DIY Quote Plates for Styling Food Photos

DIY Quote Plates for styling food photos

I am not a food blogger.  I am a DIY/craft blogging who occasionally shares a recipe with you.  I would love for my food shots to look like those beautifully styled photos from the big-time food blogs, but that ain’t happening.  Still, I would like my food photos to look a leetle nicer.
If you are looking for a way to stylize your blog’s food photos, or if you want to add some pizzazz to your holiday cookie platter, read on to discover the easy way to turn dollar store dishware into something special!
food styling
No matter how well I try to style my food photos, I really only have my every day plates and glassware to use.  Those same, tired blue-striped plates just weren’t going to cut it anymore.  I needed something that would catch the eye of the casual Pinterest peruser.
To that end, I used an idea that has been floating around the internet in order to make some DIY Quote Plates to style my food photos.  The process is simple and fun, and the plates not only work great for prettifying your pics, but make fun gifts for friends and family too!

food styling plates materials

To Make DIY Quote Plates, you will need:
Dollar Tree ceramic plates, bowls, or mugs
Isopropyl Alcohol
paper towel or cotton swabs

quote plates for food styling

Dollar Tree frequently carries plain white plates, bowls, and mugs a variety of shapes and sizes.  I used some of their white mugs for the Hand-Painted Mug Gifts my son and I made last Christmas.  For this project, I picked three plates with a rounded square shape, a shallow bowl with a wide lip, and a white mug with two dotted borders.
Begin by wiping the surface of the plate down with rubbing alcohol.  This makes sure there is no dirt or grime on the plate that might mess up your lettering.  Then, dive in!  Decide where you would like your quote to go, what font you might like to use, and begin writing.

It sounds a little scary, but it doesn’t need to be.  Why, you ask?

How to Remove Sharpie Mistakes on Ceramic

Usually working with permanent markers is scary because once you begin, there is no going back.  Thankfully that is not the case with this project.  If you misspell a word, or don’t like your handwriting, or if you decide you want to use an entirely different quote, just wipe the plate down with rubbing alcohol.  The marker will wipe right off!  Believe me, I did this MANY times while I was working on my plates. 
Be sure to use a new section of the paper towel each time you wipe down the plate to avoid smearing the old marker back onto your surface.

mmm... mug

If you are creating a mug for photo styling, here’s a little trick.  Create a design on one side of the mug…

mug flip side

…then turn it over and create an completely different design on the other!  Only one side will ever show in a photo, and you just saved yourself a buck.

Here are a few quotes about food and cooking that I came across before starting this project.  Any of them would be great on a food prop plate.

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives. -Oscar Wilde
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf
Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
Mark Twain
If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers. – Linda Henley
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. – W.C. Fields
Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. – Harriet van Horne
We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.― David Mamet
My favorite animal is steak. ― Fran Lebowitz

Unsurprisingly, I, the girl whose blog title is a riff on a line from Hamlet, chose Shakespeare quotes for two of my plates.  I added in G.B. Shaw, Julia Child, and Charles M. Schulz to round things out.

Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers. Romeo and Juliet: Act IV, Scene 2
If music be the food of love, play on. Twelfth Night: Act I, Scene 1
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. – Julia Child
There is no sincerer love than the love of food. –George Bernard Shaw
Love is all you need. But a little chocolate now and then never hurt.  – Charles M. Schulz

display quote plates

When you are satisfied with your plates, bake in them in a 350 oven for 30 minutes to heat set the ink.  Afterwards the plates will be safe to wash and dry without risk of smudging the quotes.
As an added bonus, these quote plates are pretty enough that they don’t have to be tucked away in a cupboard until they are needed.  Go ahead and display them in your kitchen or dining room!  Then you can grab them whenever you need them.

spaghetti in a shakespeare plate

I think these new plates will make my food photos far more interesting than my plain blue dishes ever did!  I made one more plate that you will see when I share a tasty Christmas treat recipe soon.
Affiliate disclosure HERE.

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill
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  1. Barbara says

    I tried this with cabinet white knobs. Followed directions, baked in oven.

    The color came off with simple use in a matter of days.

    In other words it didn’t work.

    I got the tip from Pinterest

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