How to Stencil a Plate | Vintage, Paint and more...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to Stencil a Plate

Written by: Cathy Carroll

I am taking advantage of this latest winter blast 
getting a few projects done.
I know, you are probably asking what winter blast - 
you live on the Southern East Coast.
Well, for us it has been cold.
We have been seeing temps in the 20's and 30's
which are quite cold when those damp sea breezes start blowing.
I have to say I am glad we are not in the temps 
with all the snow some of you are seeing.

Anyway lets get on to the project for the day:

How to Stencil a Plate - Dollar Tree plate stenciled with black sharpie marker

I have been wanting to stencil a plate for a while now
and I decided there is no better time than now.
What do you think?
I love it.

finished plate displayed with candle and flowers

It turned out even better than I had hoped
it was so simple to do.
I am thinking there may be more to come - it was that easy.

The items needed to do the project

You will need : 
a plate
a stencil of your choice
( I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 - sometime ago)
an alcohol swab or alcohol and a cotton ball
a paint pen of color choice
( I used a black Sharpie paint pen I had lying around)
some tape
( I used scotch tape- it was closest to me )
a few q-tips (for cleaning up any mistakes)

A plate and stencil

First I cleaned the plate with alcohol.
Just a good wiping is all that's necessary to remove any oils or residue.
Then tape your stencil down in the desired position.
I basically centered the bird on the limb in the center of the plate.
(See that little black dot on the birds body - that was my center marker)

A plate and stencil showing the stenciling process

Now just start filling in the areas you want to be on your plate.
I first outlined the areas, then filled them in.
Do not press on your pen so hard  that a lot of paint comes out of it.
It takes very little and if you use a lot it will puddle under your stencil.
Ask me how I know....
Thus the need for Q-tips and alcohol....

The bird stencil completed on the plate

When you have filled in all the desired areas 
remove the stencil and tape.
Now I did have a few lines that I felt needed to be straightened a little.
So I went over some of them with the pen.

the completed bird stencil on the plate

After looking at it I felt it was just a little plain 
needed a border of some kind.
This took me forever to decide on what I wanted.
I tried a few that just were not to my satisfaction.
I just removed them with some alcohol and a cotton ball - 
very simple at this stage.
Easy, peasy....

adding some leaves to the plate

I finally decided on this design.
I think its a cross between a leaf and a lily - I don't know 
I really liked how it looked when I did it.
I started by stenciling the emblem at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.
Then I went back and centered one between each one of these.
When those were done I free-handed some wavy lines
between each emblem.

right facing display of completed plate with a candle and jar of flowers

Here it is all finished.
 When you are done you need to do a couple more steps to make it last.
I let it set overnight to dry completely -
even though it is dry to the touch within a couple of minutes.
Then I placed it in a cold oven 
 turned the oven to 425 degrees.
I baked it for 30 minutes
then let it cool in the oven.
I actually left it in there a good 6 hours.
When you bake it - it supposedly melts the glaze so the paint
can mingle with it and become permanent.
I don't really know what the process is just that it needs to be done.
I don't know if it is going to be dishwasher safe or not.
I plan on washing mine by hand if need be - it is simply for display only.
I am not sure about using them for food either as the paint is not food safe.
However I do want to make more -
mugs, glasses, platters.....
I can see this getting out of hand.
I love to paint 
this was such a simple, fun and relaxing process for me.

left facing display of plate with candle and jar of flowers

Here's another look - I love it.
What are you working on during all this cold weather?
Think some painting of  "china" is in your future?

NOTE: This plate or any other painted with Sharpie or paint markers are intended strictly for decorative use and not meant to be used to hold any food  for consumption.

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Until next time
have fun creating something you love....

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Please visit them and see all the great projects and inspiration found there....


  1. This turned out amazing! Love it and you did such a great job on this. Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  2. Absolutely love your plate. I'll have to look for my stencil like that. If can't find I like it enuf to buy another one. I agree the border you put on plate was needed, really make the plate "shine". I have bird things in our room so this would fit in perfectly. I buy white plain plates when I can find them at reasonable price at thrift stores. Our local thrift shop has plates for 25 cents or 50 cents depending on the plate.
    Should I think you used a paint pen on the plate with the stencil, etc? Love the curvy lines between the emblems, perfect addition. You sure did good job adding them. I'm going to pin this so I don't forget. Out of ink or I'd be printing this out, project I want to do very soon. Happy weekend

  3. Oh my goodness, I see a future obsession coming into my looks amazing and so simple!!

  4. Beautiful stencil choice and great job with the project--thanks for sharing!

  5. Absolutely love it! Great idea and great way to make something new and lovely for the home. Thanks for sharing Kathy!

  6. Stopping by from the Bloggers Brag link party. This is super cute! We've done the sharpie on mugs before and it turns out to be a lot of fun. Your plate turned out amazing. I wish I had places to display stuff like this. Chrystal @

  7. Wow! That looks great! What an awesome way to jazz up some dishes! Thanks for sharing it at Snickerdoodle sunday.

  8. It's GORGEOUS !!!!
    Don't put it in the dishwasher - and just wipe it when you need to clean it up - we received some as Christmas gifts a couple of years ago and John scrubbed the design off one completely !!!
    Love the black and white - hmmm - that would look great in my kitchen Cathy lol

  9. Great job....I would love to try making one....What type of plate did you use that was okay to be in such a hot oven for 30 minutes??

  10. Wow, love the plate! with all the great new colors from markers this could keep me busy!

  11. I love this idea, how fun and your plate is gorgeous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

  12. I ADORE this project! It is perfect!!! : ) The end result is amazing : ) hugs...

  13. That looks great, and I loved your tutorial. Thanks for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!

  14. Thank you for this post.

    I want to buy some inexpensive white plates for Valentine's Day and stencil them.

    After seeing your tutorial, I am going for it.

  15. Wow, that looks so good! I am in love with the style and the process. I really want to try this, although I don't know if mine will turn out as perfect as yours. Your stenciling is flawless!

  16. Hi…Just stopping by to let you know you have been featured over at One More Time Events…Thank you for sharing and hope to see you at this weeks party…Hugs Tammy

  17. Wow this turned out great! I can think of so many designs I'd like to try! Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week! ~Deborah

  18. What a pretty design! Thanks for sharing all the details!

  19. I love the stencil design! It really turned out cute. Yes, when it comes to stenciling less paint is more! lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  20. Great tutorial, Cathy! I'll have to give this a try! So delighted you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,