Hanging Antique Plates and Preserving History

Friday, June 12, 2015

For a while now I've been looking for some plates to hang on each side of the living room mirror,
but wasn't having much luck.  The plates I came across were too big, the wrong colors, all the same pattern, or too pricey.

waiting for me at the antique shop just up the road,
were six plates with the perfect pattern and size for the spot.

All six plates have a different pattern and I like the flowers and courting themes,
so these Saxonian porcelain Potschappel 1888 plates came home with me.

Rather than using metal wall plate hangers I decided to give these Disc hangers a try.
Being the current option available at my local antique shop, it was the perfect time to try something new.

There are different sizes available,
so just choose the best size for the plates you are hanging.

These plates come with a bit of history, which I love.
It's always nice knowing a little about an antique piece, don't you think?

After removing the tag giving the history on these plates, I gave them all a good washing. 

While the plates were drying, I began preparing the Disc hangers.  The directions say to dampen with water and to let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until tacky.

These plates have a decorative front, so I marked the top center spot on each plate with two small dots so the Disc hanger could be attached in the proper place.  What could be worse than hanging them with the decoration sideways!

Once all the hangers had been placed in the proper place, I went back and wiped off the two spots marked and the hangers were left to dry overnight.

When a note of history comes with an antique piece, I save it and add the amount paid.
Pieces that come with no documentation, like family pieces handed down to me, I share the family history of the piece with my children.  
Knowing the history gives special meaning to each piece and will also be helpful one day when I am no longer here.

For example,
for a piece of furniture, I leave the note of history in one of the drawers with the amount paid.

We have several pieces from a local artist, a woman who enjoyed painting but when she passed away her children brought her pieces to the antique shop down the road.  Kind of sad, I would have kept all the pieces my mother painted.  After being told of her love of painting by my antique friend, I felt I had to cherish as many of her pieces as possible, three of her pieces came home with me.  (I'm too sentimental!)

For a piece of artwork, I place the history on the back and a note of the price paid.

The history is preserved, tucked behind one of the paintings.

For plates, like these just purchased, I re-attached the history on the back of one of the plates in the set.

A little trick I use for hanging light-weight artwork and plates

They are strong and don't leave large holes in the wall!

For small plates, I use one pin.

If the plate is a little larger, I'll use two pins, inserting them one at a time and side by side.

To insert the dressmaker pin:

Using the end of a table knife, a solid one with some weight to it, I tap the dressmaker pin into the wall.

Holding the pin just behind the head with two fingers and thumb of my left hand, striking flush on the pin head I give strong taps with the thickest end of the table knife handle.
A hammer is too hard and will most often break the pin, 

Occasionally the pin will bend,
but when the pin is held tightly while the head is being tapped into the wall, and when feeling any bend adjusting the hold, it usually goes in perfectly.

For lightweight framed artwork and canvas prints, I'll use three dressmaker pins, spaced out about an inch or two between each pin.

Of course it hopefully goes without saying, should a piece be irreplaceable, hang in a brick wall with several anchors!  No really, just be careful to take into consideration the value of your piece.

The living room mirror before:


These plates added just the right touch beside the mirror. don't you think?

If you'd like, the other paintings and a self portrait of Marnie can be seen here ~ Oil Paintings by Marnie.

I hope you found these tips for hanging light weight items and preserving their history helpful.
Feel free to pin!

Check out this week's inspiration and features at AMAZE ME MONDAY!


  1. Gorgeous plates and love the fact that they came with "a history".....I love those plate discs...I have replaced all of my plate hangers with these discs...Your wall looks so beautiful....

  2. Hi Cindy, I love, love those plates; I would have snapped those up too. :) I also like knowing the history of the things in our home, but I had never thought to document them as you've done. I think that's a wonderful idea, and I may start an inventory of histories now. These are good things to know, for us and our children.

    The plates look perfect on either side of your mirror -- one more pretty touch to your lovely home. I hope you have a great weekend!



  3. Hi Cindy - beautiful plates and they look perfect with your mirror. I've seen those plate discs before and wondered how well they worked. I will definitely try them out thanks to you, as well as the pin idea - genius! I also really like your ideas for preserving the history of the items you pick up. It makes the items that much more special and a true treasure for the next owners someday. Jane

  4. Well you're one organized girl. An historian!

  5. Cindy, these are perfect little plates to complete your lovely wall! Great find! I have also decided to hang some plates, once I find the right ones as well and was glad to see the little disc hangers! I have never seen them before. Thanks for all the great info!

  6. Hi Cindy! Your plates are so beautiful and look wonderful on your wall! Love that you keep the history of your pieces too. I have some of those little discs but have never used one. I'll have to give them a try.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. The plates finish the vignette...just lovely! I love that the history was on back. I keep notes on some of my things as well and love finding things which have little notes written by the owners on them.

    Great post!


    P/S. I carry the disc hangers in my shop in case any of your readers need any. They work wonderfully!

  8. I figured I was probably the only person to use pins! I also use wig pins!

  9. Great tips for hanging up plates and they look great where you put them. I find the older I get the more I appreciate history of almost anything, but that is a good idea to leave a note with pertinent information for the next owner. I'll have to keep my eye open for those disc hangers! Have a great weekend! Diane

  10. Love those tips Cindy and what gorgeous plates those are!

  11. I haven't had good luck with the discs. Of course, I didn't follow the directions as precisely as you did. :( That's how I roll. I use pins to hang things too. They will hold a lot more weight than one would think. Your display looks lovely!

  12. Cindy,
    The addition of the plates made an amazing statement within your room, dear friend!!!
    I haven't tried those disc as of yet. . .perhaps in the near future???
    Thank you for sharing another stunning area of your gorgeous home!!!
    P.S. I tried your method for freezing blueberries with my raspberries this week!!! (wink!)

  13. Those plates are so pretty Cindy...they were the perfect finishing touch!


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