Pen & Ink Sketch Decorative Plates

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

My goodness, November is flying by! Get it…flying…insects. I crack myself up. But seriously, I have been having a blast coming up with new creative gift ideas that you can make. This idea for making pen and ink sketch decorative dessert plates turned out better than I expected! The only downside is that they really are only for decoration. The paint used on the plates can be cured, but the manufacturer states that it technically isn’t food safe.

With that disclaimer out of the way, think about how you could commemorate an event with a personalized plate. Or you could use the same stenciling technique on the outside of a pitcher, mug, glasses or anywhere that the food wouldn’t be in contact with.


Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Dessert plates (bought mine at a thrift store for $1 each)
  • Porcelaine Chalkboard paint
  • Porcelaine gold paint
  • Scissors
  • Credit card or spatula for burnishing
  • Sponge applicator or paint brush
  • X-acto knife
  • Decorative stencil cut outs (used my Silhouette to cut bug shapes)
  • Transfer paper

Optional: Porcelaine or glass ink pens for writing



1. Chose your design and use a Silhouette (or other craft cutter) to cut out the design on vinyl.


2. Weed out (remove) all the inside areas of your design. Lay a sheet of transfer paper on top of your vinyl and burnish it (rub the transfer paper to adhere it to the vinyl.)

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

3. Carefully remove the backing from the vinyl.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

4. Center the design on a clean plate. Burnish again to adhere the vinyl to the plate.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

5. Carefully remove the transfer paper from the vinyl.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

6. Sponge or paint black chalkboard paint over the stencil.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t freak out when the paint appears bubbly. It will settle and smooth out as it dries.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

7. Paint gold paint around the plate edges. I found it difficult to get a precise line, so I went with the bumpy organic look instead.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

8. Allow the paint to dry. Gently remove the vinyl from the plate. Use an x-acto knife to pull up the little pieces.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

9. If you want to cure your plates, bake them in a non-preheated oven at 300F for 30 minute. Then leave them in the oven as it cools.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl


Use DiscChangers or other plate hangers to hang your plates on the wall.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

I am of the mind set that if you can’t hide something unsightly then work with it. My Nest thermostat is now happily surrounded by some flying friends. I might add a few more plates soon.

Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? These decorative plates are high end boutique-chic, don’t you think? And they cost $1 each plus supplies.





  1. mila powers says:

    I love the cake stand you made and now I love the dessert plates too!

  2. I love the Faux Etched Glass Soap Dispenser Gift. I think etched glass is so darn pretty! Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. I like the dyed and stenciled scarves and these plates too!

  4. Anna Marie P says:

    I love bugs on plates!!!!! (Not real ones…. )

  5. The bug plates. My sons are obsessed with bugs, so this has given me lots of great ideas!

  6. The etched glass soap dispense was great! I would love to be able to so many of things as gifts or as a gift to myself!

  7. Refrigerator cookies–my dad loves them.

  8. SO, I have broken the Tres Frugal into: ones I love and Ones I have made (plan to make)
    Ones I love: scarves, chalkboard mugs

    Ones I have made: fabric coasters (I was able to use leftover scraps) and chalkboard sign (painted the board last night!)

  9. I have made etched plates with Mickey mouse as a gift.

  10. Loved the plates and will have to try Gorilla tape, thanks!

  11. My favourite DIY gifts are personalized baskets. S’mores etc!

  12. Colleen Nelson says:

    Loved the Chalkboard Mugs! Going to make them for my girls for Christmas.

  13. Stephanie J says:

    I love the dessert plates!!

  14. The chalkboard mugs have been my favorite.

  15. Jessica Hornibrook says:

    the cake pan!

  16. These plates are darling and would look great with the cake stand!

  17. Brittany,

    Wow this is so cool.
    I’m taking a pen and ink drawing night school class and it would be wicked to be able to get my art onto cups and plates, etc. because it would be such a personal gift idea!!!

    You make me want to learn more about that printer.


  18. Leitha Heine says:

    Love the hidden storage book!

