Sharpie Plates…does it work?

DIY Sharpie Plates

There is a trend going around Pinterest right now showing dozens of different projects involving Sharpies.  One of those projects is using a Sharpie to write on dinner ware, baking it in the oven, and then it is supposed to be permanently baked into the dishes.  As I was looking at some of these projects I noticed that so many people were getting different results.  I saw comments saying everything from “this was amazing, mine turned out so cute!” to “what a disappointment, it washed off after the first use.”  Well….I loved the idea (just think of all the possibilities!) so I decided to find out for myself if this project worked.  Since all you need is a Sharpie and some plates I figured it was a cheap enough project to give it a go.  So here is what I did, and my results.

These dishes were on clearance at Target so I snatched up these four plates with this exact craft in mind.  I washed them and let them dry completely before starting.

DIY Sharpie Plates

Using my Cricut I cut out the words EAT, BITE, YUM, and an apple shape and this time I didn’t use the letters but used the negative as a stencil.

DIY Sharpie Plates

Add some tape and I was ready to stencil on the letters.  I did just the outline of the letters and then went back and colored them in.  If you can color inside the lines then you can do this project.

DIY Sharpie Plates

Here’s how they looked right before they went into the oven:

DIY Sharpie Plates

The oven was preheated to 425 degrees and in they went for 30 minutes.  After a half hour I turned the oven off and let the plates cool down completely before removing them.  Here’s how they looked after baking:

DIY Sharpie Plates

Perfect!  So far, so good.  The next step was to see how they would hold up.  So first I gave them a gentle hand washing with some dish soap… still looked great.  So I was brave and ran them through the dishwasher.  How did they turn out?  Take a look:

DIY Sharpie Plates

They still look great.  They didn’t fade at all, run, or smudge.  So does it work?  Well for me, YES!  It absolutely worked.  I don’t know why others were having a hard time but I followed these easy steps and ended up with adorable plates.

DIY Sharpie Plates

Sometimes crafts don’t work out, sometimes they do, sometimes it seems like they work for everyone but you.  (unintentional rhyme right there.)  This will be one that I’ll do again.  Give it a shot and let me know how it turns out for you!

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58 Responses to Sharpie Plates…does it work?

  1. Willa says:

    Love the black and white look and the simple design. Very cute and elegant at the same time. I just might have to give this a try!

  2. Angela R says:

    Wow! They came out fabulous, almost like you bought them just that way! I know now that you did that im gonna give it a try. Do you think any type of plate would do? Possibly even from the Dollar Store? And what if its a black plate and used maybe silver sharpie whats your thoughts on that one? Thx for the idea! Happy Easter!

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I think Dollar Store plates would work just fine and are actually the perfect supply for a project like this. If it doesn’t work you won’t have spent a fortune, just a dollar! While I haven’t seen anyone use a silver sharpie I have seen them use colored ones and I bet it would be similar. Good luck and be sure to let me know if it turns out!

    • Brandi says:

      I bought black plates from Dollar Tree and used Gold Metallic sharpie and it worked for me (I’m too scared to try the dishwasher though). Just know that Dollar Tree is stoneware, so I used directions I found online for stoneware.

      • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

        I used the dishwasher to test it, but now I pretty much just gently hand wash them too. I am sure that if I put them in the dishwasher again and again it would eventually wear off. I LOVE the idea of using metallic sharpies, I bet it turned out so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is soooo fantastic! I can’t wait to give it a try – I love to repurpose ANYTHING!!

  4. jenna says:

    These turned out so cute. I am defiantly going to have to try this out. I have been wanting to do this to the inside of a mug.

  5. Natalia says:

    What material are your plates made out of? China? Stoneware? I think that’s the biggest factor in whether or not the craft will work but no one ever says exactly what they use!

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      That is actually a really good point! My plates are porcelain (the white line of dishes from target) and that may be the exact reason they don’t work for some people. Thank you for pointing that out!

  6. keri says:

    I have tried it with the same type of white mugs, washed, dried, wrote, baked and cooled just like you…. I wrote with a sharpie all over it “love notes” for my husband and gave it to him for valentines day…. one time through the dishwasher and it was more than half gone…..Glad to hear it worked for you! :(

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      Sad! It is so weird how so many people have different results. I’ve even washed mine a couple of times and they are still going strong. Sorry it didn’t work for you!

