I have started to plan my festive season table and I have to admit, I am not sure that table setting is my strongest suite. Theoretically, I should actually be a strong candidate for tablescapist of the year: being the youngest in my family, this task always ended in my lap and I have set a good amount of tables in my life. Clearly here practice did not make perfect, and I always find myself a bit challenged when it comes to setting the table for an event. So it was to my own great surprise that I ended up buying 12 very old-fashioned floral and cork-backed charger plates at a second-hand store recently. It really was an impulse buy – I was there to get a side table and walked out with a side table and 12 frou-frou under plates. So they have been sitting in my studio for a month or so, waiting to be transformed. And today was that day.
I have a bit of an obsession with Delft. I remember the plates and porcelain in my Ouma’s house – high up on the walls and pelmets. I don’t actually own a single Delft item (no idea what happened to Ouma’s Delft by the way?) but the beautiful patterns and strong colour have always stayed with me. Going through the rolls of gift-wrap on my work table, I found a piece of pretty Delft-inspired paper that I used to make pendants with a couple of years ago when we were writing our book, and right then I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the charger plates.
You will need:
- Charger plates
- Podge medium & small brush or roller
- Printed paper*
- Spray paint (I used lovely copper)
- Craft paint (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in original) **
* Thicker paper works much better with podge and is less likely to tear. If you have a strong pattern on the plate, thick paper will also prevent the pattern from showing through.)
I chose to make 2 different types of under plates: 12 for the plates themselves as 2 for dishes.
For the copper charger plates:
Spray the charger plates and allow to dry. Then roll the plates in diluted craft paint to create a thin trim along the edges.
For the decoupage charger plates:
Cover the charger plate with podge medium (I find a sponge roller works best). Cut out a piece of the printed paper roughly the same shape as the charger plate, but at least 1cm bigger all around and put it on top of the podged plate. Then apply the podge medium over the paper. Life the edges and fill in with podge medium where necessary. Allow to dry.
Cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the charger plate and use spray paint to create a metallic trim along the edge.
I am really happy with my new set of under plates and I am looking forward to using them when we’re hosting our big annual doo in a couple of weeks! And I am also really excited to announce that pretty soon, we’ll have a professional tablescapist giving us a regular update on what is trending in table setting. More on that in the next week or so!
Happy table setting!