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How to Make Budget-Friendly DIY Charger Plates

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When you’re entertaining for the holidays, it can get expensive to decorate a table! I recently fell in love with a tartan plaid charger plate I saw at a high-end home decor store, but yikes–it was pricey! That’s when I decided to make this simple DIY charger plate using Dollar Tree items.

Pin reading "DIY Charger Plate, Christmas Table Decor" with images of a tartan plaid charger plate with a white Joy plate on top

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DIY Charger Plate Tutorial

To see this tutorial in action, check out my recent YouTube video! It also includes 9 other DIY Christmas projects, like the white “Joy” plate pictured above.

It’s so easy to make DIY charger plates with fabric, I predict you will soon become addicted! These are perfect for any dining room table or breakfast nook because you can customize the design to match your decor.

As soon as I saw charger plates at Dollar Tree, I snatched them up in multiple colors. I used gold charger plates when planning my niece’s bridal shower decor, but I was ready to give them a little update. You could also try using a wood charger for this tutorial.

Charger plates in tartan plaid pattern on shelves in high end boutique
Plaid charger plates sold in high-end boutique

I saw the tartan plaid charger plates above on my holiday inspiration shopping trip, and a light bulb went off. After a very brief search, I found nearly the same exact plaid pattern at a craft store, and the rest is history!

Notes on Making DIY Charger Plates

Christmas plaid charger plate with white plate reading "Joe" on top, alongside a copper mug and Christmas accents

Before you get started with this DIY project, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  1. Buy your charger plates before the fabric. This way, you can measure exactly how much fabric you’ll need. I measured about 1/4 to 1/2-inch “allowance” around the charger plate so I could make sure I had enough to push into the indented part of the plate.
  2. Don’t pre-wash your fabric. These charger plates are not intended to serve food directly, and you can’t launder them. That’s why I suggest not washing the fabric first. You don’t want the colors to fade before you display your pretty table setting.
  3. Seal the edges of the plates. After you trim away the excess fabric, you’ll want to apply a final dab of Mod Podge around the edges of the plate. This helps prevent the fabric layer from fraying.

Options for Displaying Charger Plates

These pretty charger plates look great as part of your table decor, especially for Christmas or other special occasions.

DIY charger plates displayed on dining room table with white china and Christmas centerpiece
Christmas dining room table

You can see how they look in my Christmas decorations home tour above.

The charger plates set the theme for the table, so it was easy to coordinate a holiday centerpiece and other accents, like this plaid ribbon.

Christmas place setting with plaid charger plate and white china next to table centerpiece

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Tablescape with tartan plaid DIY charger plates and Christmas centerpiece. Pinterest pin that reads "Christmas table decor, DIY charger plate"

DIY Charger Plates

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner/Easy
Estimated Cost: $15

Make DIY charger plates to decorate your table with the pattern of your choice!

It's a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your dining room table for the holidays or a special occasion. It's budget-friendly, too!

Materials

  • Plastic charger plates (6)
  • 1 yard of cotton fabric
  • Mod Podge Matte

Tools

  • Foam Brush

Instructions

  1. Turn the charger plate over to roughly trace the perimeter onto the fabric, leaving about a 1/2-inch gap from the edge of the plate.
  2. Cut the fabric piece out. Don't worry if some edges are roughly cut, since you will trim the edges later.
  3. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the plate with a foam brush.
  4. Center the fabric circle over the plate, and firmly press the fabric onto the plate. Use food plastic wrap as a "glove" to smooth down any edges. This prevents the fabric from sticking to your fingers.
  5. Trim around the edges of the plate to remove any excess fabric.Tartan plaid charger plate with white plate reading "Joy" next to copper mug and Christmas decor
  6. Apply more Mod Podge to the edges, if needed, to prevent fraying. Let the plate dry completely (20-30 minutes) before using.

Notes

There is no need to pre-wash the fabric beforehand. The fabric does not shrink after applying it to the plate.

If you apply a top coat of Mod Podge, the fabric may become somewhat dull. I opted to leave the fabric alone after applying it to the plate.

Please note, Fabric Mod Podge is generally used when applying a material to the fabric itself, so the Mod Podge Matte formulation works fine for these purposes.

Spot clean only.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag @firstdayofhome!

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4 Comments

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! There are so many possibilities with these. I can’t wait to see how yours turn out! Thanks for stopping by and pinning too! Hugs, Crissy