How to Decorate a Charger Plate

Decorating charger plates is a surefire way to elevate your table setting and impress your guests with a touch of elegance and sophistication. Charger plates, also known as service plates or underplates, serve as decorative bases for dinnerware and are typically placed underneath the main dinner plate. While charger plates come in various materials, shapes, and sizes, decorating them allows for endless creativity and personalization to match any occasion or theme.

How to Decorate a Charger Plate

Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party, a wedding reception, or a casual gathering, learning how to decorate a charger plate adds an extra layer of style and flair to your table decor. From simple and understated designs to elaborate and ornate embellishments, the art of decorating charger plates offers a unique opportunity to showcase your creativity and attention to detail.

In this article, we’ll explore various techniques and ideas for decorating charger plates to suit any event or aesthetic, ensuring that your table setting leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

The Symbolism and Significance of Charger Plates

Charger plates carry more than just a decorative value; they are steeped in tradition and symbolism, adding depth and meaning to any table setting. Historically, charger plates have been used during formal dinners and special occasions, symbolizing the hospitality and effort of the host.

They serve as a marker of the start of a meal, signaling to guests that their presence is valued and that a culinary experience is about to commence. Beyond their functional use in dining etiquette, charger plates also reflect the mood and theme of the occasion, whether it’s the joy and union of a wedding reception or the solemnity and reverence of a formal banquet.

Their presence underlines the importance of the event, elevating it from a mere gathering to a memorable experience. In many cultures, the way a table is set and the care taken in the presentation of food are seen as direct reflections of respect and appreciation for guests. Thus, the thoughtful selection and decoration of charger plates can communicate a host’s dedication to creating an inviting and cherished atmosphere.

Wire Crafting as a Versatile and Accessible Medium for Decorating Charger Plates

Wire crafting offers a remarkably versatile and accessible medium for decorating charger plates, presenting endless possibilities for customization and creativity. This technique involves shaping wire into intricate designs, patterns, or even words, allowing for a truly personalized touch to table settings. The beauty of wire crafting lies in its simplicity and the minimal tools required, making it an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts and professional decorators alike.

Wire Crafting Lies in Its Simplicity

Whether fashioned from gold, silver, or colored wire, these decorations can range from minimalist geometric patterns to elaborate floral or seasonal motifs. The adaptability of wire crafting enables it to complement any theme or decor style, from rustic country weddings to sleek, modern dinners.

Furthermore, wire decorations can be easily adjusted or removed, offering flexibility and the option for reuse in future events. Incorporating wire art into charger plate decor not only adds a unique dimension to the table but also allows for creative expression and a personal touch that is sure to impress guests and enhance the overall dining experience.

Understanding Wire Crosses

Wire crosses represent a compelling addition to charger plate decoration, marrying spiritual symbolism with artistic expression. These elements are particularly fitting for events like weddings, baptisms, or any gathering where spiritual or religious undertones are appreciated.

Crafting wire crosses involves bending and twisting wire into the shape of a cross, a process that allows for various interpretations and styles—from simple and elegant to intricate and detailed. This practice not only offers a way to infuse a sense of spirituality and faith into the event’s decor but also serves as a reminder of the event’s significance and the deeper values it represents.

Incorporating wire crosses into charger plate decorations can be done with mindfulness to complement the event’s theme and color scheme. For example, a delicately crafted silver wire cross can add a touch of grace to a formal dinner setting, while a robust, rustic wire cross might suit a more casual, outdoor event.

The key lies in selecting materials and designs that resonate with the occasion’s aesthetic and the message the hosts wish to convey. Beyond their beauty, wire crosses on charger plates can spark conversation, evoke emotion, and create a lasting memory for all attendees, making them a powerful tool in the arsenal of event decoration.

Wire Crosses as Decorative and Symbolic Representations

Wire crosses, when used as a part of charger plate decorations, operate on two levels—they are both decorative elements and symbolic representations. Decoratively, these wire crosses can transform an ordinary charger plate into a statement piece, catching the eye with their intricate design and craftsmanship.

They add not only depth and interest to the table setting but also a tactile element that invites guests to appreciate the care put into the event’s preparation. Symbolically, wire crosses can hold profound meaning. For religious celebrations, they represent faith and spirituality, acting as a silent yet potent reminder of the event’s solemnity or sacred nature.

Wire Crosses Can Hold Profound Meaning

In non-religious contexts, they can symbolize intersections—of lives, stories, or journeys—adding layers of meaning to gatherings such as reunions, farewells, or commemorations. This duality of purpose—enhancing visual appeal while imbuing an event with deeper significance—makes wire crosses an exceptional choice for those seeking to express both creativity and intent in their table decoration.

