How to Make a Thanksgiving Day Keepsake Plate
For this Thanksgiving holiday, think about creating a beautiful decorative plate to display when you gather with loved ones on this holiday of gratitude, or for other upcoming winter holidays. Here, I’ll explain how to decorate a beautiful keepsake to finish in time to display for the holiday. I’ve found this is a fun project to do with families, younger kids, adults, or on your own.
The idea is to take a plain ceramic stoneware plate which you can then decorate with ceramic paint pens or acrylic paint you use with a paintbrush. Depending on the paint type you use, some of these will need to be baked for setting the paint and most of the paint supply companies tell you the length for baking and “setting the paint” on their instructional information. Most of these plates are for hand washing only, but keep in mind they’re not for eating off of, due to the paint used, and are meant to be used for decorative/keepsake plate purposes only. Since this is a craft we’re choosing to make safe for kids and kids of all ages, we will not be including painting with epoxy paints here.
Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandparents and Friends may want to hang these up on a wall or use them in some pretty display upon the Thanksgiving table somehow!
You’ll want to take a ceramic plate, take off the label and any gumminess left from that, wipe down the front surface of the plate so that the paint adheres better, and then choose if you’re going to make an artistic freehand design, paint something using a stenciled design, maybe do a message or words for Thanksgiving…or decorate this plate in any way that you desire.
Paint Pens & Markers or Other Paint Options:
-I found that the paint pens and markers were the easiest for everyone of any age to use! I would suggest a few boxes of these, so you have a variety of colors. For these markers, you often have a selection of medium tip or fine tip ends. The nice thing about paint pens – the kind that work on ceramic- is that you don’t have to put the plate in the oven. I have found brands like Acrylico or Artistro have worked well for me in the past, but feel free to check around to see what you find and like!
-It gives another option to also have assorted colors of some acrylic paints (think like the 8 oz. squeeze bottles.) I use the Craft Smart brand I get at Michaels, but feel free to use whatever brand works for you.
-Paint brushes of different sizes, for your acrylic paints
-Cup of water and/or sink and paintbrush tray to clean the brushes later (as well as any messy, painted hands)
-Read any instructions that came with the paint or paint markers, as some advise different ways to set the paint, and some just have different lengths until they’re dry.
-You want to look for large, dinner size plates for this project. Either white or cream are easy so you have a blank surface as your canvas. I have found places like Dollar type stores, or purchasing a case (or cases) in bulk from restaurant supply type stores to both be great sources of inexpensive, but good quality ceramic/stoneware plates for this type of crafting project.
Stencil or Design for the Plate:
-Some people don’t feel comfortable freehand drawing or painting. If you want to find something Thanksgiving or gratitude focused to use as a stencil template, that would also allow you, or your participants, to use it to trace/stencil this design on the ceramic plate. If you are teaching a few individuals or a workshop on this, it’s helpful to have samples of decorative keepsake Thanksgiving plates for them to see! You may also wish to bring some sample pictures from pinterest and some “Thanksgiving Day quotes,” or ideas your “artist-plate-makers” may want to use.
If you are good at artistry and feel comfortable drawing or painting a freehand illustration or creatively hand lettered word on your plate’s surface, wonderful!
Otherwise, a handful of plastic, paper or other stencils are out there and inexpensively available for most holidays, including Thanksgiving
Other supplies needed:
-Painter’s tape (if you don’t have any of that, but you have washi tape, use the washi); You’ll just be using this to hold a stencil in place on the plate if you choose to go that route.
-Dropcloth/surface cloth for paint splotches.
-Aprons if kids are going to be painting (even the paint pens can get messy)
-Wet wipes can often be helpful for clean up.
-Rubbing alcohol- small bottle, or another alternative way to get the label off the plate and remove any sticky material left behind. It’s also used to wipe down and help clean the surface and make the paint adhere.
-Plastic gloves are another easy-peasy option for kids to paint on the plate with the acrylic paint. The paint is washable, but it will start to be hard to get off hands if not washed off quickly. If a child is doing a handprint or footprint in the (non-marker type) paint to imprint on their plate, just be sure to wash it off shortly thereafter, so it comes off easier.
-If someone is doing this in a location outside their home and needing to bring it home in a car afterwards, have newsprint or some extra cardboard boxes available for them to carry their decorative plates home in, since the paint will still be wet for a little while afterwards.
-Hooks, fasteners and any other equipment needed for hanging your plate on display on a wall, if desired
Approximate Length of Time:
-It takes approximately 1.5 hours, not including set-up and clean up time, to make a decorative Thanksgiving Keepsake Plate.
So now you know what it takes to make this type of FUN craft project and how easy it can be to design a keepsake plate yourself at home, or to help a loved one or child do the same thing. Enjoy creating and thinking about what you’re grateful for, how you want to express that on a one-of-a-kind, beautiful, decorative plate that can be a wonderful, new object of beauty you display in your home over the holiday.
Thanks, be well, and happy family crafting! If you want to find more JOYFUL crafting activities, check out our Crafts & Projects page and sign up for the latest Joyfestival Industries news. Email us with your ideas too! [email protected]