If you want to add a special touch to your upcoming baby shower, or make something special to give away as gifts, consider decorating your own plates. From fun and quirky to simple or abstract, there are many different ways to create something to celebrate the special day, surprise family and friends with the baby's gender, or just add a pop of color to a party place setting.
Choose Your Plate Design
Find a baby-themed stencil. Look for stencils that outline baby ducks, teddy bears, baby rattles or strollers. You can center the stencil on the middle of the plate. If it's very simple, add decorations around the stencil or more detail to the stenciled image. However, if you're confident to freehand draw the image, be brave! Stick with simple shapes first. You can always wash away the paint before setting it in the oven and start anew. If you want to make your own stencils, find heavy craft paper and a straight-edge razor blade or scissors. Print out an image from the computer, such as from a website like DLTK's Crafts for Kids, or draw your own. Then cut it out to create the stencil.
Make an abstract design. If you know the gender of the baby, you can make plates in the baby gender-specific color. Consider making pink polka dots on a plate for a baby girl shower. Find items around your house to make the polka dots, like the tip of a pencil eraser. Dip the tip of the eraser in the paint and then dot it on the plate. Lay down tape on the plate to make DIY stripes, or just freehand draw squiggly lines in complementary shades.
Write words on your baby shower plates. Use stencils with creative fonts to write "Boy" or "Girl," or even "New Grandma!" This would work especially well if you want to use the plates as place settings.
Design Your Plates
Clean each plate with rubbing alcohol to remove dirt, dust, soap and fingerprints. Try not to touch the clean surfaces or your fingerprints might end up showing through the paint.
Stencil or draw in pencil your design on each plate. Double check your work to make sure you've spelled everything correctly and have a balanced design.
Decorate your plates with the ceramic paint or paint pens. If the paint requires more than one coat, let it dry between applications. Use a wet paper towel to carefully wipe away any mistakes. Allow your plates to dry before baking -- some paints require 24 hours to dry.
Bake your plates in the oven to set the design, following the directions for the specific you're using. Place your plates in the oven while it heats to the proper temperature to ensure that the plates don't heat up too quickly and crack.
Make sure the paint you purchase is non-toxic and appropriate for decorating items that will hold food.