How to Hang a Plate Wall

Plates are great to hang on the wall as they cross the line between being utilitarian and becoming pieces of art. It’s a lovely way to bring craft into your home and we love how eccentric a plate wall can look. Rather than re-painting a room, you can achieve a completely new look just by installing a decorative wall plate display.

You can be incredibly creative with the way you display plates on a wall and there are endless combinations of ways to hang them. In our home, we’ve used them everywhere and we particularly like hanging plates symmetrically in pairs on either side of a doorway or window. If you’re wondering how to design a plate wall in your home, here’s our Villa Bologna Pottery guide on how to hang plates on a wall.

A few tips to start with....

1. Symmetry

This is an important aspect to consider when hanging a decorative plate wall. You need balance in the overall display but that does not mean that each side needs to be identical and be mirrored exactly. There can be a certain licence, charm and eccentricity in keeping the structure but changing the content of each side. You might, as an example, use more smaller plates on one side and use less large plates on the other, while keeping the balance of the overall shape of the display. 

hanging a wall plate display at home
plates on a wall


2. Choosing an appropriate location to hang plates is key.

Plates look best when hung in a kitchen or dining room because they have context and don’t look arbitrary. They can help to define a space or to give a room focus. On a larger wall, use the centre of the wall as a starting point for the display. Alternatively, find an area which requires a bit of cheering up—it might be a small space which feels a bit empty that you can make more interesting and eye-catching.

3. Choose the right plates or platters to hang.

Historically one would hang more valuable or antique decorative plates, which is why we love to hang our Villa Bologna Pottery highly decorated and hand-painted plates. You can even change the plates seasonally or just when you feel like a little bit of a change. The plates can be a part of a growing collection—you can start with a few plates and slowly expand your plate display. There’s no more visual way to showcase a personal collection.

guide to hanging plates on a wall

 Step-by-step guide to hanging your plate wall... 

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper to make templates
  • Blue tac or masking tape
  • L shaped nails
  • A hammer
  • Plate hangers (they come in different sizes depending on the size plate that you are hanging)
how to hang a plate wall

 How to hang your plates...

  1. Identify the space you want to hang your plate wall.
  2. Using a pen, trace around all the plates that you have chosen onto your paper.
  3. Cut out the templates.
  4. Lay out the paper templates on a flat surface (floor or table) in a design that you like.
  5. Using masking tape or blue tac put up the templates on the wall—you can play around with spacing, heights and different layouts. The best thing about having templates is you can change them endlessly before committing to putting nails into the wall.
  6. Once you are happy with your layout, use a level and measuring tape to make sure the plates are aligned and evenly spaced.
  7. Put one L-shaped nail into the wall for each plate to be hung.
  8. Attach a plate hanger to each plate.
  9. Put up your plates. 
hang plates on a wall for an instant refresh in your home

Top tip

Sometimes spring-style plate hangers will let the plates lean slightly away from the wall. To avoid this, attach a hanger to each plate and bend the back of the hanger very gently. You don't want to bend it enough to damage or break it. This step will help the plate rest directly against the wall.