  7. crystal says:

    Hi I was wondering did you use a certain type of sharpie or just regular ones?

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      Hi Crystal!

      I used the regular Sharpie, nothing fancy. I did use porcelain plates and I don’t know if that made a difference but I thought I would pass it along. Good luck!

  8. hayley thomas says:

    I guess these are safe to eat off of using Sharpie marker?

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I did a little research and everything I found said that sharpies are not toxic (though I don’t recommend going out and eating sharpies!) so I figured it would be safe to use on plates that I don’t plan on using every day. If you are worried about eating off of them you could always use the same technique on the outside of a mug or bowl. Then the marker won’t come in contact with the food. Hope that helps!

  9. Kristen says:

    It’s been a couple of months ~ are your plates still going strong?

  10. Ki says:

    I tried this out, and it faded VERRRRRY fast. Maybe the type of plate makes a difference? What type of plate did you happen to use?

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I used porcelain plates, and I don’t know if that makes a difference but it might. I know some people have used ceramic and it wiped right off.

  11. Kristen says:

    Tried this with Ikea 365 cups that are made out of porcelain and it did not work. Most of the ink washed off under running warm water and the remaining came off with a sponge and dishsoap. I’m wondering if the trick is in the cooling process?? The only thing I did not do that the poster did was to allow them to cool completely before taking out of the oven.

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      That might be it, I’m not really sure. I even know some bloggers let them cool and dry overnight. It is so weird how it is hit and miss for so many people! Hopefully you can just enjoy your new white cups now!

  12. Megan says:

    Sharpie has a Rub-A-Dub marker out which is water/wash proof for marking clothes – wonder if that would help some peoples results.

    I also noticed that you cooked your plates at a high temp then what I have read on other blogs; along with cooling in the oven! With those two factors and a little luck I think your plates came out great!

  13. Brooks Carroll says:

    I tried it before and on time through the wash most of it was gone! And I still used permanent marker. But I’m going to try to do it with black because I used multiple colors to make my house look more fun.

  14. Amberlee says:

    I’m getting married in September and have been trying to find gifts for my wedding party. I wanted to get them the same thing, but still have it be different. Originally, I thought about charm bracelets. But my maid of honor HATES charm bracelets. So I’m walking through Target yesterday, and I’m looking at the plates, and somebody had put a pack of sharpies next to the plates and BAM! it hit me! So I got 6 plates and the sharpies. I then went home, and wrote letters to my bridal party on the plates. Thanking them for being a part of my day and telling them how much they mean to me. Now, they all have the same gift, but with personalized letters on them! <3

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I love that idea Amberlee! I hope it works out for you and that your bridesmaids enjoy the gift. Congratulations on your wedding and I wish you the best of everything!!!

  15. Taren says:

    Hi! Your designs are so cute!! I have some plates from the dollar store that I’d love to use for this craft, but the label says to not use them in the oven. I’m curious if the plates you used were oven safe or not. Mine are porcelien like yours, but I worry about the “do not use” in the oven sticker…..Did your plates have a similar sticker/warning?

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      Mine didn’t have that warning, so I’m not too sure what to do. You can try it, but I’d hate for your plates to crack. Sorry I’m not much help! :(

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Taren,

      From what I remember about working with porcelain, you should be able to put it in the oven -think of it like an extra glaze firing. I would put your crockery in the oven cold, then switch the oven on and allow the porcelain to cool completely to not heat shock it

  16. Rochelle says:

    Love your plates! However, I did a birthday design with red, blue and green sharpies and after about 20 min in the oven, I peeked at them and the colors had faded horribly! It looks awful. The red is now an ugly orange and the other two are a faded brown:( So maybe colored sharpies won’t work? I previously baked them for only 5 min (per another instructable) and the design washed off way too fast, so I decided to try this. Oh well! Dollar store plates!

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      Oh man, that stinks! This is why I highly recommend Dollar Store plates! You aren’t out much money and hey, you still have some new plates!

  17. April says:

    I decided to do this in anticipation for a Christmas gift. I had the same problem. I used colors and some of them completely faded! Green stayed just fine, orange turned to almost red which is fine, but yellow and blue and basically like a cream color now. Also I used a purple and pink and those colors faded significantly too! Bummer….must be something with the heat and the type of color being used.