  19. I love to make mini gift baskets with a mug and cocoa makings, great for the office gals

  20. I love the idea of buying cheap, plain pillows and adding a decorative touch.

  21. I love the cabinet door tray. I can’t wait to make one myself! Thanks!

  22. I love the fabric coasters!

  23. I like the chalkboard mugs idea.

  24. I love those plates :) That would be the cutest gift. But I also love the stenciled scarf.

  25. I absolutely love the cabinet door tray! I actually pinned it the other day. :) Hey that rhymed! LOL

  26. Chalkboard mugs and the pen & ink stencil dessert plates! I want to stencil some number plates now! :)

  27. I love the scarves!

  28. The plates! So many Possibilities…

  29. Pam Spradlin says:

    Your handmade teabags are something I want to do for Christmas gifts for my friends.

  30. Jessica Dobbs says:

    I LOVE these plates; Doing them with a rooster stencil would be the PERFECT gift for my ma

  31. Monogrammed Ornaments. So cute

  32. Amanda Buccieri says:

    The Reclaimed Wood Wall Sconce with Hook!

  33. Love, love, love the plates!!!! Awesome!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win the Silhouette! It’s at the top of my Christmas Wish List!!!

  34. Cabinet door tray!

  35. My favorite frugal gift idea is subway art. So easy to make a plaque out of leftover wood to fit someone’s décor.

  36. In the summer, I grow Sweet Baby Girl tomatoes and dry them. In the winter, they are gifts to my family and friends. They are wonderfully sweet and delicious1

  37. kara Barrington says:

    I love the clipboard.

  38. The spoon tealight holder is unique!

  39. Rebecca Brewer says:

    I think the pen and ink plates are my favorite. So pretty.

  40. I like the dyed and stenciled scarves.

  41. I love all your ideas. I thought the hidden book storage was exceptionally clever. I would love to win the Silhouette. I have always wanted one. Thank you for the giveaway!

  42. I love the bug plates, they would be perfect!

  43. Lucy Schmidt says:

    The book with the hidden storage has been my favorite project, though I’ve found all of them interesting and fun. I tried a hidden storage book before and it was a flop. This one was perfect. Thanks for great Silhouette tutorial and for giving us a chance to win one.

  44. So many wonderful projects but my favorite is the chalkboard mugs!

  45. My favorite so far is the dyed and stenciled scarves! So many possibilities!

  46. Judy Rozema says:

    loved these plates…so cute and simple to make =)

  47. I love the rustic painted cake stand…I can think of lots of uses! Thanks for the chance to win!

  48. I must have those plates! LOVE

  49. I love the cabinet door tray and the the wooden chalkboard sign!

  50. Elizabeth F says:

    I love these plates! The gold edge is beautiful! :)

  51. I love the bug plates. I bet stores are selling these for a bundle!

  52. I love the chalkboard mugs and the scarves.

  53. Suellen Johnson says:

    Love the plates and, ohhhhh heck.It’s all so pretty.

  54. I love the mugs and the scarves!

  55. I love the stenciled plates…

  56. I love scarves as a cheap gift!

  57. Fav so far: dyed and stenciled scarves. Wow!

  58. I like the rustic wood cake stand.

  59. The monogramed ornaments are my favorites. I hope to make them for my boys for Christmas.

  60. I love the monogrammed ornaments!

  61. The plates are so cute- great idea

  62. I love the monogrammed ornaments!

  63. I love the cake stand and the 3-d snowflake, I plan trying this with my daughter!

  64. I’d love to try the plates!

  65. The plates are awesome! Great job & I love the texture on your walls, only I would notice that…lol

  66. You are so creative!. I love the plates

  67. Without a doubt, the plates!!! That is so cute and so expensive looking! I love it and am doing this for sure! Thanks.

  68. I luv the chalkpaint mugs!!

  69. Is that tape really strong enough to hold up the plate?

  70. I love these plates! Very cute. I have been really enjoying the Très Frugal series. I think my favorite so far is the chalkboard mugs. Or maybe the monogrammed ornaments. Hmmm. Maybe the scarves….. it’s hard to choose!

