I know, I know. Hanging plates on the wall runs the risk of channeling grandma. But I figure once you add an iguana, you cancel out any frou-frou vibe. I love how this space in my house now feels complete. Who knew what it needed was a collection of thrift store platters covered with vintage naturalist drawings?
This project was really simple and adds a whole lot of punch for very little effort: Scan an image into your computer. Then take some ink-jet waterslide paper and print it out. Spray the image with a waterproof fixative, then cut it out to create your decal. Dunk it in warm water for less than a minute and the paper backing comes off. Aesthetically place your decal on the platter and let it dry. That's pretty much it. One caveat is that the more intricate the shape you're cutting, the more complicated it is to peel and straighten out the decal. You may want to start with a straightforward shape (like the one of the fish, as opposed to something like the crab, which was the hardest). We used Command Strips to attach the platters to the wall. You could also use traditional plate hangers but we thought the clean look of the plates without the plate hangers made for a more modern aesthetic.
Another way to update the hanging plate project is to keep your images off-center. We had our old-timey guy rowing his scull along the bottom of the plate as if he was right at the water line of his harbor. The iguana naturally wanted to be coming from one corner and reaching up and across toward the opposite corner. But my favorite is probably the frog hanging from one foot which we've set so that it looks like his toes are curled around the edge of the platter's decorative border.
We found all of the plates at thrift stores for no more than $8 each. You can collect them over time or go on a mission to hunt them out over a marathon yard-sale weekend!
See this and other DIY projects on the Moonlight & Mason Jars link party!