How to Hang A Plate Wall {ORC Week Four}

How to Hang a Plate Wall- An Oregon Cottage

Welcome to week four of my bedroom refresh one room challenge! Since I realized last week that I wasn’t actually supposed to be showing you the room, but only the specific items I was working on (so that there will be some sort of ‘reveal’ at the end, duh!), I thought this would be a good time to share with you how to hang a plate wall like the one I created for our bedroom.

Of course, you don’t have to put a wall of plates in a bedroom (and I’ve heard from quite a few of you on that matter, uh-em…), but no matter where you decide to place your plates you’ll need to hang them, so I wanted to show you how I did ours. I searched for non-traditional plate hangers that you can’t see after they’re hung. I think the invisible hangers help to create a clean, modern look for your plate wall, as well as using a free-flowing arrangement.

How to Hang A Plate Wall:

Thrift store plates for wall- An Oregon Cottage

Step 1: Gather your plates and your hangers
  • Start collecting plates from thrift stores, garage sales, family, and your own collection that may work on a wall. These 6 plates were my initial thrift store purchase that I shared with you a couple months ago. I was looking for solid white plates with interesting details and subtle, patterned plates with green or coral. Decide before looking what type of wall you want – the colors, patterns, and feel you are going for. If it’s hard to find a certain color (like it was for the coral I wanted to add) look at stores like Target where I found a couple of coral plates.
  • There are basically two ways to hang your plates: traditional plate hangers that use springs to hold little feet on the edges of your plate (they look like this Amazon example, but can be found in most stores) or adhesive plate hangers made in England that don’t show after the plates are hung. These are sold on Amazon as well (here is a set of four Disc hangers) and if you have gift cards may be a good way to go.
  • However, I found a much cheaper source for these hangers – not only are they less expensive per hanger, but shipping is also a deal: go to to purchase discs in sizes from 1-1/4″ up to 5 -1/2″ and ranging in price from only $1.25 to $3.35 each and get free shipping with only an $8.00 purchase (I am not affiliated with them at all – just excited to share a good deal with you all!). The adhesive discs give “a permanent adhesion of great strength to a glazed or unglazed surface…that will not deteriorate with time” so they are safe for your plates. The key here is regular plates – they didn’t work on the two plastic plates I used (the only ones I could find with the coral color I wanted – I used traditional hangers for those).

Using Disc Plate Hangers- An Oregon Cottage

Step 2: Apply hangers to plates
  • To use the adhesive discs, the plates must be cleaned thoroughly – it’s even recommended that you use a scouring pad on the area the disc will be on new plates.
  • Look on the front of your plates and decide where you’ll want the hook applied for any design, etc.
  • Use your finger to wet the disc, allow a few minutes for it to become tacky and then apply it to the back of the plate, pressing firmly all over. Leave to dry overnight and then test the bond before hanging.
  • To use spring-loaded plate hangers, simply stretch the arms of the holder over the edge of your plate, centering it where you want it to hang.

Arranging plates- An Oregon Cottage

Step 3: Use a flat surface to lay out the plate arrangement
  • On the floor, a bed or table, start arranging your plates.
  • Think about starting with the largest plates first, placed either randomly or symmetrically and then fill in with medium and then small plates. Or, make one plate the ‘focal point’ and have all the others flow from it.
  • Make sure to evenly disperse colors and patterns (unless you’re going for a completely random look…) and stand back often to see the overall effect. I wanted mine fairly close together and even tried overlapping like I’ve seen done, but in the end I didn’t like how it was turning out as a whole and ended up with pretty evenly spaced plates.

Single plate on wall - An Oregon Cottage

Step 4: Hang The Plates
  • Use picture hangers (the kind with little hooks) or nails with a large head to hold the hanger loops.
  • Start with the largest plate first (or the plate you’re using as the focal point) and hang it where you’ve decided. You can make paper templates like I did for our gallery wall, or you can simply hold the plate up and figure out where the nail should go – which is what I did here. I changed things as I hung them, so this was easiest for me this time. I’m sure you’re not surprised to find that I’m not too bothered by a few extra nail holes.

Plate Wall at An Oregon Cottage

That’s it – it’s pretty simple and creates some fun and different wall decor with just a few dollars. It’s a great way to use special-to-you plates that have been handed down, created by someone you know, or that you simply love and don’t want to hide away in a cupboard.

And where to hang plates? Despite some of the feedback I’ve gotten since sharing my plate wall with you all, it’s perfectly acceptable to hang plates in any room, be it a bedroom (see two beautiful examples here and here in master bedrooms), kitchen, living room, or even the bathroom. It’s your house – and if you love the plates and the look, hang them wherever you’d like.

As for my plate wall? I love the wall itself (and really wish I had another place for it – curses to open floor plans!), but am thinking I’ll shrink it and change it around a bit because of all the other things I have going on (or will have going on) in this room. Sometimes you have to see things ‘in action’ to see how they work. Well, apparently I do, anyway!

Master Bedroom To-Do List:
  1. Add a fun plate wall over the bed in shades of white, green, and coral.
  2. Repaint lamp bases.update: foiled in my attempt to find coral spray paint – onto plan B
  3. Add interesting texture to lamp shades or stencil them.
  4. Make a decorative pillow with a graphic coral fabric for the bed.
  5. Create an art wall with the original art we’ve collected through the years at thrift stores (remember when Brian made this funny video about his thrifted ‘bad art’ collection?)
  6. Make or buy a new duvet. update: piecing a new duvet out of fabric stash….
  7. Find a basket to fit under the antique sewing machine/nightstand.
  8. Add a coral pillow to the chair.
  9. Edit the dresser to be less cluttery.
  10. Purchase bamboo blinds? Or attempt to clean roman shades?
  11. Paint or just remove lamp in corner {I don’t really use it}.
  12. Rehang the mirror on our door.
  13. Replace the dusty, years-old dried flowers from the backyard with something –anything – else.
  14. Add 10/17: Replace thrifted art wall with family photos…maybe.


Visit the One Room Challenge Linky to see all the other participants in this challenge! Also sharing at Best DIY Projects of October.


  1. Lisa from Iroquois says

    I have heard that the traditional spring loaded plate hangers can damage the plates when you try to remove then years later. I like alternative hangers you discovered.

  2. Lee Hernandez says

    I saw this décor treatment in a magazine once. They titled it “The Great Wall of China”. I thought you’d like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>