Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Santa Plate Keepsake

We have decided to start a new tradition.  If you spend any time on Pinterest, I am sure you have come across a pin or two on how to use Sharpie permanent markers to design your own plates or mugs.  Well, what better idea than to use that technique to create a special plate for Santa's goodies each year?!  So read on... I'll give you a tip or two, and tell you how we are using this idea to create a fun, new family tradition!

Supplies Needed
  • Sharpie Permanent Markers, various colors
  • White Ceramic Plate, new or old
  • Dry Erase Pen, any color
  • Oven set at 350F / 175C

Give your children a plate and some Sharpies, and let them create their own special plate for Santa's treats this year!  I gave my children no guidance... and I just love how they all worked alongside each other creating their artwork.

Now for a special tip!!!
Maybe your child has made a mistake.  Permanent is permanent, right?  Well keep a dry erase marker and a tissue in hand.  If your child wants to change something they have drawn (or accidentally drawn) on their plate, color over the mistake with the dry erase marker and gently wipe the markings away with your tissue.  Good as new!

Wesley was finished first.  He had tried to draw a reindeer I had drawn on our Christmas place mats.  He also added a note for Santa letting him know that he could only have the cookies on the plate if he left him L.N. (Lego Ninjago).  What an operator!
Here is Tate with her finished plate.  I love that she tried so hard to draw a reindeer like her big sister, and that she left a special note for Santa on her plate without any help at all.  I told her to write her name and the date... "Love Tatum Fausin (for 2 Thousand) 12".  So precious!!!!

I thought it would be fun to write the children's Christmas lists on the back of each plate, along with their name and the year.  That way, we can look back at their drawings as well as remember what things they were asking Santa for!  And for the record... ALL of my kids have asked for an iPhone for Christmas (5,7 and 9)... hahaha!  Sorry kids!

Here is Charlotte's finished plate.  I love that she chose to use black and white, and wrote a story that she came up with while she worked.  That's my gal!  I just love how each of my children's personalities really came through on this project.
All ready for the oven!
Place in an oven at 350F for NO MORE THAN 30 minutes, or your colors are sure to fade.  This will allow the permanent marker to "cure" and not risk wearing off of your plate.

That is, unless....
You happened to use an inferior permanent marker!  ACK!
Notice how the red marker has essentially faded to nothing in some spots?  Not pretty, and not cool!  The Sharpie remained nice and vibrant, and the Staples brand permanent marker (which was the one in red) did not cut it in the least!  So out went the Staples markers... we are sticking with the Sharpies!

So I went over his drawing and lettering again.  The photo on the left is what his plate looked like after I went over all of the markings a second time, but this time, ONLY using the Sharpie permanent markers.  The image on the right is the plate after being "cured" in the oven for 30 minutes.s  Much better result this time!

My daughter's black pen lines had faded a bit... so I thought I'd go over them once more as well to see if I could get a darker, finished result.
The image on the left is what her plate looked like just after having baked the first time.  On this photo, however, notice that I had started to trace over the lines at the antler just to show the difference in the color.  The photo on the right is the plate after I had gone over all of the lines and "cured" in the oven for another 30 minutes.  Again... much darker markings and a nicer finished plate!

If you decide to go ahead and toss your plates in the oven for a second time, make sure ALL of your lines have been retraced, or the originals may fade quite a bit!

My plan... this is something I hope to do with the kids each Christmas from here on out.  On Christmas Eve we will set them out with their cookies for Santa... and next year we will make a new set of plates.  The old plates we will begin to collect as our holiday dessert plates.  They will be a great addition to our family holiday, and a fun way to share our family memories!  Don't you think?

You can find another version of a DIY Santa Plate at Rainy Day Mum that might be better for little ones if you are worried about them with Sharpies in their hands.  This Santa Plate was shared as part of the Creative Christmas Countdown.  Click on the image below to visit Rainy Day Mum for all of the details!
Creating Christmas Memories with kids

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!


  1. I love this idea, thanks so much for posting! Do you have a favorite brand of plates to use? Will any ceramic plate work?

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