How to Decorate Plates & Ceramic Crafts

Updated July 19, 2017

Plain ceramic plates, bowls, mugs and platters can be turned into works of art. The whole family can enjoy creating a special decorated dish using paints made specifically for use on glazed ceramics. Kids can paint ceramics at their next party, adults can create unique platters for dinner parties, or the whole family can enjoy creating a special set of dishes that everyone had a hand at creating.

Wash and dry the ceramic plates, mugs, bowls and platters that will be painted, removing any price tags or stickers. Plain ceramics can be purchased at your local craft or thrift store.

Sketch out ideas for the designs on the ceramics. Trace around the outside of the selected ceramic piece on a sheet of paper to provide the size for the sketch. Create ideas to fit with the theme of the gathering or special occasion. For example, a holiday plate could be decorated with a tree or colourful ornaments.

Brainstorm other ideas for applying the paint to the ceramics. Rubber stamps or stencils can also be used to apply the paint to the ceramics and can be purchased at your local craft store. Purchase stamps or stencils to fit with your selected theme.

Use a pencil or a washable marker to sketch the chosen design onto the ceramic item. If using stencils or stamps, use a ruler to locate the position for the stamp or stencil to ensure it is centred on the piece of ceramic if so desired.

Read the directions on the label of the ceramics paint. Follow the suggestions for applying the paint to ensure it will be food safe and nontoxic.

Apply the ceramic paint to the ceramic piece as sketched and allow the first coat to dry. If not satisfied with the design, the paint can be washed off and reapplied.

Paint a second coat of paint onto the ceramic item as desired, adding details and finishing the painting.

Follow the directions included on the ceramics paint to complete the painting process. This may include baking the ceramic item in the oven, so have an adult assist as necessary.

Enjoy the finished painted ceramics at your next dinner party or special occasion.

Things You'll Need

  • Pain ceramic pottery and dishes
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Washable markers
  • Ruler
  • Rubber stamps
  • Stencils
  • Ceramic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Oven
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About the Author

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.