How To Hang Plates On The Wall

how to hang plates

I’ve been hanging plates on our walls for years.

And the number one question I get asked about house stuff in real life and online is “how do you hang your plates on the wall?”. I’ve answered it before but I tried something new that I wanted to share.

Plate hanging isn’t reserved for the kitchen, you can hang plates in any room of your house.  I once heard someone say that every gallery wall needed a circular shape, so a plate is an easy addition to any gallery wall.

Plus, plates are such an inexpensive way to give a wall a lot of personality.

I love the look of a random white plate wall hung against a colored wall like in our old front room:

how to hang plates on the wall

In the breakfast area I hung different colored plates. The layered look is easy as long as you have a few long nails for the plates that you want to hang on top of the others. Then you just make the holes for the nails so close for the plates that they have no choice but to stack up on top of each other. No special tools or glue needed, it’s all in the spacing of your nail holes for the plate hangers (which we’ll talk about two pictures down).

how to hang plates on the wall

Here’s the the white plate wall in our current house…

how to hang plates on the wall

At first it was just a temporary fix because I wasn’t crazy about hanging white plates on a white wall, but now I really like it.

how to hang plates on the wall

My two favorite plate hangers are these wire plate hangers (see in the top photo, you can see the little grips on the edges of the plates?). Be sure to get the right sizes for your plates, they sell them in all different sizes. I keep a box of all sorts of plate hanger sizes around just so I can have them when I need them.

how to hang plates on the wallhere’s what the back of a plate looks like with a metal plate hanger, it’s like headgear, for plates. see that little pointy part at the top? that’s what hangs on the nail in your wall

You can get these plate hangers at hardware stores, amazon, and craft stores.

They come in different sizes for different sized plates::

5-7 inches

8-10 inches

this one is for 10 – 14 inches and holds up to 30 pounds.

and this one is 14-20 inches

ONE TIME in my 19 years of plate hanging, I had a favorite dish fall off the wall with these wire hangers. It was pure user error. Ages ago freshly married and armed with my grandmother’s blue willow china I tried to use these metal plate hangers to hang 2-3 inch deep trays. So I bent the metal and stretched the spring wire to accommodate my odd shaped china. It stuck out far from the wall and one day I brushed up against it and it fell and broke. Into smithereens.

I wish I would have known about these Disc hangers:

how to hang plates on the wall

I just started using these stick on disc hangers. They are great for an odd shaped item or a plate with a rim too thick for the metal plate hangers to attach to–or if seeing the metal hooks on the edges of a plate held up with a metal hanger really bugs you (I actually kind of like seeing the metal things because I’m old-fashioned). You put a little water on the back of them and stir it around to activate the super sticky glue, wait a few minutes then stick it onto your plate (or tray or awkward shaped thing you want to hang on your wall). Let it dry overnight before you hang it. (And also, read the directions on the back).

If you ever need to remove the disc hanger, you just soak the whole thing in water. I’ve found that the disc hanger is so flat that if you hang a platter on the wall with it, you can easily take it down and use it to serve food and not even remove the disc hanger on the back–BIG WIN!

how to hang plates on the wall

If you have something you want to hang on the wall and it’s super special and you don’t live in an earthquake zone, I recommend doubling up and using both a wire hanger AND a disc hanger. You’ll have to make two separate nail holes in your wall but I think your plate/china/tray will be really safe.

PS, every now and then I find a super cute tiny lightweight plate (like 2 -3 inches wide) and I’ll just hot glue a pushpin on the back and push it straight in the wall. It’s worked great so far! Just don’t trust it for anything priceless or heavy.

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  1. I recently hang some plates on one of my kitchen walls. I think they’re pretty grouped together, but some days I wonder if they make my kitchen look more like a granny’s kitchen. Your white on white looks great. Very fresh and modern. Perhaps that’s what I need to do – white on white.

  2. Glad to know about those disc hangers. I’ll have to try those out. Have you ever tried those glue dots? I just wondered if they were secure enough…I can just envision the plate falling from the wall….crash! Thanks so much for the post!

    Leelee@ paperbagstyling
    P.S. When I first attempted slipcovers, your blog was one of the blogs I most visited to make sure I was doing it right. :)

    • glue dots? like the kind for scrapbooking? I have a feeling that’s not what you are talking about! I haven’t tried them, I still think someone should come up with a better way than the wire or the disc hangers, they work fine, but it seems like there should be a super simple way!

      • Julie Podulka says

        Simplest way: velcro. I velcro everything from Native American rugs to plates to primitive handmade stuffed animals to my walls. You need a crow bar to get them off, so be sure they go where you want them!

  3. I’ve been using those disc hangers for a couple years now and I love them! I wouldn’t go back to wire plate hangers for anything. I really like your white on white plate wall. Very nice and textural.

