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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.


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Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Dessert Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

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.



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DIY Pen and Ink Sketch Decorative Plates | Pretty Handy Girl

All the Très Frugal DIY Gift Ideas can be seen here.

157 replies
  1. Anna B.
    Anna B. says:

    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!)

  2. olivia
    olivia says:


    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.


  3. Mary Hall
    Mary Hall says:

    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

  4. Nadine
    Nadine says:

    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!

  5. Lucy Schmidt
    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.

  6. Charity
    Charity says:

    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!

  7. Lisa Kubin
    Lisa Kubin says:

    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.

  8. June Minard
    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!

  9. Beverly Atkins
    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.

  10. Patricia Ann
    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

  11. Julianne
    Julianne says:

    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.

  12. Melissa G
    Melissa G says:

    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!

  13. Katherine
    Katherine says:

    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!

  14. kelly
    kelly says:

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

  15. Rae
    Rae says:

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

  16. Heather
    Heather says:

    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!

  17. Jenny Barwick
    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.

  18. Laura
    Laura says:

    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.

  19. Analisa M
    Analisa M says:

    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!

  20. Hannah
    Hannah says:

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

  21. Aimee C
    Aimee C says:

    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! 🙂

  22. melle e
    melle e says:

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

  23. Sheena
    Sheena says:

    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!

  24. Cynthia P T
    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! 🙂

  25. June Olsen
    June Olsen says:

    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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