My mother-in-law is renown for her Christmas gifts to friends and neighbors because unlike the regular paper cookie plate everyone gives, she spends the year stalking closeouts and after season sales for beautiful Christmas dishes at a fraction of their usual price. She’s had the same neighbors for 25 years who now have a stunning collection of Christmas dishes thanks to Sally’s efforts.
For my own neighbor gift I wanted to take a cue from Sally, but it had to have a handmade touch, of course. I pulled out my glass paints and decided to paint an image on the back of the plate. This makes it so that the food doesn’t touch the paint, if you have any concerns about that kind of thing, and it also makes the image shine through the glass beautifully. It’s like you’re decorating and framing it in one.
First you need a pattern. I went ahead and made patterns that you can download down below, but you can paint anything you want. The only thing to keep in mind is that your pattern will need to be reversed. Since you’re painting it on the back you’re painting the mirror image, so make sure that you flip the pattern in your printer settings. Then tape it to the right side of the plate.
Flip the dishes over so that the back is right side up. Different glass paints will have different instructions for preparing the surface, but you’ll at least need to make sure that it’s super clean. Use alcohol to remove fingerprints or debris.
When you normally paint something you paint from the back to the front. You paint the background first and then add layers on until the last thing you paint are the outlines and highlights. With this method it’s reversed. The first thing you paint is what will be on the very top, and then you’ll work backwards. So on these patterns, what is in the very front is the text, so that’s what you paint first.
The next layer was the outlines of the cookies or carrots, then the chips or the carrot greens, and then the background color.
If your paint is a little translucent like mine was, you can use an opaque white paint to back it. Once your last layer is dry, paint the entire backside of the plate with your background color.
I fell so in love with this project that I made sure to make one for myself. With this design I’m not just giving a cute Christmas plate, but a tradition.
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