tutorial :: stamped plates

I'm finally getting around to showing you guys the "how-to" of stamped plates.  As you know, I use this technique at a lot of my events - most recently my daughter's peace party.  While doing the plates for that party, I took some pictures of the process.  It is very easy, but can be frustrating at times - just stay patient.

Things you will need:
-gel paste food color (I use AmeriColor)
-table knife
-un-inked stamp pad (available here)
-plates with a completely flat center (I always use white so the image will show up the best)
-paper towels (one damp and one dry)
-rubber stamp (image of your choice matching your theme)

Let me start by telling you about my plates.  I bought these years ago at Ikea, my favorite go-to places for things like this.  I bought about 50 plates for $1 each I think.  I realized fifty bucks is no small sum, but just think about all the money you will save in the long run since you won't have to buy colored / themed paper plates anymore.  Not to mention the environmental impact.   For those of you who don't have an Ikea near by, try dollar stores.  

** MUST READ**  Now it's very important to use both an un-inked stamp pad and a rubber stamp that hasn't been used already with regular ink.  This MUST be food safe.  When anything moist or wet touches the image, the ink will smear and get on the food your guests will be eating.  You wouldn't want someone feeding you toxic ink right!?

First start by putting the gel food color in the un-inked stamp pad.  I usually use a table knife to spread it evenly.  Making sure to get all the clumps of ink spread throughout the pad.

Next, it's time to stamp!!  Since there was no way I was going to be able to stamp and take pictures at the same time, I enlisted a helper - big smile and all.  When I called her over, she was playing dress-up, hence the glitter hat and countless silly-bandz.  Oh to be five again...  Anyway, just wanted you to see the cute face behind all the hand pictures below!  I used Ella for two reasons.  Like I said before there was no way I could do this and take pictures, but also because I wanted you to see that even a five year old can do this.  It can get trying at times, but it is a super simple concept.

Evenly push the stamp into the ink, but not too hard.  You don't want any ink on any surface that isn't raised.  Basically, do it just like you would if you were making a greeting card or something on paper.  

See, ink only on the raised surface.

Now, here's where it can get tricky.  Put your patient pants on!  Press down EVENLY!  Easier said than done a lot of times, I know.  Since the plate is such a slippery surface, the rubber stamp has a tendency to slip.  Don't give up - it will work!

Viola!  A stamped plate!

Okay, now here is an example of a mess up.  The stamp didn't get pressed down evenly all around so one side didn't have any image showing.  Oops!  No big deal.  Just take your damp cloth, wipe it off and then dry it completely and try again.  Easy!  We probably had to re-do 10 or so.

As I stamp each plate, I stack them up.  Now that they are all stamped I let them sit out for a few minutes to dry completely.  As you can see, this part takes over the entire kitchen!  This is just some of them.  Don't start this right before you need to make dinner!  

Since there is always time sensitive stuff (ie food preparation) to do the day before and day of the party, I always do my plate stamping several days before.  After they dry, I stack them neatly in a clean corner and cover with paper towels.

A note about the rubber stamp... the simpler the image, the simpler it will be to complete this job.  I used a pram stroller stamp one time for a baby shower and it was very detailed.  A wicker basket and all the spokes on the wheels made for an extremely hard job.  I think I re-did every plate 2-3 times.  Now, this peace sign stamp was a cinch!  So when you are picking out your stamp remember simpler means easier.

Let me know if you have any questions.


shugashug said...

I just found your blog and absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I have my "caterer" set of white dishes but never decorated them before, so now I'm excited!

I've never used the food gel before, do you think it could work for free-hand drawing on the plates? Still using a simple design, maybe drawn with a toothpick or something?

Thanks in advance!

let's jet! said...

LOVE ! ! ! ♥ ♥ ♥

Anonymous said...

I would like to avoid buying uninked pads on-line & can't seem to find them anywhere locally (Michaels, Joanne's, Hobby Lobby, Walmart-none of them offer it). Do you think a sponge would work? I would like to try stamping iced cookies. What do you think?

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