My 3 Monsters: Pride & Prejudice Plates {Free Downloads!}

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1.27.2012

Pride & Prejudice Plates {Free Downloads!}

I'm a HUGE Jane Austen fan.  HUGE.  The Collected Works of Jane Austen is my go-to source for literary pleasure.  It never, ever disappoints.  I've read all of her novels over and over again, but Pride and Prejudice is my favorite.  Who doesn't love Mr. Darcy?!  Anyway, I had this grand idea a while back to make a set of dishes with my favorite quotes from the book around the edges of the dinner plates and silhouettes on the salad plates.  I picked up some fun, mismatched white dishes at Goodwill and bought a ceramic paint pen and set to work.

And it was truly awful.  I think I have nice handwriting, but I just couldn't free-hand the quotes and make it look "professional" and I wasn't getting the detail I wanted in the silhouettes.  Luckily, ceramic paints can be washed off until you bake them on so I was able to salvage the dishes.  I was still determined to see this project through, I just needed to put it away for a few {six} months and let the idea percolate in my subconscious for a little while.

Then, out of the blue the other day the solution hit me.  WATER SLIDE DECALS!!!  Have you seen them?  You buy the special paper, print your design on it, then soak it in water and a thin layer of film slides off the top of the paper and onto pretty much any non-porous surface.  So easy!  I bought my decal paper on Ebay.  There are several different brands available if you look around.  I chose Incal because the reviews I read said it was a thicker, higher quality paper AND it can be heat set to make it permanent.  Some decals can't be washed, which would mean the dishes would be purely decorative.  That's fine, but I kinda' like the idea of actually using them.  Make sure you get the right kind of paper for your printer {ink jet or laser} and choose white or clear background.  I got the ink jet clear paper.

I designed all my images in Gimp and printed them out onto the decal paper.  Set your printer to Best Quality and Photo Glossy paper.  Then you need to spray the paper to set the ink so it doesn't run when it gets wet.  I used Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel in a glossy finish.  Any kind of clear acrylic spray would do the job.  Spray two or three coats and let it dry for about an hour.  Trim off the extra paper around the edges of your design.

Wash the plate you want to use to make sure it's really clean.  Then get a shallow pan of warm water and completely immerse your decal.  The edges of the film will start to curl up away from the paper backing.  That is good.  Once the entire design is loose and slips around on top of the paper backing pretty easily, VERY CAREFULLY slide the design onto your plate.  I'm not gonna' lie, this is difficult because these designs are so large.  I think it would be much easier with a smaller design, but I want what I want so big it is!  Use a soft, dry cloth to gently smooth the decal film onto your plate and remove air bubbles.  Make sure the edges are sealed down.  Be sure to be gentle with it because the decal film will stretch and crease if you're not.

Once your decal is firmly in place with no air bubbles, stick it in the oven at 300*F  for 30 minutes.  Easy cheesy.  I love how it turned out!  Unless the light hits it just right, you can't even tell it's a decal.  I'm in the process of redoing my plate wall in the dining room.  I got a pewter tray at Goodwill a while ago for $5 that I want to hang along with a few more of my Pride & Prejudice plates.  I just couldn't wait to see this one hanging up, though.
This technique is so quick and easy and professional looking.  I may have to make plates for every season and change them out. Here is the full set of my Pride & Prejudice designs if you'd like to use them:







Just click on the pictures to enlarge to full size, right click and save to your computer.  I'll also be offering plates and digital prints in my etsy shop, if you would rather just purchase the finished product!  Have a great weekend!



9 comments:

  1. Love these! I had never heard of this decal method before. I just might have to try it sometime. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. OH. My. GOODNESS!! I am in love with these! I'm a huge Jane Austen fanatic too {P&P is my fave, of course}...I was an English major in college and did my Senior Seminar paper on the female gaze in the novel. You did a fantastic job with these...great quote choices! Love, love, love!
    It would SO make my day if you'd share them here:

    http://oneartmama.blogspot.com/2012/01/shine-on-fridays-12.html

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  3. I'm an English teacher and a Jane Austen fan myself, so I think these ROCK! :)

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  4. Tag, you're it! Check out the link for the fun to begin. This isn't some weird spam, I'm a follower of your blog ;)http://www.lifestylesofthestayathomemom.com/2012/02/i-was-tagged.html

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  5. Love it! But Jane is a little perky! =)

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  6. No kidding, Belinda! That really is her silhouette, though, according to google. Hmmmm...

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  7. You always do the most amazing stuff, but these are absolutely my favorite ever! Crafts + Literature + Food = I am in love! How did you manage to combine so many of my favorite things. Now I want a whole set of Tolstoy quotes... but his silhouette would not be nearly so perky :)

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  8. can you eat off of these? That's my only concern.

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  9. Did you bake yours? On how many degrees? Did it leave a funny smell in your oven?

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