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Pretty Poppy Birthday Party: Custom Plates & Tableware

A fun table setting for a party almost always starts with a plate. The color, pattern, even the size helps set the tone for the overall setting the table. While the initial thought for many people is to just go with a plain white plate and let the other pieces on the table do all the work, it doesn’t have to be that way! 

Permanent markers and glass paint pens have come such a long way and now come in such a wide rainbow of colors, it makes a little creative thought and crafty skill go a long way. You can easily change your party plates from ok to amazing!

For this grown-up birthday party, we wanted to play off fun summer colors of bright red, yellow and teal. I spotted some melamine pieces in the store that would have been ok, but they didn’t flow with my setting as perfectly as I wanted, and they cost three dollars per plate. That adds up pretty quickly when you’re setting a large table!

Instead, I went to the dollar store. Every one I’ve ever been to sells white plates in some variety. These are always awesome to have on hand, and are a very “green” party option as you can use them again and again instead of throwing them away after one use. They’re not expensive, so no tears if one gets broken while everyone is partying down. 


  • White Plate
  • Sharpie Marker (or glass paint pen)

Personalizing your plates for your party couldn’t be easier to do. Pick a great color for your Sharpie (or paint pen), and a pattern for your plate and get started. For my friend’s birthday party, I chose random dots to play off of the structured chevron in the tablecloth. All I did was draw my dots all over the sides of the plate and then colored them in when I was done.

Find more party planning inspirations for Adult Birthdays

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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