Custom dishes with a Sharpie: Nifty Gifties!

I can’t believe I didn’t try this years ago. Sharpie + dollar store plate + oven. That’s it.

I chose to do a freehand abstract design because I’m lazy and I have terrible penmanship. I think a quote or a recipe would be awesome. If you want to print out a design, try doing a pencil transfer (thoroughly rub the back of the printout with pencil, then flip it over and trace the design firmly onto the plate – the pencil ┬árubbing on the back will transfer over to the plate, and you can go over it with marker).

Kids can make these (Little Hippie can’t wait to get started on hers now that we know the process works), but they are fun for grown-ups, too. This is not for everyday dishes – the embellishments are not dishwasher-safe, and using utensils can damage the design. However, they make fun serving dishes and can also function as unique dry erase boards for posting menus or daily messages.

See what I mean about the handwriting?

Sharpies say that they are non-toxic. I erred on the side of caution and kept the designs to the borders. Even if the surface is still food-safe, I didn’t want to cover up the design with food or invite knives and forks to scrape over it.


  • Plate from your local dollar store (I got this one at Dollar Tree)
  • Sharpie markers
  • An oven


  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the surface of the plate. Write “Hand wash only” on the back of the plate, then decorate the front as desired.
  2. Allow design to dry completely. We left it overnight after reading about several people whose designs washed off even after baking.
  3. Place plate in a cold oven, then heat it to 350 degrees. Bake at temp for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven. Allow the plate to cool in the oven.

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