first, and subject it to whatever test you can think of. Then buy the plate you like, and have at it.

For myself, I hand washed my plate twice, and then put it through my dishwasher on the express cycle. This tutorial is based on the outcome of all of that.

Tips & Suggestions:

  1. Use Sharpie oil based markers for the best finish. You can purchase these at Michaels, and they’ll actually say Oil-Based right on the front. The regular generic Sharpies at Walmart seem to do okay, but the oil based is better.
  2. Use cheap, dollar store plates for your test (as mentioned).
  3. Make sure you try your designs and hand lettering on paper first, and let your hand build a little “memory” before you attempt the real thing.
  4. I went over my big letters “the Giving Plate” and “Family and Friends” twice, to make them extra bold.
  5. Let the plate sit for about 12 hours.
  6. Place your plate on a tray and place in the oven. Turn the oven to 350 F and once it’s at temp, bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off but don’t remove the tray, just let it come back down to room temperature and then remove it from the oven. This is probably best done overnight.
  7. I found that the black was the best to use, but some colours faded. Out of the colours used, I found red, silver, and gold to be the worst, green was okay but not great, and the bronze Sharpie held up fairly well. When I made my “for real” plate, I just skipped the colours and bought a plate that had a pattern I loved.
  8. When washing, I did experience some running of the ink but only the first two times… but this was when I used a cheaper Sharpie as well. By the 3rd wash it had stopped and only one of the words in black seemed partially faded.
  9. I used the term “The Giving Plate” because I liked it better than the word “sharing”, and in the end I went with a more chaotic, in the round, style of typography. If you choose a horizontal text, you can mark your straight lines with thin washi tape and peel it off after. That washi tape is handy stuff!
  10. Lastly, use your Sharpie to mark a little note on the back for washing instructions 🙂

If you make one, I’d love to see it! Share it with me on my Facebook page or add a photo in the comments here. Have fun!

The Giving Plate (poem)

This plate shall have no owner

It’s journey never ends.

It travels in the circle

Of our family and friends.

It carries love from home to home

For everyone to share

The food that sits upon it

Was made with love and care.

So enjoy this now

But fill it up again

Then pass along the love this holds

To our family and friends.

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