How to Hang a Plate Wall... in a Rental!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I am SO excited to share today's post with you! I'm not sure you remember when I shared the swoon-worthy inspiration of Elizabeth's apartment back in October (if not, refresh your memory here), but I haven't been able to get her near-perfect plate wall out of my mind. So... I decided to create one for myself - one that is renter friendly! Today I'm sharing the tips I learned while creating and hanging my plate wall!

Renting? Then this is a must pin! How to Create & Hang a Plate Wall for a Rental!

Let's start by taking a look at my inspiration - Elizabeth's plate wall:
Eclectic Plate Wall Idea {from}

What I like most abut her collection is that it's eclectic, doesn't follow a color scheme, and doesn't take itself too seriously. 

So when I started looking at my own plates to see what I already had to use in the collection, I knew my own wall was going to be eclectic because all I had was a black-and-white plate of the White House and a white plate with asparagus on it. So began the hunt for affordable plates to round out make my own plate wall (yay, shopping!).
How to Collect Plates to Make a Plate Wall

1. Goodwill Clearance Center - aka Goodwill by the Pound (the red plate is a candle holder from Target)
2. Target Plates!
navy plate - here
floral & coral plate - here
3. Home Goods (the little plate is a soap dish)
4. Plates I had on hand

The first step is to gather up a large collection of plates that you like together. You can decide to use a specific color or type (state plates, presidents, shapes, colors, etc). I bought a few extra plates that I ended up not using and returning because I didn't like how they looked in the layout.

Once you have a good group of plates, measure the space you are looking to fill and then lay out your plates in a few ways to fit that size until you have a layout you like. Here is my practice layout (taken over Christmas break at night):

Once you have a layout you like, snap a picture, put your plates in a safe place and head off to a super store to buy a few supplies. In order to make this renter friendly you will need to pick up Command Picture Hanging Strips (no endorsement here, just the best product to use). There are sometimes coupons (both manufacturer and Target) so keep an eye out for them before heading to the store to pick them up. Based on the size and weight of your plates (some of my plates from Target are melamine which makes them light to hang) you will need to pick up the correct size picture hanging strips.

Follow the instructions on the package to apply these to the plates. Once applied to the plates, put the matching hook piece on the back and then press against the wall. Voila! You now have plates hanging on your wall with no holes to be filled when you (eventually) move out! I also like the cleaner look than the plate hangers showing around the edges. Here's a closeup view:
How to hang plates damage free for a rental (or just a cleaner look).

But, I would be amiss if I didn't admit that I ran into a few problems. For a while (mmm... weeks?) my wall looked like this:

Notice anything? My collection is missing three plates and they are nicely stacked on the counter next to the wall. The reason wasn't that they were too heavy for the Command hook, but that the dip (or lip) on the backside of the plate was too deep. Once the Command strips were attached to the plates, they couldn't reach the strip on the wall because it sat too deeply into the plate.

I wanted to keep the same plate-hanger-free look as the other plates, so after a quick internet search, I found these - DISC Plate Hangers (I bought mine online, but I think they are available in stores too).

These work by activating an adhesive on the back of the disc with water and then attaching it to the back of the plate. In order to get these three plates hung on the wall, I did have to use picture hanging hardware (meaning nail holes). But I thought it was worth the trade-off to complete the look.

I love how my plate wall turned out! I would like to add a "state plate" for Montana to finish it off, but even if I don't find it, I am so happy with how it turned out. I think it really becomes the focal point of the "dining room."
Plate wall in a rental dining room

(Yes... the table is still not finishes. Maybe this year?) 

I found a few other plates that I think would be great to include a plate wall collection:
I also found some examples of great plate walls on Pinterest too. Check them out here!

What do you think? Are you a fan of plate walls or are they too busy for your taste?

{I party with these blogs.}


  1. So cute! We did something similar in our apartment with picture frames. Love it!

    Mandy Jean

  2. Love plate walls and think it looks great in your space! (I love your table runner by the way.)

    Be sure to link up at our party this week, too.

  3. Wow, what a great way to decorate! I will have to be on the lookout for some decorative plates.

    P.S. I found you through the link party on

  4. Those plate hangers are really neat! I am always looking for "rent friendly" ways to spruce up our walls so thanks for the tips, and for sharing at The Makers!

  5. I really love this idea! I'm a renter as well and am going to do something similar in my dining room. Thanks for the idea!!

  6. Looks great! Thanks so much for linking up to the par-tay! xo

  7. Great tips. I've never seen the second plate hanger before. Pinned to my picture/art board. Visiting from All Things Pretty Linkup. Would love for you to linkup at the Let's Get Real Blog Hop tonight at 5PM EST.

  8. GReat display and I'm glad to learn about the flat hangers!

  9. I love plate walls too and have been wanting to do one. Such a great way to add personality to a space and perfect for a rental. Great tips. Thanks for sharing at The Makers.
    Corey @

  10. Really pretty. Love all the different styles of plates. Please come share at the bacon time party that just started a few minutes ago.

  11. Stopping by from Fri Favorites. This is so very clever! Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

  12. This is a really fabulous idea! Great alternative for a rental. Looks beautiful.

  13. Very smart! I like how easy it would be to mix things up without holes in the wall and it looks fantastic!

  14. Love it and I also love command hooks! I pinned your plate wall to my "Temporary Ideas for Renters" Pinterest board!


  15. I have tried command hooks and for me...they didn't work. Granted it was for a bathroom hook (for towels)..maybe I didn't apply it right. Anyway your wall looks great. I'll have to look up that Disc Hook thing. Thanks for sharing!
    Hello from Making Monday!
    leelee @

  16. Great idea and result. This will come in handy. Wanted to let you know I am featuring this when my link party opens up tonight.

  17. I wanted to let you know I will be featuring this beauty on Sunday at our link it or lump it party. I'll also be pinning to our pinterest board. Be sure to stop by and grab a feature button!


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