Saturday, August 3, 2013

~Custom Party Plates~

Custom DIY Party Plates were a must for me! Oh, I know what you are thinking...plates? REALLY!? Yup. I had a Classic Winnie the Pooh party favors were to be found for a birthday!!! I spotted a few shower themed items...and then the Modernized Pooh First Birthday decorations were available too. But, when you have already decided on a just cant change the vision! Can you!?
 So, I scoured Etsy for some cute luck in finding someone who made my items. Then, inspiration hit. I would just have to do it myself! I did find these great Classic Winnie the Pooh digital scrap book papers on Etsy. Then I searched for some plastic plates to use with my papers. I really wanted the edge of the plate to be decorated, so the theme could be seen with the cupcakes on top. Round and oval plates did not have great potential as they are curved. Decorating the edges of those would end in a bubble filled wrinkle smudge fest. No thanks.

I found these great clear square dinner and dessert plates on Amazon. BINGO! With a bit of planning and the always trusty jar of magical Mod Podge, I was off to complete my Custom Themed Party Plates!
Now, I know the thought of eating printed scrap book paper with your meal does not sound very yummy. That is why I needed clear plastic plates. They allowed me to Mod Podge onto the BACK side of the plate, eat my food off of the food safe plastic plate and still see my pretty papers!
And yes, I can't stop thinking of how I should have ironed that table cloth...
Pretty Themed Party Papers
(Scrapbook papers, home printed papers, photos, wrapping paper etc.)
Scissors/Paper cutter
Mod Podge
Damp wash cloth
Aluminum foil (Optional to cover area where you will let the plates dry overnight)
Lets get started. First, I took a plate and measured the length and width of the edge and the center.
Here is a photo of the finished backside just to give you an idea of the shape I needed to cut.
I wanted to leave gaps between each piece of I did not have to worry about matching up alllllll of those edges!

Next, I sketched out the shape I needed to cut.
I used a scrap piece of paper for this so I did not waste my pretty stuff : )

Once I cut out the scrap piece, I made a few adjustments to the length or the angle of the paper.
Keep in mind, you want this piece to be just a little smaller than the area that you are gluing onto.
This way, you can be sure that you do not have an edge of the paper hanging off the front of the plate.

Now that you have your practice piece all nice and perfect, use it to trace onto the BACK side of your pretty papers. Cut out the paper for all edges and the centers of the plates. If you are using 2 different sized plates, you need to repeat the above steps for the other size and papers. Be sure to try and center your favorite parts of the pretty print.

Double check the fit of the papers on the plate edges and centers. Trim as needed to fit just a bit SMALLER than your intended area of coverage.
Now, when you have EVERYTHING CUT OUT, you can start gluing.
Turn your plate upside down.
You need to apply the glue to the BACK SIDE OF THE PLATE.
You do not want to eat the paper, remember : )
When you apply your paper, you want the fabulous print to show on the front, so you will put the PRINT SIDE DOWN on the back of the plate (wrong side of paper facing you)
You will have a craft sandwich in this order...
1) Upside down plate
2) Magical layer of Mod Podge
3) Upside down pretty paper (wrong side facing you)

Back of plate is shown above....front of plate is shown below.
Now that we are straight on the order we need to have
... here are some tips.
Brush your magical Mod Podge onto one of the edges of your plate in a smooth layer.
Do not have sooooo much of the glue that it runs down the plate...and do not have soooooo little that it dries before you finish applying the glue.
You need to work fairly quickly here so it does not dry out on you.
When you place the paper onto the glue, line up the longest edge and then quickly smooth out one piece of precut paper with your fingertips. Don't push so hard that the glue squeezes out of your craft sandwich, just smooth enough to remove any air bubbles.
Be certain to get rid of your bubbles now because once they dry, that is it. You are stuck with them.
If you have any drips of glue, gently dab/wipe off with a damp cloth.
If you rub too much, your paper will tear and come right off, so be careful.
Don't worry too much about excess Mod Podge is magic, remember?
It dries clear so that you really will not notice it at all.
Allow the glue to dry overnight, with the plates upside down. You do not want to do alllll this work only to return to your pretty party plates glued ONTO the table, do you? I also found it handy to let these dry on top of a layer of foil or wax paper...just in case of a drip or two.
4 Dinner and 4 Dessert Plates later...I  was ready to party!

Awww! I really enjoyed creating my darling daughter's Custom Themed First Birthday décor!
I hope it inspires you to customize your next party!

The possibilities are really endless! You could even use this technique with ANY paper or fabric for a custom look. Do not limit yourself to plates either! Serving Platters or cake stands could be done in the same way!
Hmmm....this may just be a great way to use fabric...even on the back of a few glass plates! Hmmm : )