Turn Your Old Plates to Decorative Plates




About: My name is Eva and my life revolves around drawing , painting and making crafts. I always try to help others by giving my own tips and always eager to know new things from others. I also manage my YouTube ch...

In this Instructables, I am going to show you, how I made my decorative plates by using old plates with mesmerizing mandala art on them.

When you look at Mandala art first time,it looks really complex but believe me its really simple. Its nothing but play with some basic shapes, geometry and colors. Doing the same thing over and over, and advancing despite it, is very relaxing and lets you stay in the moment.

Before moving to make the project, lets know something about Mandala.

What is a mandala?

A mandala art is a circular pattern with radial symmetry, meaning that the design radiates out symmetrically from the center.In fact, "mandala" is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". Traditionally, the mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol used in Hinduism and Buddhism . In essence, mandalas represent the connection between our inner worlds and outer reality. They represent the whole of the universe, and they can be used as an exercise or for meditation. Recently, the basic idea of drawing a radial pattern has been also adopted by the Western world, as a tool for therapy or simply relaxation.

So friend sit down, and take a breath. Smile and draw your soul out.Make your unique Manadala and enjoy.

Step 1: Material and Tools Required

1. Used Plates ( Plastic / Ceramic /Glass )

2. Acrylic Color (Amazon / Amazon India )

3. Black Spray Paint (Amazon / Amazon India )

4. Dotting Tool / Ear bud (Amazon / Amazon India )

5. Pencil (Amazon / Amazon India )

6. Ruler (Amazon / Amazon India )

7. Compass (Amazon / Amazon India )

8. 3D art liner (Amazon / Amazon India )

9. Neon Liner (Amazon / Amazon India )

Step 2: Colour the Used Plates

First clean the plates with fresh water and make it dry. Wipe up the plates by using a soft cloth to remove any dust particles remaining.

Before applying the spray paint, it is advisable to shake it well. Then apply the paint all around the plate surface. Don't try to complete the paint in one coat, rather apply 2 to 3 thin coat one after one. To dry it out ,leave some gap (around 2 hours) in between applying the coats.

Note: It is not mandatory to use spray paint to color the plates, you can use acrylic color too.

Safety : Always wear nose musk and safety goggles during the spray painting.

Warning : Spray paints are extremely flammable and not good to inhale.So always use it in a well ventilated space.

Step 3: Draw the Basic Outlines

Use your ruler and a pencil to draw a dot at the center of the Plate.

Draw diagonal lines passing through the center to divide the whole plates in to symmetrical segments. The number segments is depends on your choice, generally it is 4,8,16 etc.

Take the compass and stick it in the center. Draw a small circle, then a bigger one, and another, using various distances between them. Making the circles concentric is the only rule here.If you are good in drawing, you can draw it in free hand too.

Now you have drawn the basic outline for your mandala, the next step is to drawing designs in your mandala.

Step 4: Drawing the Basic Mandala Shapes

The best thing about the Mandalas is that you have full freedom to choose whatever shapes and colors you like. Once you know the basic steps of how to draw a mandala, you can try new designs and new colors each time you draw a new mandala.

By following the guidelines drawn in earlier step, you can draw basic shapes like simple petals, pointed petals,circles,lines,dots etc.The important point is that draw one shape at a time and going around the whole circle.This creates repetition, which is a key element in creating a mandala. Then fill the shapes with more shapes! See the picture above for better understanding.

Step 5: Dotting the Manadala With 3D Liners

Now it is time to color the Manadla designs with colorful dots.I used Fevicryl Hobby Ideas 3D cone outliner to do it. It is perfect for creating those beautiful outlines . This liner comes with a long nozzle that allows you to trace out the perfect pattern. Another reason for using this outliner is that you will get a 3D effect in your design.

Making Dots :

I added dots around all the basic shapes and border. This is super easy to do. Just press the body and the Liner comes out really easily. You can very the pressure to increase or decrease the size of the dots.

Making Continuous line:

Trace out the continuous line just pressing the body of liner until you complete the trace line.

Note: The 3D art dries within an hour but it’s recommended to allow up to 24 hours of drying time.