  4. I love white plates against a white or other light color wall … yours is just lovely. My hubs voted no for a plate wall in our house due to (1) “not getting it” … ok, (2) not wanting to deal with wall repair or cost to hire (I wanted to hang the plates on a two-story tall wall so DIY repainting would not be easy). So the problem-solver I am, I’ve gotten creative and currently am 2 weeks into a no-holes-in-the-wall-plate-hanging-experiment. And I’m using my wedding china cause I’m a little crazy? (and we never eat off of it) but so far its still up there :)

  5. The ONLY time I had a plate fall was when I used the disk hangers. It crashed down in the middle of the night, and for a few (terrifying) moments, we thought someone was breaking in and had just smashed through a window!

    The plate was in a million pieces on the floor, and the disc was still hanging on the wall. It was only a few feet from our wood-burning stove, so I decided that the heat affected its sticking power.

    • noooooo! I did wonder about how humidity would affect it! Probably wouldn’t be ideal in a bathroom either!

    • I had this happen but luckily the plate landed on a chair below and did not break! It was not near a stove or in a high humidity area so who knows why it fell. After that I used duct tape on top of a new disk to further secure it to the plate and no problems since.

  6. I’ve been wanting to do a plate wall for a few months and have wanted to try the Disc hangers – need to make a run to Hobby Lobby. In the past I have used the wire hangers and always felt that they were safe. I don’t mind seeing the tips, but I think the Disc might be easier once applied. So, you have inspired me to get serious about my plate wall. I have a small wall beside my book hutch just begging for plates to climb it.

  7. Love the disc hangers! One of my friends who deals in antiques told me that the metal plate hangers actually put strain on the china and can cause cracking in the plate. I just like not seeing the metal hanger when I use the discs.

  8. Christina says

    Very timely post for me! Our one and only (not for long!) plate wall is hung up with paper clips, hot glue and felt circles all sandwiched together and it has worked great! They were goodwill plates so I don’t care if the hot glue ever comes off. I have no idea if it would! But I recently was given some of my great grandparents china (some random pieces) that I want to hang but wasn’t sure the best way to do it since these do carry value to me so I didn’t want to use hot glue on them. I’ll have to check out the links for some of the plate hangers. Thanks.

  9. Who knew hot gluing a push pin to the back of a small plate could work!? Thanks for all your decorating tips and tricks : )

  10. Command makes a fabulous product that I use for plate hanging. I have a fish shaped plate (from my aunt) made of metal and I couldn’t get the wire hangers to work because of the shape and I couldn’t get the discs to work because of the metal. I was not very confident in the Velcro-like command strips so I used 4 strips for extra strength and it was worked fabulous!! It works on all types of plate materials and it sticks to walls even tile. Check it out, plate lovers.

    • smart idea!

    • Has the plate stayed up on the wall, without ever falling? Is it a very lightweight plate? I tried those command strips for hanging pictures, followed the instructions, pictures stayed up for a day or so, then fell, messing up the beautiful frames. Called the company, they wanted me to send my pictures & frames into them for evaluations – I think not! They were not cheap Walmart pictures and frames. II have not trusted the command strips ever since. Would like to hear other’s experience with the command strips for pictures and plates.

  11. Monica Flores says

    Hi! I just hung the beginnings of my very first plate wall yesterday. All of my plates were cheapy / fun finds from thrift stores and home goods– none cost me more than $3. I used a bunch of the metal hangers, but also hot glued hangers to the backs of a few– and then secured the bottoms with command strips– mostly because the metal hangers left them leaning up from the wall (hard to describe) and more susceptible to being knocked off, AND prevented me from securing them with command strips. One I lost because I hammered in a nail with it on the wall (umm DUH moment) and the other fell off on its own later that night– a hot glued one that was probably too heavy AND hadn’t been secured with a command strip.

    ANYWAY– my feeling is that maybe all metal hangers are not created equal… or maybe I was using them wrong or something? the ones I bought just made the plates lean up from the wall so much…

    I know this is partly due to the plate being more bowl-ish in nature– which is why on many that I had that were too deep I opted to glue on a hook and combine with a command strip. But maybe the discs would’ve helped…

  12. Where did you get the white, fluffy round rug in the living room? I’ve been looking all over for one and that one looks perfect!

    • hmm it’s been years, I’m thinking it’s a Chandra? It’s held up well and is in our bedroom now, round rugs are really nice to have around. I think I saw a similar one at Ikea at some point too?

  13. I have been collecting plates for a few weeks because I’ve always loved yours and Abby’s from M is for Mama has a beautiful one too. Thanks for the tips to hang them! On a side note, what is the wall color from your old living room where your white plates are hanging?

