Friday, May 08, 2015

Let's Talk About Hanging Plates (7qt)

Let's talk about plates, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things
Let's talk about plates....

Welcome, welcome, welcome, to Dwija's amazing house of super hard math problems on the wall!  Step right up, step right up....

Actually I didn't plan this out and have nothing to say at this juncture.  Hold please while I crack open an economy beer.

Remember the dining room reveal post?   Ye olde plates definitely stole the show (followed not as closely by the drapes, which I've linked at the bottom of that post), so here I am with seven questions and lots o' answers.

"Now, tell me what Pinteresting magic you did with those plates because that looks tres chic and also like something I could thrift." ~Micaela

"The plates on the wall is such a cool idea! How did you hang them?" ~Nicole

"How did you put them up with no plate hangers?" - Jennie

"No but seriously HOW ARE THERE NO VISIBLE PLATE HANGERS???" ~ Sharon, Charlotte, Stephanie (via Instagram)

"I echo Nicole's query on the plates! I want to do them like all over my house. My only problem is that our house is muy old (think 1920s) and I have to use the 3M hangers to put anything up. Suggestions?" ~Laura

"Did you look for them at thrift stores?" ~Patty

"I love the plates... Where did you get them? Collect antique ones slowly? And how did you hang them? Well done! It looks awesome!" ~Susie (via facebook)

Piiiiiiiiiiiiiinterest!  Mah frieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend! So I've got a small dining room board right here, but the most important site, hands down, in putting up this collection is right here. I mean....look, it was so good that I'm going to link it again.  Ready?


That is not an affiliate link or someone I know.  It is just so. dang.  good.

So let's hang some plates, yes?

After scouring the internet for a while, I just decided to use hot glue.  Because I'm impatient and cheap.

For the hangers I used paperclips.
After I pulled back the top loop a little, I dolloped huge gobs of hot glue on there and let the plates dry upside down overnight.
The next morning I measured and cut a big piece from our gigantic roll of Paper of Housebound Winter Happiness ... I could set up the plates and measure the distances between them.

Yes.  Measured.  A lot of measuring.  Painful amounts of measuring.  It was horrible.  Worth it!  But horrible.  Because see here's the thing- most of the plates are slightly different sizes, so if I measured from edge to edge, the pattern overall wasn't going to be symmetrical.  So what to do?  Well, it turns out you have to measure from plate center to plate center.  From the center of each plate surrounding to the center of the plate you're trying to hang.  And then you have to figure out where the top of your paperclip hanger is in relation to that center point so you get your picture hanger in the right spot.


Once I had a pretty decent idea of where I was going with the pattern, I decided to hang my center three plates as sort of an anchor and then measure all the other plates off from them.  I'm not sure if there is a better way or even any other way to do it, but this way worked for me.

And this is how my kids had to eat breakfast (and lunch!) that day.

Renovators gonna renovate-vate-vate-vate...


Let's talk about hanging things on tricky old plaster walls and tricky new plaster walls and any walls, in fact, that are giving you trouble.

There is a specific kind of anchor that we've used in other rooms for heavy things, but for lighter things like plates (and framed photos and little mirrors and ______ ), we use these "professional picture hangers" that use leverage more efficiently than the standard, less expensive ones.

(I like how there's a Bed Bath & Beyond price tag on this even though I snatched it off of Amazon)

buy 'em here
You can also find these in multi packs at Target and, oh I don't know, maybe even Walmart.  Oh!  Menards has them, too!  Anyway, they are the bomb dot com.  We even used two large ones to hang big ol' heavy mirrors and they're working beautifully.

But where to find these lovely plates, dweej?

Well, five of the plates you see in our dining room were found for me by my friend Amanda  at a local Goodwill and dropped off at my house as a surprise on St. Nicholas day last year.  I knew right away that they would become part of our dining room decor somehow and become part of our dining room decor they did.

The other plates were all singles mixed in with the portion of my mother in law's china collection that we ended up with.  Every now and then we would take them out to use them and then gingerly hand wash them and put them away, but really they are so pretty that it seems a shame not to enjoy them, but they're so mismatched that they didn't really have collectible value in the way an entire set would.  So.  Plate meet wall and all are happy.

 My recommendation is to check thrift stores but also and especially estate sales.  Single or two or three plates probably don't have the same emotional significance as an entire set would, so mebbe you can get for tres cheap, oui oui?

Okay.  Wow.  That was long.  Was it helpful?  Did I answer your questions?  I hope so.  If not, or if you have more, ask away down below.

