stephmodo: DIY: Easy Paper Plate Upgrade for Picnics + Parties

DIY: Easy Paper Plate Upgrade for Picnics + Parties

• 22 May 2013

While prepping for a casual dinner party, my daughter Emma noticed me retrieving a stack of paper plates for the buffet table (to my defense, they were "Chinette"!).  She looked shocked, which actually amused me.  I had no idea she had an opinion about these sorts of things!  Emma then asked, "are you really going to use paper plates for the party, Mom?".  I just smiled and replied that I was in fact going to use them for the party, but that I wanted to try and make them cute first.  She raised her eyebrows and then proceeded to watch :)

For this simple DIY, you will need the following supplies:

1. White Chinette (best price is at Costco) or similar kraft brown paper products from Whole Foods.  Added bonus: both are compostable, which is something we think a lot about around here!

2. Colorful napkins, preferably patterned

3. Silverware rubber stamp

4. Non-toxic ink pad (I like the Fresh Ink line a lot)

Dab the rubber stamp on the ink pad, being careful not to get ink on the recessed part of the stamp.  You want a clean, blemish-free impress on your plates and bowls.  Consider experimenting with two coordinating colors, and use one set for appetizers and the other for dessert.  Stack the decorated plates next to a a pile of cheerful napkins and you're good to go at your next outdoor party, picnic, barbeque, etc.

While I like this "silverware" stamp a lot, there are many other fantastic options out there as well.  Perhaps you could use a bicycle stamp for your son's bike-themed birthday party.  Or a big, bold, floral stamp for a baby shower picnic at the park.  If you have some friends moving away, use a "state stamp" depicting their next destination.  There is lots of room for creativity here by simply changing out the colors and stamp.  Here in Seattle, I like a store called Impress Stamp; but, in general I am a big fan of the selection at Paper Source (both online and in stores).

Happy picnicking!  'Tis the season~


  1. Is it just me, or is it not a teeeeensy bit problematic to be using non-food-safe ink on a plate where food might go?

  2. I would use food colour with the stamps instead, but the idea is great. Makes a plain plate stand out.

  3. Such a small change, makes the picnic classy instead of boring. Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering

  4. What an absolutely adorable, and smart idea! You have trained your daughter well, and I just love that she questioned you using paper plates;) My kind of gal. Seriously going out TODAY to get some stamps for this summers endless BBQ's.

  5. Raleigh-Elizabeth and Guilia, you know, I thought about this too, which is why I opted for a non-toxic ink pad. So little is applied and if you allow it to dry amply, then I don't think it's a problem. But, if you are concerned, I think Guilia's idea could work well if you figured out how to apply it carefully. If you do, please let me know!

  6. Thoughtful touch to an otherwise boring plate.

  7. SO cute!! I love the stamp idea. It is so simple yet adds so much!

  8. Great idea!! Genius. I hate using paper plates when entertaining, but sometimes the amount of dishes is so overwhelming...especially when our family alone has 9 people! So this is perfect!! Thanks!

  9. Though I would never turn my nose up to those paper plates (I prefer them as well), this is a pretty great idea. I never thought of food-safe ink pads!

  10. Steph, this is such a cute idea.

  11. Oh dear, love the upgrade of paper plates with stamps! I'm having a party soon and can't wait to try this out.

  12. too too darling. and so brilliant. i just love how they turn out


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