I love this time of year because it means having lots of friends and family over to celebrate the season.
Every year I struggle with the idea of buying such season specific serving dishes because they can be pricey. But I saw a plate in a catalogue that I couldn't get out of my head and had to come up with a way to avoid spending almost $60 on it.
And so this fall leaf Sharpie plate was born and although it turned out a little bit differently than I had envisioned, I love the result. Plus my cost for this plate and bowl was about $15. Boo-ya!
How to make a sharpie plate with fall leaves
Decide on a design
I chose fall leaves for a few reasons.
One, I can get by using the leaf motif for both fall and winter. - Remember my fear of too seasonally specific stuff.
Two, they're a simple silhouette without a lot of detail, which is perfect for this project.
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Create a template
Do a quick Google search for "fall leaf silhouette." There are a ton to pick from.
Try to find ones you like that don't have a lot of jagged edges. This will make your job easier later.
Make them the size you want (based on the size of your plate and bowl) by zooming in; then simply lay white paper over them and trace lightly with a pencil.
Create a stencil
Tape each leaf to the white side of some contact paper and cut it out so that you now have a sticker in the shape of that leaf, which will be your stencil.
Place your stencil on your plate
Decide where you want to place your leaves onto your plate and stick them there by peeling off the back side of the contact paper.
Be sure they are securely stuck with no air bubbles, especially around the edges.
Now you're ready to get polka-dotting!
Create the leaf silhouette with dots
You will be doing many layers of dots. I started with one color and did some larger dots all around my leaves, focusing on the edges. I added another layer of larger dots with each color: silver, gold, and copper.
Then I went back with each color and added dots by just dotting all over, making sure that lots of dots are at the edges of the leaves. So many in fact that you couldn't see the white on the line where the contact paper and plate met. - Think ombre here, people. The dots will be heavy at the edge of the leaves and fade out.
When you are satisfied with your dotting, let it dry and then peel off your contact paper leaves. - I repeated these steps for the bowl too.
Peel off the stencil
Once the ink has dried, peel off your contact paper stencil to reveal your design.
Making the sharpie permanent on your ceramic plate
Place your plate into a cold oven and set it to 350 degrees.
Once it hits 350 degrees, bake for 30 minutes and then let it cool in the oven too. I opened my oven a little bit to help it cool.
I made two of these and sprayed one with acrylic sealing spray after letting it sit overnight. I used Krylon moisture resistant clear spray.
Because I am concerned that the spray is not food safe, I didn’t spray the second one and after washing both by hand, they looked exactly the same. So if you plan to use your dish for food, I would consider not spraying. If however it is purely decorative, spray away!
Important info about putting your ceramic plate in the oven and washing your sharpie plate
Before starting this project, I did some reading about how this whole Sharpie mug and plate thing really works.
From what I read, oil based Sharpies work best, black and metallic Sharpies come in second, and using a coating at the end is ideal.
All of it won't last forever if you plan to wash it, and it should be hand washed. So for my seasonal use of this, I used metallic Sharpies with a clear coat, and I plan to hand wash it.
The final result!
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