Thanks for playing and have a fantastical home renovating weekend.  Sorry not sorry, husbands!

Linking up with Kelly of This Ain't the Lyceum.  Check her out for other posts of 7 random or not random thangs.

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  1. Here's an idea, once the plates were all laid out on the paper the way you like them, you could have traced around the edge of the plates on your big wonderful paper, and then hang the paper on the wall and push tacks or something through the paper making little marks where the nails need to go. does that make sense? I am just incredibly lazy plus hate math and so come up with pretty ingenious things!

    1. You know I was actually trying to do the paper thing but as I was tracing, the paper would move, like, a tiny bit and I just knew that if I went through with the whole thing, something would be off and I would have to start all over or not be happy with the results. But if you can get the paper to work, that would be awesome!

  2. Really??? Hot glue and paper clips??? Shouldn't it be much more involved and complicated than that? ;-)

    I have some heirloom plates from my grandmother that have been in boxes for well over a decade. We just moved into a new house, so this would be a great way to display some of them. Would you trust the hot glue method with heirloom-y type plates?

    1. For me, if the plates were important, I wouldn't do any of the adhesive backs. I'm sorry! It's just that the easy to remove glue might result in broken plates and the super permanent glue might result in, you know, permanent glue on your plates. So for those I would probably do those hangers with the arms that hug the plates even though they don't look as clean.

  3. Smart and looks great! Never would have guessed paper clips!

  4. Yayyy!! It feels like I just got hard-core education in plate hanging! Thanks for all the tips lady:)

  5. Hey dweej you know how I like to "needle" you (someone's gotta do it). But this is a real question that keeps coming back to me every time I see this really lovely plate arrangement. It's that... ummm... thermostat (?) at the bottom. Maybe you've already explained this already, or maybe there's nothing to explain because thermostats are just things that have to be ignored. I can get that: they just "are where they are" and there's no accounting for it? I was just wondering, though... Do you have "a plan" to make that disappear, or something? Redo the whole central heat/air system? I'm just wondering. The dining room looks amazing, really. I can ignore the wall gizmo, but since you worked so hard to arrange these plates with perfect symmetry and then there's the thermostat right below like "one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others" ... what is the home decor wisdom on this? I thought you might stick a bowl over it or something ... but that might be against the law, I dunno. What are your thoughts here? :-)

    1. Oh yes, I've spent many an hour hemming and hawing and complaining and trying to work out what to do about that thermostat, but all of the solutions either a) blocked airflow to the unit or were b) just as ugly as having a thermostat showing. Sigh. Finally I just decided it was an opportunity for me to grow in holiness or something by letting go of my perfectionism and not demanding we hire an hvac guy to change the whole system just so my photos would turn out better.

    2. I'm truly LOLing here. But actually, I think it looks pretty good right there. It's like the base of the tree, off the center, a little jazzy touch. It's fine. Happy Mother's Day to you. :)

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  7. Thank you! Looks great. I want to do something similar once we move. I had Bern admiring your curtains in Paul's Communion picture, but it seemed wrong to ask about the curtains with that beautiful boy smiling in front of them. Hehe

  8. Thank you!!!

    Do those anchors you speak of require a drill? Because I am dangerous with a drill. True story.

    1. The anchors for big screws do, but these hangers I've linked to do not. Just tap tap tap with a hammer. Super easy!

  9. This is so beyond gorgeous. I LOVE THE PLATES. I've been dying to do the same in my dining room, but hanging things + my husband + me = opportunities to, ugh, grow in holiness. :) But I really might just make us go for it. Maybe I'll just make him do the measuring and I do the hanging- that might be my answer!

  10. Wow that looks like oh so much work, but the plates look great! :-D

  11. OK. Just a quick warning here. I did this with a lovely collection of Goodwill plates last year, BUT the problem was that eventually the glue failed. I know not why. Temp changes with the seasons? Ye old Floridian humidity? Who knows... But after about six months of hanging there as pretty as you please, plates started randomly dropping off the wall at odd moments and crashing to the floor. I had to take it all down and go back to the wire grabby things. *shrugs* Word to the wise.

    1. Oh man, I did see that this happened to one of the bloggers I read about, but her plates were on a wall with a door that was constantly being opened and closed. I told myself that that's why she needed a better glue. Gah! Now I'm nervous....

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    3. Mines not *on* a door wall, but it is adjacent to one, so maybe that's a contributing factor. But then there's children and the wall-kicking and full-body slamming while wrestling or tickling and the occasional ball throwing in the house... Only my kids? Okay, never mind then...

  12. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual put up amazing.
    Excellent process!


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