The sun room is probably my favorite room in the house these days; it's certainly the room I spend the most time in. But it has kind of big problem. A GIANT problem. And that problem is this enormous blank wall:
Whole lotta nothing is what was going on on that wall.
There's still lots of nothing on most of the wall, but we have, at least, made a start at covering the giant expanse of minty blankness. With plates!
(I have a plan for the rest of the wall, too, but it will require a delicate balance of money and patience/time to carry it out).
I've always had a bit of thing for souvenir plates. I mean, really, I can remember sitting around thinking about how great they were maybe fifteen years ago. And they're cheap and easy to find, so there's really no reason why I didn't fulfill this longing for a souvenir plate collection a long time ago.
But I didn't.
Until we started working on the sun room, and I decided that one of the things that big empty wall needed was a souvenir plate wall. I started keeping an eye out for them at the thrift store, and I picked up some that way. Then I got impatient and had to stretch my definition of souvenir plate quite a bit. Like there's one plate that just has a boat on it. Maybe you would want it as a souvenir of a boat ride you went on? Sure you would.
Then I got even MORE impatient and just bought a bunch on ebay. Where they are very cheap. But my previously discussed perspective problems came into play here. See those little tiny plates up there in the first picture? Yeah, I totally expected those to be full size dinner plates. "Why is this big lot of plates so amazingly cheap?!" I wondered. Until the little tiny box got here. Sigh.
So none of these plates were very expensive. Most of them were no more than a couple of bucks at the thrift store. But plate hangers are another story. The plate hangers that you can't even see were the most expensive part of this project.
I thought that surely someone out there had come up with a great free or nearly free method for hanging plates. But most of what I could find (generally involving glue and some sort of hanging hardware) came with cautionary warnings about plates falling down suddenly after months of seemingly secure hanging or stern warnings that the method was to be used only on plates you secretly hoped would fall and break because you'd always envisioned them as part of a mosaic anyway.
But EVERYONE loves these little plate hangers:
All you have to do is get them a little wet to activate the glue on them, then stick them on the backs of your plates and hang them up. They are very easy, none of my plates has come crashing down yet....only problem is that they're around $3-4 each, which makes them more expensive than most of my plates were. But you do what you have to do, right? (I didn't have to buy hangers for all of them, as some of the plates had a spot on the back for hanging them with a wire instead).
I really like the placement and close togetheredness of View Along the Way's plate wall:
So that was the inspiration for how I hung these. I want to add to the wall over time, and have it go up over that window into the kitchen and then keep kind of trailing off toward the other side of the room. Like a plate waterfall. (Reminder to self: check ebay for Niagara Falls souvenir plate).
We didn't do anything crazy like measure or plan where the plates were going to go. It's beginning to dawn on me that maybe the reason I prefer things like plate walls and gallery wall with things hung close together is more because I'm lazy and it camouflages inconsistencies in measurement and not really just because I like the way it looks.
Anyway. Here it is! In progress and all finished (until I get more plates. There, umm, might be more on their way courtesy of ebay right now. I may never be able to stop).
That Vietri plate is one I've had since Boston days. It's hung in three of my kitchens now. And one sun room. From a garage sale. I just thought it was pretty. Also I thought it might be worth money on ebay, but it didn't seem to be, so I kept it.
Dave's being very careful not to measure anything here. Look! One plate is shaped like a fish! How whimsical!