Identification of Different Types of Wire Crosses

Identifying different types of wire crosses involves understanding the variation in design, which can range from simplistic to ornate, reflecting various cultural and artistic traditions.

  • The Latin Cross: The most recognized style, featuring a longer vertical arm intersected by a shorter horizontal arm. Its simplicity makes it versatile for any event, symbolizing faith and spirituality.
  • The Greek Cross: Characterized by arms of equal length, this design lends itself to a balanced aesthetic, suitable for events emphasizing harmony and unity.
  • The Celtic Cross: Distinguished by its unique circle around the intersection, the Celtic cross is a nod to ancient traditions and can add a historical or mystical element to the table setting.
  • The St. Andrew’s Cross: This X-shaped cross, also known as a saltire, introduces a dynamic angle to decor, ideal for a more modern or unconventional setting.
  • The Maltese Cross: With its eight points and embellished design, the Maltese cross is often associated with honor and valor, perfect for commemorations or celebrations of achievement.

Each of these wire crosses carries its own symbolism and aesthetic value, offering diverse options to tailor charger plate decorations precisely to an event’s theme or the host’s intended message.

Tailor Charger Plate Decorations Precisely

Benefits of Using Wire for Crafting Crosses

Using wire to craft crosses for charger plate decor offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive choice for event planners and DIY enthusiasts. One of the primary advantages is the material’s flexibility, allowing for a wide range of creative expression. Wire can be easily bent, twisted, and shaped into diverse cross styles, from simple and elegant to complex and ornate. This versatility ensures that each wire cross can be uniquely tailored to fit the theme and atmosphere of any event, providing a personal touch to the decor.

Another significant benefit is the durability of wire crosses. Unlike other materials that may deteriorate over time, wire, especially when coated or made from rust-resistant metals, can withstand the test of time. This quality makes wire crosses not only beautiful additions to the decor but also lasting keepsakes for guests or hosts.

Wire’s lightweight nature is an additional advantage, offering ease of handling and placement without the risk of damaging the charger plates or table setting. This aspect is particularly beneficial in fast-paced event settings where time and careful handling are of the essence.

Finally, the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of wire as a crafting material make it an excellent option for decorations on a budget. With a minimal investment in tools and materials, individuals can create impactful, high-quality decor. This affordability, combined with the aesthetic and emotional value wire crosses add to events, underscores the practical and symbolic benefits of choosing wire for crafting crosses.

Selecting Wire and Tools

When it comes to crafting wire crosses for charger plate decorations, selecting the right type of wire and tools is crucial for achieving the desired outcome. The choice of wire can significantly impact the appearance, feel, and durability of the crosses.

For most projects, crafters recommend using gauge wire ranging from 18 to 22 for its flexibility and strength, ideal for creating both simple and intricate designs. The material of the wire also plays a role; copper, aluminum, and coated wires offer different textures and colors, allowing for customization to match any event theme or color scheme.

Coated Wires Offer Different Textures and Colors

In addition to wire, having the right tools on hand can streamline the crafting process and enhance the quality of the finished product. Essential tools include:

  • Wire cutters for cleanly cutting wires to the desired length.
  • Pliers (round-nose and flat-nose) for bending and shaping the wire, ensuring tight, precise twists and turns.
  • A ruler or measuring tape for measuring wire lengths accurately to maintain consistency across multiple crosses.
  • Protective gloves to prevent injuries from sharp wire ends or prolonged manipulation of the wire.

By carefully selecting appropriate wire and gathering necessary tools, crafters can efficiently create beautiful, meaningful wire crosses, adding a significant and personal touch to charger plate decorations. This preparation not only aids in the crafting process but also ensures that each cross reflects the intended aesthetic and thematic elements of the event, making the decorations truly stand out.

Types of Wire Suitable for Crafting Crosses

When crafting wire crosses for charger plate decorations or any artistic project, the choice of wire significantly influences both the creative process and the final product. Understanding the properties of various types of wire can help crafters select the best option for their specific needs. Here are some common types of wire suitable for crafting crosses:

  • Copper Wire: Known for its malleability and beautiful, warm hue, copper wire is a popular choice for wire art. It can tarnish over time, adding a vintage or antique look to the crosses, but can also be coated for protection.
  • Aluminum Wire: Lightweight and easy to manipulate, aluminum wire is excellent for beginners. It resists corrosion and maintains its shine, making it a durable option for long-lasting decorations.
  • Stainless Steel Wire: Offering exceptional strength and resistance to rust, stainless steel wire is ideal for more intricate or larger crosses that require additional support.
  • Coated Craft Wire: Available in a variety of colors, coated craft wire is a versatile choice that allows for a broad range of creative expression. The coating also protects the wire from tarnishing and provides a smooth finish that is gentle on the hands during crafting.
  • Silver-Plated Wire: For a touch of elegance and sophistication, silver-plated wire is an excellent choice. It is perfect for formal events or occasions where a sparkling accent is desired.
  • Gold-Plated Wire: Similar to silver-plated wire in its appeal, gold-plated wire adds a luxurious and rich look to wire crosses. It is ideal for special occasions that call for a high-end finish.
Gold-plated Wire Adds a Luxurious and Rich Look

Selecting the right type of wire depends on the desired aesthetic, the project’s budget, and the level of craftsmanship involved. Each type of wire brings its unique qualities to a project, allowing for a wide range of artistic possibilities.