  71. love the plates!

  72. I love the bug plate stencils you made! I would like to take the idea and make Christmas themed personalized platters to give to friends for Christmas.
    Lisa K.

  73. June Minard says:

    I really love the Tres Frugal favorites so far are the scarves..the cabinet door tray..and of course the dessert plates. All are pretty awesome though!

  74. I love the cabinet door signs – so creative and affordable! I could think of one for everyone I know! 😉

  75. I just LOVE the cabinet door tray :) Definitely going to make some of these as Christmas gifts!!

  76. I am thinking of SO many things I could do with this!! Adore the plates!! :)

  77. Jessica Wyatt says:

    It’s a tossup between the DIY room spray and wooden chalkboard sign. SO many cute ideas!

  78. Kelly Kelly says:

    I love love love the monogrammed ornaments :)

  79. Beverly Atkins says:

    I love your blog. You do the most amazing things. I love a wooden chalkboard sign. But there are a pile of other things I love too.

  80. Patricia Ann says:

    I love the Pen & Ink Sketch Dessert Plates… I have just primed some assorted small saucers to go around the mirror in my dining room and wasn’t sure exactly how to embellish them… now I know… Thanks

  81. My favorite still, by far is the little bird houses and then the chalkboard signs.

  82. This year I’m all about the fringe-no-sew fleece blankets! I’m making them for everyone, so easy, just takes about an hour of time and $15 of fabric for a heavy comfy blanket usually twice that cost in stores.

  83. love the cake stand

  84. Lacey Burd says:

    I really like the etched soap dispenser!

  85. The chalkboard mugs look like the project for me! My extended family is coming for Thanksgiving and I think it would be a great project for Friday. Even our little girls can help! Thanks!

  86. I love this latest project (I anticipate making them, but also would love to receive them) of the plates. My daughter has just begun to raise honey bees and a series of plates with bees and bee keeping would be a great gift for her family! Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway!

  87. I love the cabinet door tray…and these plates are adorable too!!!

  88. LOVE the stamped spoon necklaces. The plates are so pretty, too! I SO hope I win your giveaway!!!

  89. mary fanara coleman says:

    I love the chalkboard mugs and the bugs idea.

  90. I’m loving the chalkboard mugs!!!

  91. It’s a toss up…chalkboard mugs or stamped spoon necklace. Love them BOTH!

  92. I love the chalkboard mugs! I think I’ll use that idea for teacher gifts this year along with some homemade hot chocolate mix.

  93. Love the chalkboard mugs!

  94. I LOVE the scarf you did! So beautiful and always wonderful to have this time of year.

  95. I love, love, loved the book with hidden storage! I’m soo gonna try this. 😀

  96. love the hidden book storage idea – woow – but love clip board too !!

  97. Very cute! I was thinking of getting sharpies and plates for my 5 year old to decorate for Christmas presents. I like the stencil idea.

  98. The bug plates are hand down my favorite. I am bee obsessed and would love to make a set of them. Love the gold edging on those, too!


  99. Love the bug plates, and the chalk board mugs!

  100. The cabinet door tray is my favorite so far. The handles you selected are gorgeous!

  101. Hmmm…hard to pick ONE! I think the stamped spoon necklace, followed by these plates, are my favorites, followed by the chalkboard countdown.

  102. I love a lot of them including the DIY room spray! Inexpensive, smells better than commercially available spray and cheaper too!

  103. Most definitely the plates, they are awesome.

  104. I like the scrapbook lined trays.. super cute!!

  105. Thank-you for the great idea Brittany. I just have to cut those stencils@

  106. I love the faux monogrammed tea towels! Great idea!

  107. I adore the books with hidden storage. I have old books waiting for me to make them into something fabulous.

  108. I love the chalkboard mugs. Very cute idea!!

  109. I am loving the plates! They turned out beautiful. As far as a Très Frugal DIY Gift idea, hum….. I like to give food. Everyone has to eat! I also like personalized gifts such as blankets or a nice picture frame!

