Ways to Hang Small Plates & Bowls on the Wall

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Displaying plates and bowls on a wall shows off your collection and makes a personalized statement that's especially suitable for a living room, dining room, foyer or breakfast nook. Whether you hang one special platter over the fireplace, or fill a wall with a themed collection, a variety of hangers gets the job done.

Tip

  • Large glass or ceramic plates designed as art pieces often require specialty hangers. Consult the gallery or vendor of the piece for access to the correct hanging hardware.

Stretchable Wire Hangers

Wire plate hangers consist of two pairs of prongs connected by a spring with a hanging loop attached. Choose a hanger that is sized appropriately for the plate.

  1. Slip the prongs over opposite sides of the plate.
  2. Adjust the hanger so the prongs are even and the plate is level when it hangs.
  3. Place the hanging loop over the nail or wall hook. These hangers can be removed if you no longer want to display the plate on the wall, but the prongs may leave marks on the edges of the plates.

The hangers work best on shallow plates and bowls rather than deep bowls.

Adhesive Hangers

Adhesive hangers, consisting of a water-activated adhesive pad attached to a wire hanging loop, can hang plates, bowls, trays and oddly shaped decorative glass or ceramic pieces. Several sizes are available; each size indicates the maximum weight of the plate that can safely be used with the hanger.

  1. Moisten the adhesive and apply the pad to the flat bottom of the plate or bowl.
  2. When the adhesive has dried according to product instructions, hang the plate by placing the loop over a nail or wall hook.
  3. To take the plate out of the wall display, wet the adhesive pad and remove it without damaging the plate. 

DIY Hangers for Small Plates and Bowls

For lightweight plates and bowls that are less than 6 inches in diameter, you can make inexpensive hangers from paper clips and hot glue.

  1. Bend one loop of a paper clip up at about a 45-degree angle to make the hanging loop.
  2. Hot-glue the other side of the paper clip to the flat bottom of the plate or bowl.
  3. For a finished look and sturdier attachment, cut a piece of felt about 2 inches in diameter and hot-glue it to cover the portion where the paper clip attaches to the plate.
  4. Allow the glue to set for at least one hour before hanging the plate. This type of hanger cannot be removed from the plate. 

Ribbon Hangers

Ribbon and a decorative hook form a visible and attractive way to hang plates or platters with a pierced rim. Use a satin or other soft ribbon at least 1/2-inch wide.

  1. Thread the ribbon through the pierced openings around the plate and tie it with a loop that is long enough, usually about 4 to 6 inches, to allow the plate to hang flat against the wall.
  2. Tie the ribbon securely with a double knot or bow.
  3. To keep the ribbon ends from fraying, trim them with pinking shears or dab with clear nail polish.
  4. Install the decorative hook in the desired location and hang the ribbon loop over the hook.  

Tip

  • If you'd like to use a ribbon to hang a plate without a pierced edge, attach another type of plate hanger and tie the ribbon to it.

Arranging and Hanging a Plate Wall

Plates and bowls have more impact when hung in a group. You can make a patterned grouping, such as one large plate circled by smaller ones or a free-form arrangement that you can add to as your collection grows. No matter which you choose, paper templates help you get every plate or bowl in the right place the first time.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper or kraft paper sheets
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and level
  • Masking tape
  • Nails and wall hooks
  • Hammer

Step 1

Attach the hangers of choice to the backs of your plates or bowls. Turn each plate face-down on a large sheet of paper and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the template and mark it crosswise horizontally and vertically to make guidelines for hanging. Measure the distance from the top of the plate to the loop of the attached hanger and mark this distance from the top down on the vertical guideline of the template.

Step 2

Arrange your templates as desired on the wall, using pieces of masking tape to hold them in place. If you have oval- or rectangular-shaped plates, use a level to check the placement of the horizontal guidelines.

Step 3

Install the hangers according to the templates when you are satisfied with the arrangement. For each template, tap a nail through the template at the guide mark, tapping just hard enough to mark the wall. Remove the template and install the appropriate nail, screws or wall hook at the mark. Continue until all of the nails or hooks are installed, and hang the plates and bowls.

Warning

    • Make sure all hangers and wall hooks are capable of holding the weight of the plate or bowl. Even small picture hooks can hold up to 10 pounds, which is sufficient for most serving-ware plates and bowls.
    • Avoid hanging plates and bowls in high-traffic areas where they could be knocked off the wall by people moving back and forth.
    • Don't hang valuable antique plates or bowls. It is better to display irreplaceable items in a china cabinet. 
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