10 Methods How to Decorate a Charger Plate

1. Choose the Right Charger Plate:

Selecting the perfect charger plate is the first step in creating a stunning table setting. Consider the theme, color scheme, and style of your event or dining table when choosing charger plates. Opt for charger plates that complement the dinnerware and decor, whether you prefer classic elegance, modern simplicity, or rustic charm.

2. Select Decorative Elements:

Gather decorative elements to embellish the charger plates and enhance their visual appeal. Consider options such as ribbon, fabric, greenery, flowers, beads, crystals, or ornaments. Choose materials and colors that coordinate with the charger plates and complement the overall table decor for a cohesive and polished look.

3. Prepare the Charger Plate:

Before decorating the charger plate, ensure it is clean and free of any dust or debris. Wipe the surface of the charger plate with a damp cloth or gentle cleaner to remove any dirt or fingerprints. Allow the charger plate to dry completely before proceeding with the decoration process to ensure the adhesive adheres properly.

4. Create a Centerpiece:

Design a stunning centerpiece to adorn the center of the charger plate and serve as the focal point of the table setting. Arrange fresh flowers, greenery, candles, or decorative objects on the charger plate to create a visually striking centerpiece. Experiment with different heights, textures, and colors to achieve the desired look and ambiance for your event or dining table.

5. Add a Decorative Border:

Enhance the edges of the charger plate with a decorative border to add visual interest and elegance. Use ribbon, fabric trim, lace, or beading to create a border around the rim of the charger plate. Adhere the decorative trim to the edge of the charger plate using craft glue or double-sided tape, ensuring it is evenly spaced and securely attached for a polished finish.

Enhance the Edges of the Charger Plate

6. Embellish with Floral Arrangements:

Incorporate fresh or faux floral arrangements to embellish the charger plates and add a touch of natural beauty to the table setting. Arrange flowers, greenery, or foliage on top of the charger plate, either in the center or along the rim. Secure the floral arrangement in place with floral adhesive or wire to prevent it from shifting or falling during use.

7. Personalize with Monograms or Initials:

Add a personal touch to the charger plates by incorporating monograms, initials, or custom designs. Use vinyl decals, stickers, or stencils to apply the monogram or initials to the center of the charger plate. Alternatively, engrave or etch the design onto the surface of the charger plate for a permanent and elegant customization that adds a personal touch to the table setting.

8. Create a Seasonal Theme:

Tailor the decoration of the charger plates to suit the season or occasion, adding a festive touch to the table setting. For example, decorate charger plates with fall leaves, pumpkins, and acorns for a Thanksgiving dinner or with evergreen branches, pinecones, and berries for a winter holiday celebration. Incorporate seasonal colors, textures, and motifs to evoke the spirit of the occasion and create a memorable dining experience.

9. Illuminate with Candlelight:

Enhance the ambiance of the table setting by incorporating candlelight into the decoration of the charger plates. Place votive candles, tea lights, or LED candles on top of the charger plates to create a warm and inviting glow. Surround the candles with decorative elements such as floral arrangements, greenery, or beads to add visual interest and elevate the table decor.

10. Layer Charger Plates:

Create depth and dimension in the table setting by layering charger plates with different sizes, shapes, or textures. Stack smaller charger plates on top of larger ones to create a layered look that adds visual interest and elegance to the table setting. Mix and match charger plates in coordinating colors and styles to create a dynamic and sophisticated tablescape that impresses guests and enhances the dining experience.

Layering Charger Plates With Different Sizes


In conclusion, decorating charger plates is a delightful way to add a dash of charm and sophistication to your table decor. Whether you prefer a classic and timeless look or a more modern and eclectic style, there are endless possibilities for creativity and personalization. By incorporating different materials, colors, textures, and embellishments, you can effortlessly transform ordinary charger plates into stunning focal points that elevate the overall ambiance of your dining experience.

Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party, a festive holiday gathering, or an intimate dinner for two, the art of decorating charger plates allows you to set the stage for a memorable and visually captivating dining experience. Thanks for reading our blog post on how to decorate a charger plate! We hope you found it helpful and informative.

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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