My dining room table is constantly getting hit with everything other than dinner plates and silverware.  As a large flat area in a very small apartment space, the table has become a landing pad for bills, crafts, laundry, purses, toys, laptops, and anything else I can cram onto it’s pitifully cluttered surface.

My poor table needs a makeover.

I’ve decided that keeping my tabletop immaculate and uncluttered is about as probable as being able to keep all the toys off the floor with a three-year-old living in the house.  Yeah… not gonna happen.

But it does need a face lift, the poor thing.

I started imagining all those pretty little tablescapes I’d seen in magazines, in model homes, and on A Beach Cottage blog (Seriously guys, if you haven’t visited her, you should.  She’s utterly, blissfully, beachily amazing. Love ya, Sarah! ^_^)  My only rule is that I want something that reminds me of the beach.

So when I stumbled across these Raynaud Cristobal plates the other night, my little ocean-loving heart skipped a few beats before once again going pitter patter across the sand. And then I saw the price.

$153.

Per plate.

Ha ha, yeah.  No.  Just no.  Because they also charge $140 for a cereal bowl, $466 for a teapot, and $1,186 for a soup toureen. *sigh*  Really?  I know these dishes are made in France from expensive materials, and yes they’re breathtaking… But even if I had the money, those prices are just plain irritating.

After the disbelief passed, I realized that I could recreate that lovely coral effect pretty darn easily.  And when I stumbled upon turquoise plates at the Dollar Tree, my creative knockoff juices really started flowing.  I immediately dashed to the craft store to pick up some glass paint.

Here’s what you need:

You can also buy a different colored glass pen to line the rim with, which I ended up doing a few days later.  I lined mine in silver, but black would be beautiful, as well.  You also have the option of using your oven in this tutorial, which simply speeds up the drying time.

step 1: If using an oven, preheat it to 300 degrees.  Then use a paper towel to wipe your plate with rubbing alcohol, in order to give yourself a clean surface to work with.  This will also help the glass paint stick.

step 2: Completely scrape off the pricing sticker.  This is especially important if you’re using an oven, because the paper will burn if left on the plate!  If the sticker is being a booger and refuses to come off (like mine), use more of the rubbing alcohol and a bit of elbow grease to remove it.  Just keep rubbing.  It’ll come off, I promise.

step 3: Now the fun begins!  I simply used my paint pen to draw flowing, organic lines that mimicked the shape of coral.  However, you could do just about anything here, including silhouettes of seahorses, fish, dolphins, starfish, shells, whales, palm trees, sea gulls, you get the point… :)

step 4: Go hog wild with your paint pen until you’re happy with the design.

step 5: Use your paint pot and the brushes to fill in the outlines.  (I guess you can do this with your pen, but you’re going to need one pen per plate if you do this.  Using the paint pot simply saves you money if you’re doing multiple plates.)

step 6: Once the outlines are completely colored in, pop that beautiful baby in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  **WARNING!!!**

Please don’t forget the plate is in the oven and leave it in there for almost an hour.  As you can see, the places where you used the paint pen will brown.  My husband said I should have left it like that because he thought it looked cool.  But my OCD kicked in and I couldn’t live with such a visible reminder of my mistake staring me in the face I thought it looked silly.  So I traced over the brown lines with my paint pens again, and VIOLA!  No more mistake.

Also, please remember to use oven mitts when removing the plate from the oven, as it will be extremely hot!

step 7: (Optional)  Use your second color paint pen around the edges to really make it pop.  Of course, you could do this before you put the plate in the oven, but I’d already baked my plate a few days earlier, so…  *eye roll*  This doesn’t take to long to dry on it’s own, however, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

And there you go – all done!!  You’re very own $153 Raynaud Cristobal set of plates for less than $10.  Gotta love that!  ^_-

My table isn’t ready to be unveiled yet, but I wanted to give you an idea of how I might display my new plates.

The downside to these plates is that because of the glass paint, they aren’t safe to eat on. REPEAT: THESE PLATES ARE NOT SAFE TO EAT ON!! My husband believes there is some sort of glass paint sealant that would prevent the paint coming off and protect the person eating off the plate, but as of yet I’ve been unable to find it.  Maybe one of my amazingly intelligent readers can enlighten me.  :)

Until then, I don’t really mind so much because I’m mainly using them to prettify my table, anyway.  To me they’re less dinnerware, and more artwork.  ^_^  Thanks again for reading!!  Happy crafting, everyone!!