Friday, January 21, 2011

foto friday: plate tectonics

Since this is the second day of my new life, and since the weather outside looks like this:

I decided to figure out how to mount cute French plates on my wall.  As one does.

Last night, Andrew and I went to IKEA, The Most Magical Place On Earth, to pay our bi-monthly respects.  While I was there I asked a sales representative if they carried plate hangers.

Me: "Do you carry plate hangers?"
She: [blank look]
Me: "Like dish hooks.  For mounting dishes on the wall?"
She: "Um.  I think you can use, like, any kind of hook."

I didn't bother wasting any more of my precious IKEA shopping time explaining to her that, no, you can not just use, like, any kind of hook.

Today I Googled "plate hangers" and none other than Martha Stewart was there to greet me with her light teal-themed and easy to read website.  So I thought, what the heck?  Let's try to make some plate hangers.

This is the space I envisioned the plates to be hanged - in our kitchen between the back door and a window.  It's not such a drab space but...

...after finding these at a local Kitchen Stuff Plus for $14.95:

I knew I wanted to use them as decorative wall hangings.  Andrew wanted to use them as plates for Camembert.  Where do these boys get their ideas?

Ingredients: hammer and small nails, pliers*, scissors (or wire-cutters if your wire is thicker), and wire.  I just used the wire that comes with a standard picture frame mounting kit.

Cut two pieces of wire approximately 3" longer** than the diameter of the plate:

Make a loop in the middle of one piece:

And make a "V" in the middle of the other piece:

Slide the "V" piece through the loop and let it hang.  Twist once or twice.***

I have a habit of skimming instructions including owner's manuals, warning labels and, evidently, Martha Stewart's womb-like website.  As you can see here, I distinctly ignored her advice to "position the wires on the plate so the top of the loop hits the edge of the plate's base" and instead put it smack in the middle.  No harm done but my plates lean a little further forward than I had expected - almost as if they're staring down at me from the wall.  Friendly-like.

Once the pieces are stretched tight across the back of the plate, bend the ends over the lip and make a little loop (cutting off any excess wire on the back).  These "claws" should be long enough to hold the weight of the plate but small enough that they don't take over the visual appeal.

Ta-da!  Cute French plates on the wall!

And, since I only used 2 of the available 4 plates, Andrew can still use a few to serve actual Camembert. Although I was pleased with the final outcome I still had to submit it to the critics.

Solomon gave it an A+.

Oberon gave it a D.  He was repulsed by it at first, then ran to hide under this chair where he acted disinterested long enough for me to take a picture.  He gave no comment.

* This whole project would have been 34% easier if I had (or could find our) needle-nosed pliers.  Instead, I used the honking pliers you see in the photo.  I would recommend needle-nosed.

** HEED MARTHA'S ADVICE!  I eyeballed my second hanger and cut one piece too short.  After approximately 20 minutes, and assorted expletives, I had to cut a new piece - this time, approximately 3" longer than the diameter of the plate.

*** I also muddled this: I twisted an average of 6-7 times to ensure maximum strength and prevention of my pretty plates slipping from their nails and smashing all over the kitchen floor while Solomon licks the shards and I scream at him and weep.  It made the loop a little bulky behind the plate but, otherwise, I'm satisfied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Honking Pliers"? If you are savvy enough to say "needle-nose pliers" then please to also be saying "linesman pliers".

Nice plates. mmmm, cheese.

Don't torture me, I camembert it.