a simple plate display rack

When I bought my tiny apartment I had this space above my kitchen cupboards which was pretty much useless. It has a lip so anything you put up there is partway hidden, and its up high so you can’t fit large items.

The place is also small and the kitchen area has upper cupboards which means there was nowhere to hang a plate display rack for my pretty dishes. Dishes I brought back from Australia. I gave away, threw away and sold so much of my collectible stuff… I had to keep SOME of it. The dishes were one thing I kept.

The only option was to make my own dish rack to the measurements I needed. I had my tools, a porch, some scrap pine I’d picked up from someone who was throwing it out, the weather was fine so why not?

First step was to design the sides. I drew them on newspaper and cut them out using a jigsaw.

Next step was to stain them. I used the old steel wool in vinegar trick I picked up from Pinterest. No money spent on this part. As you can see though, each piece turned a different shade of brown. No worries. I was going to paint it anyway, I just wanted darker timber to show through the distressed corners.

After cutting the sides and bottom piece, I used a piece of compressed cardboard like stuff I found in a dumpster behind the timber store for the back. Its similar to MDF but kind of ‘furrier’ and not as nice. But its the back. Who cares?

I did have to buy a thin rod for the front to hold the plates in place. I drilled partway into the sides, added glue, then joined the whole thing together. Last minute I also added a couple of ‘feet’ to raise it above the top cupboard’s ‘lip’.

Once it was all dry and finished, I gave it a coat of primer and two topcoats of a simple acrylic paint I had on hand. Lastly I have the edges a little sand to smooth them off and add a touch of distressing, not too much. After all, the plates are the hero here, not the rack.

What I realised afterwards was that the rod was too far forward for the plates… what I should have done was put a slim piece of timber along the bottom to hold them in place. I like the rod so that’s staying, but when I get a chance I’ll add the timber stop at the bottom. Sort of a double protection from plates slipping.

I’ve made a temporary shelf which the antique bowls sit on. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with them, but for now this works. I may just make a proper shelf for them at a later date.

My finished display rack

I have three larger platters I also want to display on the other wall, leaving more space in my bookcase, so I’ll be making another, longer one. I still have my template… And I have scrap timber… I might make the next one slightly different or I might make it the same… who knows?

z

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