DIY Plate Decorating Craft To Do With Kids

I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs and pins on Pinterest talking about using Sharpie markers on white, ceramic dishes with your children. Either as a way of preserving their art in a unique way or as keepsake gifts for family and friends. So I decided to give it a shot.

Here’s what I did…

  1. Went to Dollar General and bought 3 small white, ceramic plates.
  2. Found all the Sharpies in my kitchen junk drawer. (Not an easy task!)
  3. Each one of my boys (the teenager, too) and I colored a plate.
  4. Baked them for 30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.
  5. Let cool.

But how did they turn out?

Well, we all had a lot of fun making our plate art. My oldest son made a camouflage plate. My youngest made a beautiful masterpiece of scribbles and a family portrait. I made an abstract piece.

They all turned out great until we put them in the oven. Unfortunately, a lot of the colors faded. Some colors faded to almost nothing. So we recolored them and put them back in the oven.

Plate Decorating - Esa's Closet - Girl's Online Clothing Boutique

The colors stayed a little bit better the second time around, however, when I tried to gently hand wash them the colors started to wash off as well.

What’s a mom to do?

You open your laptop and start Googling your problem!

Here’s what I found:

  1. Oil-based paint pens work better than markers.
  2. You should let the plates dry for an entire day before putting them in the oven.
  3. You should leave them in the oven until they cool completely.

I thought about using Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge, because it’s virtually waterproof. The only problem with that is, even though it is nontoxic, it’s not FDA approved so you shouldn’t use it on things that will come in contact with food or your lips.


You can use Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge on the mugs and still use them as long as you keep it away from the edge of the mug that comes in contact with your lips. According to Mod Podge’s best practices, 1/4″ down from the edge is sufficient.

My takeaway from the craft, although super fun, don’t expect to actually use the plates of mugs for eating or drinking. And definitely use some kind of sealant to keep the art from chipping or fading.

Have you tried this craft? If so, please feel free to comment with tips for a more successful experience.


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