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~


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