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How to Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet

Arranging the items in your china cabinet properly can help make it the centerpiece of whatever room in which you place it. Standing your plates rather than stacking them can help to frame the other pieces in your collection. Some china cabinets have a ridge at the back of their shelves so that you can lean them against the back, but if they don’t it’s probably a good idea to consider using plate stands or a plate rack.


EditLeaning the Plates against the Back

  1. Clear out the shelf on which you want to display your plates. In order to lean your plates against the back wall of your china cabinet, you’ll need to clear out the shelf you want to use first.[1]
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 1.jpg
    • Leaving other items on the shelf can risk damaging them. The items at the back of the shelf will also set the tone for the rest of your arrangement, so you’ll want to start there first.
  2. Balance your plates between the ridge and the back wall of the cabinet. Place the bottom of your plate behind the ridge, and gently lean the top against the back of the wall. Leave as little or as much space between your plates as you want to match the arrangement you’ve planned.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 2.jpg
  3. Arrange the rest of your china collection on the shelves. Start on the top shelf and work your way down. Cups can go on saucers near the front, and unique items like artistic bowls or vases can go on the bottom.[2]
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 3.jpg
    • You can find sample china cabinet arrangements on sites like Pinterest, YouTube, Better Homes and Gardens, and Southern Living.
    • Cut a coffee filter to fit under your cups without showing so they don’t rattle against the saucers underneath them.

EditUsing Individual Plate Stands

  1. Purchase plate stands online or make them yourself at home. You can purchase plate stands on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Overstock. Make sure to buy enough for the number of plates you have. If you’d rather not spend the money, you can always make some yourself at home.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 4.jpg
    • Making your own plate stands can be as easy as taking apart a wire hanger and bending it into the shape of a manufactured stand.[3]
      • To make your own stand, use wire cutters to cut off the bottom of the hanger. Bend the detached bottom piece in the middle, then bend the ends outwards from the tips.
      • After doing so, bend the ends again, this time upwards from the tips to form the prongs that will hold the bottom of the plate.
  2. Arrange your china so the largest items are at the back. Generally speaking, you’ll want to arrange your china in the back so they frame your other items.[4] From there, you can place progressively smaller items in each row moving toward the front.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 5.jpg
    • Larger items can also serve as the centerpiece of the shelf, depending on what other items you have in your china collection.[5]
  3. Place the plate stands on the shelf in your chosen arrangement. Before you put anything on the shelf, position your plate stands on it in the arrangement you would like to use. This can also help you determine whether or not the arrangement will work before you put any of your china on the shelf.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 6.jpg
  4. Balance your plates on the stands. The stands will generally have two prongs or a ridge along the front with a higher ridge at the back. Gently position the bottom of your plate against the front prongs or ridge of the stand and lean the back of the plate against the rear ridge.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 7.jpg

EditUsing a Plate Rack

  1. Clear out the shelf on which you want to display your plates. Plate racks can take up a lot of room on your shelf. If you plan to use one, you’ll want to clear out your shelf to make room for it. Doing so can also help you avoid damaging other items in your china collection.[6]
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 8.jpg
  2. Measure the space available on the shelf with a tape measure. Plate racks come in all different shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to know how much space you have on your shelves before you choose one.
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 9.jpg
  3. Purchase a plate rack that will fit on the shelf or make one yourself at home. Plate racks can be purchased on online retailers like Amazon or eBay. If you’d like to have something that is more customized to your needs, you can also make one yourself at home.[7]
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 10.jpg
  4. Place the plate rack on the shelf and fill it with your plates. Make sure to position the plate rack on your shelf so that it is sturdy and well-balanced. Then, place your plates on the rack facing from the direction that best features any patterns or designs that they might have.[8]
    Stand up Plates in a China Cabinet Step 11.jpg
    • Order the plates so that the largest are behind the smaller ones to maximize the visibility of the designs.[9]

EditSources and Citations

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from How to of the Day