Anthropologie-Inspired Collage Art Plates

Anthropologie Knock-Off Collage Art Plates

When I showed you my blue, yellow, and grey dining room I was still debating whether I should add some more things to the walls or let the stencil just be.  Since I can’t ever leave well enough alone, I began to search for some unique wall art ideas.  When I stumbled across Anthro’s Oude Brug Plate Collage, I had an inkling that it could be DIY’d. 
This knock-off is super simple, costs very little to make, and requires only basic crafting skills to accomplish.  Win-win-win!

To make Anthro-Inspired Collage Art Plates, you will need:
4-5 decorative chinoiserie plates
2 other plates
spray bottle of water
paint brush
hot glue gun and glue
paper clips

lay out the plates

Begin by trimming off any excess border that your poster might have.  Set it aside for later use.

Determine the rough placement of your plates.  You want to place the decorative plates around the perimeter of the art poster, so that only part of those plates will be covered by the poster.  Position the cheaper plates within the perimeter of the poster and try to place them over important parts of the artwork.  Remember that only the parts of the poster that are on the plates will be visible at the end of the project, so place the plates accordingly. 

(That paragraph was brought to you by the letter P.)
Use the craft knife to cut the poster around the plate but  DO NOT CUT OUT THE EXACT OUTLINE OF THE PLATES at this point.  Give the plates about 1/2 to 1 inch berth so you have excess paper to work with when it comes time to Mod Podge.
Save the left over pieces of the poster along with the border you trimmed off earlier.  You will need them later.

apply Mod Podge generously

Apply a medium coat of Mod Podge to a plate.  Give the Mod Podge a few seconds to set up a bit.  While you are waiting, lightly spray the back of the piece of poster with which you are working with water.  Don’t saturate the paper, just give it a light spray.

smooth down the poster

Position the poster piece on the plate and press down on the middle.  Working from the middle outwards, smooth the paper onto the Mod Podged plate, removing wrinkles and bubbles as you go.

make cuts to avoid wrinkles

Since the plate is rounded and the paper is not, you will need to make some cuts in the poster to accommodate the shape of the plate.  Make a straight cut, only as far as is necessary, and slightly overlap the poster.  Mod Podge the overlap down.  Impressionist paintings make this step a bit easier, since the brushstrokes camouflage the overlap.

finish smoothing the poster

See!  You would probably only notice those overlaps if you were looking for them.  And I know that you are totally looking for them now, so that’s my bad for even bringing it up.
Continue smoothing any wrinkles out of the paper until the plate is completely covered.

trim off excess poster paper

Flip the plate over.  NOW you can use your craft knife to cut the excess poster off of the perimeter of the plate.  Flip the plate back over and Mod Podge over the poster and over the edges of the plate.  Let dry.
Continue the process with all the plates.  The edge plates are done the same way, the poster just does not cover the whole plate.

Use poster remnants to arrange plates

Use the scrap pieces you saved to get a general idea of how the plates should be arranged on the wall.


Remove the scrap pieces and you will see the impression of the whole poster comprised just of a collage of plates.

An impression of an Impressionist painting.  It’s so meta.

mark the top center of each plate

Next you need to mark each plate, so you can hang them properly on the wall.  Use a marker to mark  top center on the back of each plate.

paper clip plate hangers

I looked into buying plate hangers for the plates, but it would have busted my budget for the project to buy one for each of the six plates.  I found a few tutorials for creating your own plate hangers with hot glue, felt, and paper clips and gave it a shot.  So far no plates have fallen down, so I think we’re golden.

use the poster scraps to help hang the plates

To make hanging the plates easier, tape up the scrap poster pieces and border as a template.  It is easy to center and level the poster border and add the scrap pieces in.  Trying to center everything with the plates alone would have driven me crazy (crazier than I already am).

hung plates

Mark off where each plate should hang, hammer in the nails, and hang the plates on the wall.

Anthropologie Knock-Off

After I removed the scraps and border, I had a truly unique art collage for our dining room.  It’s a twist on traditional plate collages that modernizes the look a bit.  And, the whole process took about 2 hours, including dry time.

Anthro's vs. Mine

But here’s the best part.  That’s Anthro’s version on the left and mine on the right.  Boom!  $1570 saved, just like that.

A couple of tips to make this project go as smoothly as possible:

  • You can often find printed china at thrift stores for less than a buck.
  • The plates that will be totally covered by the poster can be cheap, even plastic.  Mine were.
  • Landscape prints work better than abstract paintings for this project.  You want your eye to be able to fill in the gaps between the plates, which is easier with a landscape.
  • Art posters can be found cheaply online or at craft supply stores (bring your coupon!).
My NEW ebook is now for sale on E-Junkie.  Find out more about it HERE!

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill
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