  14. Great post. Thank you. I found you via your Instagram post which I follow. I’ll be looking for these plate hangers in Australia. Hoping I can find some here.

  15. I never thought about hanging a plate on a wall before, but I love the way it looks in these pics!

  16. Last summer I had a real disaster with the disk plate holders. My air conditioner ceased to work over a rainy weekend and by Monday morning when the repair man came to repair it every plate, sea shell and metal tray I had hung with these disk had fallen onto the floor. These disk holders do not hold up in warm damp areas… I have rehung the sea shells and the metal trays with the disks but would never trust them with anything breakable.

  17. I like hanging plates on the wall and just realized that there are plates hanging in every single room of my house. I guess my house is the other commenter’s grandmother house and I have never thought of it – because I am a grandmother, too! I also have had bad experience with the stick-on plate hangers. I think it was the fluctuation of humidity that cause one to fall and scare me into thinking I’d had an intruder when I returned home one night and another time we had one crash down and awaken us like the commenter mentioned. My attitude now is, if something falls, it falls because, really, it is just STUFF and stuff is not that important – nothing like the people we love and the memories we build! Keep hanging beauty for your eye to enjoy and cause your brain to smile! :)

  18. earthquake zone.
    you are prophetic, on top of being a brilliant design gal and all-around encourager.

  19. 3/17/14 This is a timely post. I just hung my beautiful plate wall using the disc hangers yesterday. Woke up this morning to our “shamrock shake”–a 4.7 earthquake and guess what? The plate wall survived! I can attest to the strength of these disc hangers, they are strong. Pam in Los Angeles

  20. Have you ever tried these bad boys:

    I use them to hang frames in my house and they work wonders! I wonder if it will work on plates?!

  21. You can also use E-600 to glue a pop tab or a heavy gauge wire (that you have twisted into a loop) onto the back of a plate you won’t want to use again. I bought a selection of white plates at the Dollar Store and did this. It worked great and they are still hanging after 3 years and many teens playing too many throwing games in that room.

  22. I had a failure with the disc hanger, but I don’t think it was the disc hanger’s fault. It was a small soap dish, but the problem was, it wan’t flat on the back, there was a sort of ridge. The disc hanger made excellent contact with it all, and molded to the ridge, but it did the middle-ot-the-night, scare-you-to-death plunge as well. I concluded that an absolutely flat back was important for performance. Other disc hangers have been performing flawlessly in my bathroom.

  23. Thanks! Perfect timing, as I am hanging plates in the kitchen.

    I came to your site today to find one of your advertisers who sells custom signs and there were no ads. Do you not have sponsors on your site any more?

  24. I’ve had a couple plates fall from the wall using the disc hangers. One feel off about a month after I hung all my plates, so I figured maybe it was user error and I didn’t wash the back of the plate well enough or something. So I replaced it with another disc hanger. Over the course of the last year, I’ve had 2 more plates fall from the wall using the disc hangers. Most of my plates aren’t glass and even the ones that are don’t have any significant value to them, so it’s not such a big deal, but I still wouldn’t trust them.

  25. I think the #1 question I might ask you if I met you in person would be, “How do you decide what NOT to buy and put in your home?” I love the simplicity and spaciousness you create with your light pallet and minimal (but not TOO minimal) furnishings, and I was wondering if there’s a rule of thumb you use to tell yourself to put an item down and NOT bring it home or in your online shopping cart? :)

  26. I like to use the 3m Velcro strips.

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  31. What type of nail would you use for a 8″ plate?

  32. I previously used the disc hangers but when I changed things up and tried to remove them from the various plates it left residue that I couldn’t remove. So I went back to wire hangers. I have several very small plates I wanted to hang and finally was able to locate wire hangers for 2-4 inch plates, because trying to modify the larger ones was not successful. They are not as easy to find but are available.

  33. I am interested in hanging irreplaceable plates. These are plates my grandparents had when they first married in the 1920’s. If they fall I would be devastated! Should I forgo hanging this priceless treasures?

  34. I’m wanting to hang some of my grandma’s depression glass plates in my kitchen. The only problem is they are completely see through:( any advice on how to hang them so they lovely instead of tacky?

    • I have the same question. I am leaning towards the clear command strips and attaching them straight to the wall, but I will test it first to see how well it holds and how it looks. Have you found something that works?

    • i want to hang depression as well and i am having the hardest time finding anything to hang them with. did you find something clear that works?

  35. I am displaying china that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It has great sentimental value so I want to be absolutely sure I am using the best possible method to hang them. Do the disk hangers work on textured walls? I have had poor experiences with the command hangers, both inside, hanging diplomas on smooth paneled walls, and the special one for outside, hanging a Christmas wreath on a glass door. I have used wire hangers in the past but did not like the exposed metal. From what I am reading a combination of disk and wire would be best, yes?

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