  110. I like the etched soap dispensers.

  111. Never tried plate art before, just might have to.

  112. the plates! and i have the perfect spot to hang them.

  113. I love the scarf idea. Perfect for gift giving

  114. Love the monogram tea towels.

  115. Jesi Schreiter says:

    Love the hidden book shelf books. Wanted to do that for a long time, but I need a bookshelf first. lol.

  116. Jenny Barwick says:

    It was hard for me to choose between the chalkboard clipboard and the chalkboard-painted mugs. In fact, I can’t choose, so can I please like both? Thanks for all the fun ideas, and looking forward to more.

  117. My favorite is the wooden chalkboard sign!

  118. Colleen Boudreau says:

    Whole-made snow globes!

  119. Love these plates….I am already thinking of designs…

  120. Love these plates…thanks for the chance.

  121. Love the chalkboard mugs. So fun!

  122. The chalkboard mugs and the dyed/stenciled scarves are my favorites!

  123. stenciled and dyed scarves

  124. Well I am just loving those plates!!!!!

  125. My special DIY was the same type of thing on rustic fabric for napkins with a sprig of evergreen and a napkin wring of a beautiful bark for your holiday table. It might make a great hostess gift.

  126. raina carroll says:

    These plates are my favorite!

  127. Love the wooden chalkboard sign!

  128. I am loving those bug plates!

  129. I love, love, love these plates!

  130. The bug plates is my favorite. gives me lots of great ideas too

  131. Those plates are really incredible! I love how you can personalize then for just about anyone. And who couldn’t use a unique set of plates!

  132. I LOVE the monogrammed ornaments! Would love to make these for each member of my family.

  133. I thought the dyed and stenciled scarves were fabulous. I am using this tutorial to make scarves for my sister-in-laws for Christmas.

  134. I like the faux cross stitch tea towel. Makes me look craftier than I am!

  135. I like to create cookie jars as gifts for relatives with pretty decorative labels.

  136. I love the cake stand!

  137. Your plates are beautiful! I would love to win a Silhouette so I can do some fun craft projects too.

  138. I love love love those plates! they are so cute! The dyed scarves are really neat as well.

  139. I love the birdhouse. It reminds me so much of my grandmother.

  140. These plates are FAB!!! & would be an awesome craft night project, new home decration, gift, etc! Thanks for sharing & having this awesome giveaway!!!

  141. I love the scarves and the plates are pretty awesome too!

  142. I love frugal and I love crafts. I love all those ideas. I love your tutorial on how to do those plates. They look awesome. My aunt would love something like that with seashells! Thanks for the ideas! :)

  143. I like the DIY Rustic Wood Cake Stand

  144. We did coffee cup sets for everyone last Christmas. :) kidlet and used pretty white $1 store cups and sharpie paint pens. :)

  145. I love your plate tutorial. That would be a great project.

  146. Great idea about the plates! I will definitely have to try it!

  147. One of my favorite frugal gift I love to give as a kid birthday gift is a “fort kit” using a sheet with ties sewn on, clothes pins, a rope, a flashlight and any other fort necessity. I would love to use the portrait to make gift tags to go with the fort kit!

  148. What cute plates!!

  149. Cynthia P T says:

    Do I have to narrow it down to just one???? If I had all the time in the world, I would love to make the iPad holder, the succulent garden, and the book storage for myself. The scarves and clipboards would make great gifts for the kids teachers! :)

  150. Summer Love says:

    I am loving the chalkboard mugs!!!

  151. These plates are such a great idea for decoration around the home. I would love to get some plates fro the thrift store and do this!

  152. I used Mod Podge to put my kid’s photos on 4×4 tile last year. They were used as coasters by the grandparents.

  153. i love the plate decor – i am working on my own christmas cards this year to save some dough

  154. Love these! great blog!New follower! Would you mind if I used one of your pictures of these lovely plates on my blog…I will of course credit and link back to you! Please let me know asap by e-mailing me!
    Sincerely, June

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