Step 6: Filling Up the Manadala With More Dots and Colour

Now fill up the blank spaces in the basic shapes of manadala design.

For small dots, I have used 3D outliner cone .

For bigger size dots, I have used acrylic color and dotting tools.

Step 7: Add Some Highlight Dots

I used Fevicryl 3D Neon Liners to make some dot and continuous line around the basic shapes. Th Liners come in long bottles with a pointed tip that mimics a pen. It is super easy to hold and convenient to draw.This allows you to easily outline.It gives a 3D embossed effect on the plates.

Step 8: Apply Varnish

At last when all the colors dried out, I applied 2 coats of Brustro artists' picture varnish.

It is ideal for protection of acrylic color and gives a high-gloss finish when dried out.

Step 9: Decorate the Plates

I have really enjoyed during the making of these decorative plates.The final out come is really nice which is much better than my expectation.The first plate design, inspired me to try out more plates in different shape,color and designs.You can see the above pictures of my design.

You can decorate the plates by mounting them on wall or keeping them on your table by using some sorts of support/stand. I used 3M mounting tape to mount the plates on wall.

I hope you have enjoyed my article,please try it. I can guarantee that it put you into a mood for more drawing.

If you make your Mandala Design, share the pictures in the comment section.I am really excited to see it.

This article is entered in to Creative Misuse Contest , please vote for me.Your support is really means a lot to me.

Thank You !

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    29 Discussions


    Tip 11 months ago on Step 2

    How about wiping down the cleaned plates with rubbing alcohol or vodka?


    11 months ago

    I'm inspired! I was going to pack up some superannuated plastic plates for charity, but I think I'll try a couple of mandala plates first.


    Question 11 months ago on Step 2

    Can you use pics like a scrap book type of design like a back ground of like bright color back ground then pics in array along the frame then words then more pics with like names and different memories and then acrylic over that would that work?


    11 months ago

    Sweet idea!


    1 year ago

    Beautiful, but like so many other things, this could be easily accomplished by a machine. A CNC router could be used with paint bottles instead of woodworking bits.

    4 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    It's an interesting point, having read the conversation following your comment. If you look at mass-produced objects, the irregulatiies you get with articles which have been hand made (or at least, hand-finished), no matter how accurately done, always make it look far better than the precise lines you get with patterns cut out by a machine. Nothing can imitate the human touch. (well, not yet anyway!) even to the point where a hand drawn pattern has been machine cut (or painted), it still looks worse than if it's been hand cut/painted.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Zanod – you have
    apparently not understood the intent of making these beauties by
    hand. The drawing of the mandala by hand is a meditative process.
    It is obviously faster by machine and if you are looking only for only the surface
    result, it’s fine. There are times when slowing down and doing things by hand is far more satisfying and rewarding.


    Reply 1 year ago

    AzureOzma - I hope you didn't think my comment about machines was a put-down, intended to trivialise your work. It was more in regret that machines are replacing so many things in life. My passion is for woodwork, and like you, I have made many unique things to my own design, and spent hundreds of hours over getting it right, and like you, I don't use automated tools (though many others do). The work, as you say, is cathartic, and if done as a present for somebody else, is the more valuable for the time and patience you have put into it.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Zanod, My apologies for misreading your intent. My husband and I are of the same mind as you. We built our home with help from an Amish timberframing company for the structure and a lot of help from friends and loved ones. We literally put our heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears in to our home. That was 18 years ago and some things are not done yet...we're still working on getting it just right ;-}. Best of wishes to you!

    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 9

    I love this. I draw and paint and have, unknowingly, done Mandala-type drawings for a long time, but not as symmetrical as yours. Laying it out first and then adding the colorful design is a perfect solution. You are a consummate artist.


    IMG_6123.JPGthumbs up.png
    1 reply

    Question 1 year ago on Step 9

    Beautiful work, thank you for sharing. My question, can the plate be baked after being finished to set the paint permanently?

    2 answers

    Answer 1 year ago

    Thank You so much.

    No, need to bake it, as the colour stick to plate firmly after drying


    1 year ago

    What beautiful mandalas! Thank you for showing us that art by your own hand is well worth the time and effort. You certainly have an artists eye!