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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twenty Years Already?

My sister-in-law and her husband celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary yesterday.  My husband almost went into shock when I told him this.  Mostly because he didn’t realize we’re almost to nineteen.  He still thinks of us as a young couple, I think. Anyway, I hope my SIL opened their gift, since this post will ruin the surprise.

I’ve made a couple of these before, as a wedding gift and for myself. I thought it would be a perfect anniversary gift. I first saw these platters in a magazine several years ago.  They were quite expensive...well over $100, if I remember correctly, so I was pretty certain I could make a reasonable knockoff.

I enlarged the photo there as much as I could, then sketched from it. There are also lots of birch tree sketches on Etsy and other sites that you can sketch from, since you're not selling these and it's just for personal use.

Then I sketched it onto a piece of printer paper.  The hardest part of this project was finding a piece of carbon paper to transfer the design.  I had to take one from an old form from a move about ten years ago.

These are the paints you’ll need.  After painting your platter, let it dry 24 hours, then bake at 300 for 30 minutes.  The directions say it will be dishwasher safe, but I’ve never tested that. It is, obviously, oven proof.  Michaels carries this paint.  The platter came from Walmart, but I’ve also seen them at Target.

I've seen recently on Pinterest that you can use Sharpies and bake them at 150 degrees for 30 minutes, but haven't tried it.  I'm also not sure of how foodsafe that would be.

When you’re happy with your design, use a dull pencil and press hard to transfer it, using the carbon paper, onto the platter.  Then just start going over it with the paint pen.

See, it doesn’t look amazing yet, but the leaves can be strategically placed to cover any mistakes you make with the pen.  You can also use a razor blade to scrape off anything you need to. Not that I needed to and learned it that way or anything.

To make the leaves, dip a small paintbrush in the jar of black paint, then paint little leaf shapes.  Practice on some paper first.  It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

Add some lines in the bark and draw the heart with initials and the year, using the paint pen.  For the shadows, mix a bit of white and black paint and dab it on using a small piece of sponge or a cotton swab.  Again, practice a bit on paper before committing to the platter.

I love these paints for ceramics.  I have a whole set of sponged Christmas dishes that I made with red and green fifteen years ago, and they’re still perfect.  Of course, we don’t use them everyday, but still.  There are endless possibilities for things to paint with your personal style…try it!

Linking up to The Frugal Girls Chic and Crafty


  1. Wow, this is so beautiful! It is so simple and uncluttered. What a great idea :)

    1. Thanks! It's so unlike my mind, life, house....

  2. Beautiful!!! What a truly thoughtful gift! Ok, you can be my sister in law too. :)

    1. Thank you! I hope they think it's as cool as I do! And I do have a brother, but he's married...

  3. How cool is that? I love the design and the initials on the tree--perfect! I think all the white space of the platter would intimidate the heck out of me, but maybe if I just hold my breath, and reread your post...

    You are one amazingly creative little gal, Megan. Your sister-in-law is a lucky lady. Oh, and your comment about finding carbon paper cracked me up. Who'd a thunk the Army's everything-in-triplicate policy would come in so handy? LOL

    1. You can do it! Think're great at those cards!


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