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I haven’t tried any colors yet, but that’s good to know that some of them didn’t work very well. Thanks for passing along your findings, sorry it didn’t turn out quite as well for you!

  18. Sal says:

    Was the 425 degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius ?

  19. Morgan says:

    Thank you for this! Looked everywhere to see if this actually worked. I will use Porcelain as well! Just to be safe! :)

  20. Hannah Cook says:

    I’ve tried this and I’ve had fading with colors, but black does fine! My question is on stencils, how do you trace it with out it bleeding under the stencil…. That’s been my problem how can I fix it

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      Hi Hannah,

      One tip would be to draw just inside of the stencil so that it doesn’t bleed under. Then if the lines are just a little blurred you could clean up the edges with your sharpie after. Hope this helps!

  21. jettabees says:

    I tried yellow sharpie, it turned brown. All the other colors worked well with some fading but the colors did not change like yellow.

    • Morgan says:

      I noticed that too. When I had done mine I had used NEON sharpies and after they baked, they looked like pastel colors. Pretty cool. But yes, my yellow turned a light brown also. I was a little shocked.

  22. Cat says:

    What type of sharpie’s did you use? I’ve found there are so many different types, and some are extremely overpriced (oil based paint markers). I’ve also read about Rub-A-Dub sharpies… would these work? They claim to never wash out of fabrics, so would it be the same on Dollarama plates?
    Other than that, everybody on my Christmas list is totally getting a cute personalized mug! :)

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I just used regular Sharpies but there have been some other suggestions from readers to use oil base markers. Or they do make markers specifically for porcelain projects that you can find at most craft stores! Good luck!

  23. Shanna Thompson says:

    Ive read that oil based sharpies work better cause they are made for glass and resemble paint.

  24. Kristen Crawford says:

    Late Response! Lol. Sorry! But, was your oven a gas or electric oven??
    It might not even matter but just in case!

  25. Sandy says:

    When my daughter was in kindergarten and first grade, they did this at school for a gift for parents for Christmas. It was done on a melmac plate. Kids drew Xmas picture on plate and they were sent to be preserved. I’m sure they were baked. I’ve never used them to eat off but hung on the wall during the holidays. This was more than 25 years ago.
    I found a melamine square plate at Target tonight and was going to try it with that. Will have to check and see if it can be put in the over. One place I read they didn’t bake too long.

  26. Jaqui says:

    Hi! I was just curious, did you put the dishes directly onto the racks inside the oven or did you put them on a cookie sheet first? No one has specified that yet… This is a WONDERFUL idea by the way! LOVE IT!

  27. Dea says:

    What about using white Correll dishware? I have most of an old set of all white dishes, and the mugs would be perfect for this project if it would work. These are made by Corning, and are ovenproof.

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I don’t know specifically how those would work, but if you aren’t afraid to try it then I would suggest doing just one piece and seeing how it holds up. If it doesn’t work then you won’t have lost the whole set and if it does work then you can safely do the rest!

  28. jessi says:

    I picked up a couple porcelin pens at my local craft store and will be picking up mugs and plates at the dollar store. Ill let you know how they turned out

  29. Ibadat says:

    Would it be okay to use any sort of marker? :) I love how yours turned out!

    • Brie @Darling Doodles says:

      I’ve only ever seen the project done with Sharpies, so I don’t know how any other marker would work. Sorry, I have no advice on that one! But if you do experiment be sure to let us know how it turns out!

  30. Kellie Anderson says:

    The Sharpies need to be oil based. You can get a fifteen color set at TKB Trading for about $35.00. They sell through Amazon.

  31. burlap+blue says:

    LOVE this! I’m hosting a Sharpie crafts link party on my blog this week, and I’d love it if you wanted to link up! Favorites will be featured in a compilation post next week, & we’re giving away a $50 Target GC and Sharpie prize pack! http://bit.ly/1c0IEvS

  32. shellie says:

    I didn’t have any luck with this. I read probably 10 different sites, even one that had compiled a long list of people who told of their own trials and errors. I gathered that the cheaper the plate the better. The lower quality plate is likely to have a poor quality glaze that allows the Sharpie to bake in. I put mine in a cold oven and baked at 450 for 40 min and turned off the oven and left it over night. This morning I checked it and it had turned the pretty blue Sharpie into a forest green shade and still washed right off. So disappointed. I really wanted this to work. I was so looking forward to all the possibilities.

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