Wow, this project was definitely an adventure (to put it mildly)! The silver lining? I gained a wealth of experience that I’m thrilled to share with you. Join me as I guide you through the step-by-step process of crafting a stunning wreath from an assortment of china plates – and trust me, this is the right way to do it! Back in January, I embarked on a mission to transform budget-friendly china pieces into a unique layered plate wreath. My vision revolved around using white and gold china to complement the existing gold accents in my dining room, ensuring a harmonious fit for the space.
Thrifting for China
I wanted to keep the cost down for this project so I started out thrifting and was able to find quite a few pieces at The Blessing Barn Store in Mendon, MA. The Blessing Barn is a second-hand store that donates all its proceeds to local charities, it is one of my favorite places to shop. I was on a mission to find inexpensive plates, cups, saucers, salad plates, sugar bowls, and lids all with different patterns in gold and white. I knew all of these shapes and sizes would bring their own dimension to the layered wreath and add interest. My china search was completed at the Winsmith Mill Market in Norwood, MA with a few more pieces including a sweet gold and white berry bowl. The Winsmith is a great indoor vintage marketplace with many wonderful vendors. Many of the china pieces I snagged seemed like charming relics from bygone 50th-anniversary celebrations. Ah, the stories these treasures could tell!
Planning the Wreath
Once I had all the china pieces collected, I set out to figure out how to assemble the wreath. I knew a flat wreath form would be necessary, as a wire wreath wouldn’t offer enough surface for gluing. After some searching, I stumbled upon an 18-inch wood fiber wreath form on Amazon – just what I needed! For the glue, I decided to go with E 6000. This adhesive proved to be an excellent choice for the project, providing the necessary strength and bonding power to securely attach the china pieces.
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- 21 Assorted med to small pieces of china
- 2 Wreath forms
- E 6000
- 1 Pk Cork Coasters
- 2 Screws with anchors
Note: Most of these supplies can be found at a craft store.
Instructions for Assembling the Wreath
Two Wreath Forms Are Better than One
Once I started laying out the design, I became concerned about how heavy the china pieces would be when they were all layered and stacked. I decided to buy a second wreath and glue them together to support the weight. I’m glad I did! Once the 2 wreath forms were glued together with the E 6000, I let them dry overnight. With this extra reinforcement all set, I laid out the design to get a feel for the placement of the china. I decided that the first layer would consist of the large soup tureen cover and plates.
Prepping the Plates
To make sure the plates had secure contact with the wreath, I recognized the need for something that would allow them to sit evenly. That’s when I came across these cork coasters, which turned out to be the perfect solution! Using E 6000 adhesive, I attached one cork coaster to the back of the plates and allowed them to dry overnight. While it might have taken a while, the overnight drying time was key to ensuring a strong bond. Throughout the process, I kept the Celebrated Nest Tribe on Instagram updated on my progress, and their enthusiastic support and valuable advice kept me motivated and on track!
Looping the Ribbon
Prior to gluing the china, I looped a piece of ribbon around the wreath beneath where I was placing the lid. I wanted the wreath to appear like it was hanging from the ribbon and knew it would be difficult to add after I had glued all the pieces on. Once the ribbon was in place, I began gluing the first layer of plates onto the double wreath. I left them to dry overnight.
Gluing and Layering the Plates
After the cork coasters had fully dried and were securely in place, I proceeded with the assembly. The texture and stickiness of E 6000 adhesive proved to be an ideal fit for this endeavor. The crucial factor was allowing ample time for each layer to firmly adhere and dry before progressing to the next stage. In essence, I had to exercise patience (which, I must admit, isn’t always my strong suit, haha).
Tips for layering the plates
- Be Mindful of Size: Opt for smaller and fairly uniform china pieces like small plates, saucers, tea cups, butter plates, and lids, which are easy to work with and can be layered to create visual interest and depth in your wreath.
- Plan Your Design: Lay out your china pieces on a flat surface before gluing to visualize how they will fit together. Experiment with different arrangements to find a pleasing design.
- Start with Large and Flat Pieces: Begin with large and flat pieces as the base layer. Bigger plates and lids work well for this purpose, providing a sturdy foundation for the rest of the arrangement.
- Use Saucers and Tea Cups: Layer smaller saucers and tea cups on top of the larger base pieces. Attach saucers to tea cups to create charming mini-platforms that add height and dimension.
- Create Overlapping Layers: Allow some pieces to overlap slightly for a more textured and dimensional look. This overlapping effect adds visual appeal and helps fill in gaps between pieces.
- Mindful of Balance: Distribute the weight evenly to prevent an unbalanced wreath. Be cautious with heavier pieces, as they could affect the wreath’s stability.
- Secure with Strong Adhesive: Use a reliable and strong adhesive like E 6000 to attach the china pieces to the wreath form. Apply the adhesive to the back of each piece and press firmly to ensure a secure bond.
Photo: The first layer of large and flat pieces to form the base.
I glued down the first layer and left it to dry overnight. Then I glued the little cups to their saucers and placed the cups on their sides for this design. The next day I began to stack and place the second layer while taking care to ensure that the placement of each piece maximized contact and stability.
Hanging the Wreath on the Wall
Finally, wreath done!! Now to hang this monster! As you can imagine it weighed quite a bit so my husband and I had to be super mindful of this. To support it we decided to hang the wreath from the actual wreath form by placing 2 screws with anchors on the inside – 1 at the 11:00 point and the second at 1:00. The screw was not flush with the wall and left a little extended to support the wreath.
Filling Gaps and Overcoming Challenges
After hanging up the wreath, I noticed a tiny gap on the right side. Yep, this project had its bumps along the way, as I mentioned earlier, hehe! I hoped the gap wouldn’t be a big deal, but it stood out more than I thought. Dealing with limited space (a full china piece wouldn’t fit), I got creative. I took one of the leftover cups and saucers, popped them into a big Ziploc bag, and gave them some gentle taps with a hammer until they broke into the right size. Then, I pieced the cup back together and used glue to cover the open spot. The leftover broken bits went in the trash. Honestly, this project was all about finding solutions from start to finish. In the end, I’m thrilled with how it turned out. The wreath is playful, totally unique, and I can proudly say, it’s a wrap!
Tacking the Ribbon and Bow
I finished by tacking up the ribbon to give the appearance that the wreath was hanging from the ribbon. Hopefully, my mistakes and errors will help you with how to make a wreath from assorted china plates.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a great project for inexpensive china pieces passed down from relatives. You may also find beautiful plates at flea markets, thrift stores, and antique stores. For some great tips on how to have a successful antiquing outing visit my, Top 10 Tips for Antiquing: The Ultimate Guide to Navigating Vintage Markets and Shops.
Gently! Just kidding! I typically take a damp paper towel and wipe the plates down. This needs to be done a few times per year.
Yes! To switch up your wreath’s look for various seasons, swap out the ribbon and incorporate seasonal elements like artificial flowers on a spring wreath or ornaments that match the colors and themes of Christmas. Below is my Christmas wreath for the holiday season.
Here’s the plate wreath I made last year, all dressed up with Christmas greens and twinkling lights to go with my green and white decor.
Thanks for stopping by the blog to check out How To Make A Wreath From Assorted China Plates. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and love the overall look! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Looking ahead, I’m considering an all-white dish wreath—maybe with some elegant milk glass! And if DIY projects are your thing, be sure to explore my other posts too!