I started collecting china (of the pretty cups and plate variety) about eight years ago. It all started when Dad come to stay and very generously cooked us a roast chicken. Much to his “horror” I had no gravy-boat for the homemade gravy and we had to make do with a plastic measuring jug. Do I need a gravy boat? Why not I thought … what harm could a pretty gravy boat do? Inspired by my Aunt’s collection of Sarah’s Garden dinnerware, I found a lovely gravy boat on eBay … and so began my collection!
I now have a couple of full china-cabinets in the kitchen, because what’s the point of having pretty things if you can’t admire them? So today I would like to share how to install a plate rail on a shelf. A plate rail provides a lip for you to lean things against and are great for displaying plates or other items upright. This creates lovely visual interest and depth to your vignette, plus you can see the pattern! Some cabinets have a groove running down the back of the shelf for this very purpose.
- Wood glue
- Square wood beading – 5 mm square (1/5 inch)
1) Measure the length of the shelf and cut your wood beading to fit. I made my beading about an inch shorter than the length of the shelf. Paint the beading to match the shelf and leave to dry.
2.) If possible remove the shelf. Parallel to the back edge, measure 50 mm (2 inches) and rule a line. Make sure your line is square. Of course, you can vary the depth of your plate racks to allow for larger plates.
3) Secure the beading to the shelf with wood glue, using the line as a guide. Clamp in place and wipe away the excess glue with a damp cloth or paper towel. Leave overnight to dry.
I couldn’t remove the bottom shelf. So instead of clamps I used full tin cans to weigh down the beading as it dried.
The glue has done a terrific job holding the beading in place. However, you may also wish to use some pin-nails to secure the beading … just in case the glue doesn’t hold and all your pretty plates end up smashed in the floor.
Lastly the fun part … arranging your collection. I’m really pleased I took the time to add a plate rail, I love the look and versatility it gives me. I love having all my pretty things on display. It brightens up my kitchen, plus it reminds me to use them for special occasions.
… and sometimes just because a girl needs to drink her tea from a pretty cup!
Do you have any tips for arranging your collection?
For more inspiration please visit my Pinterest board “High Tea”
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