DIY Melamine Plates

Melamine is easy to clean, unbreakable, and a nice alternative to paper plates for outdoor dining. These patterns are so gorgeous, I’d even take them indoors and mix them in with my regular china. If you’re not feeling these, though, consider personalizing your own plates at www.laplates.com (I like the paisley pattern).

The more DIY-friendly among you might want to try buying some plain white melamine plates and painting them yourself (caveat: you should only use self-painted plates for decorative purposes).

DIY Melamine Plates:

1. Use glass or enamel paints. Glass paints have a more translucent finish than enamel, so keep your design in mind when choosing your medium.

2. Consider using a template or stencil (can be found at craft stores or printed off of the Internet) unless you’re particularly artistic, and take some time to plan out your design before you start painting.

3. Make sure the plate is clean and dry prior to starting. Tape template or stencil (if using) to plate with painter’s tape (won’t leave residue).

4. Paint your design, and then carefully remove the template or stencil (if using). Allow to dry thoroughly.

5. Hand-wash plates, just to be safe.

Clockwise from top: French Bull “Collage” plate; Fresh Breeze “Floral” plates; Jonathan Adler “Acapulco” plate; French Bull “Mosaic” plate. The last design reminds me of my dream china, from Missoni.

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