Perfect Imperfections & Repurposing Vintage China

As I talked about in my last blog post, just because a piece of china has imperfections does NOT mean that it can't be perfect for an upcycle project! If a piece of china is too old or damaged to be used on the table, my go-to recommendation is to make a plate wall. In this post I'm going more in-depth on how to make your own perfectly imperfect wall of vintage china.

Plate walls are an elegant and eco-friendly way to brighten up just about any space. (I should know since I have two of them - one above the mantle in my dining room, and another in my workshop.) Displaying china above eye level is a great way to ensure that no one will ever notice a little nick, stain or crack. Every plate on this wall above our fireplace has some sort of issue, but you'd never know:

We added some fake plants to the mantle to give it our plate wall an extra pop of color.

The Secret to a Building a Great Plate Wall is....Make a Template!

I confess that I really don't like hanging or measuring things—especially when dealing with delicate plates that can break if they fall. The #1 way to avoid having to do this more than once is to make a solid plan. I recommend laying out the plates in advance and tracing them onto a big piece of paper that you can tape to the wall and use as a template.


Here is a breakdown of the whole process from start to finish—starring my husband, BTC's Chief Unpaid Intern:


Tip: Use plate hangers to help your plates stay securely fastened to the wall. They come in several sizes to hold your plates perfectly. Here's the link to the ones that I use on Amazon.  

Last step, hang your plates on the wall! Voila—your beautiful plate wall is compete!

Let's Make a Plate Wall Together!

You can make a plate wall with anything, but I'm clearly partial to the mismatched Blue & White aesthetic. I've had several Stoopside and Zoom appointments lately with clients looking to build out a plate wall with Blue & White china, and I'd love to walk you through the process.


For Zoom clients, I bring out all of my patterns and plate sizes and help you mix and match them to get the look you're trying to achieve. Then I can put together your cart for you to make your order seamless.


For Stoopside, you get an added benefit: While I don't generally sell imperfect china online, I offer imperfect pieces at a discount to Stoopside clients. You could save up to 50% on your plate wall if you visit in person!

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