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The Art of Glass Dishes

Updated on April 6, 2021
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

We use glass dishes and do not buy paper plates. It's fun to thrift shop for dishes and glass items to turn into art for display.

A wall design of Polish Pottery Plates
A wall design of Polish Pottery Plates | Source

Dishes for all Seasons

Using dishes is an easy and inexpensive way to add décor to your kitchen table especially to honor the change of seasons or a particular holiday. Buying new dishes can be inexpensive by using some practical ideas. If you purchase the number of dishes to fit your family size, this lets you swap out often to change your table look. Discount stores change their selection frequently. These sets often come in 4 or 8-piece settings so by only purchasing the sets that fit the number of people in your family, you can have many different sets.

You can also shop thrift stores for some great bargains and yard sales are known for having large sets of dishes, sometimes in odd numbers. I recently found a beautiful white paisley pattern for $2 each at a discount store; scooped up 4 dishes and we have used them many times already. Put a charger under a white plate and you change the whole look!

Then there is using dishes to create glass art for your yard. Again, yard sales, thrift stores are the best places to find good plates for cheap prices. You are not only getting a bargain for yourself, you are reusing and recycling!

Glass Dish Art

Thrifty Buys

Everything in the above photos is from a thrift store or yard sale. The hangers and all the glass (the sea glass I picked up on the beach!). You can turn these items into art for your yard or for sale with some creativity and silicone glue - it's that simple.

When I am putting these together I have to try several combinations that I let sit so I can contemplate the design. I always know when it's right and ready to glue.

I have three of these hanging in my yard and they have weathers storms, winds, and our dog who loves to chase squirrels as they walk on the fence top.

Glass Totems and Glass Flowers

A new form of glass art is emerging at craft fairs and in artsy-type towns. Garden totems and flowers. Collectors piece together dishes, glasses, bowls, vases, vintage glass, antique glass, and uniquely shaped glass to form totems, bird feeders, or decorative forms of glass art. Also becoming popular are glass flowers. These are especially great if you do not have a green thumb!

To make any of these you must collect many pieces and types of glass in order to put together color combinations that please the artist. I currently have over 200 pieces of glass to choose from and shop at thrift stores and garage sales to keep my supply fresh. I enjoy giving these pieces away as gifts and have sold some of them also.

Flower ready to "plant"
Flower ready to "plant"
Flower ready for action
Flower ready for action
Glass Totem
Glass Totem
Blue against green is perfect!
Blue against green is perfect!
Patriotic Totem
Patriotic Totem
Purple is my favorite color!
Purple is my favorite color!
Cart and flower amid purple plants
Cart and flower amid purple plants

Are You A Dish Fanatic Like Me?

Do You Have More Than One Set of Dishes?

See results
Same Wall Plate holder, different set of plates
Same Wall Plate holder, different set of plates

Decorating With Dishes

In addition to creating art with glass dishes, I love to display them in the house, too. The winter themed dishes in the photos above are decorative. I have a collection of dishes that we use to eat off of and more for display. The plate holder pictured above is one way I can display my collection. Some ideas on groupings are: Christmas/Winter; Presidents/Patriotic; Whimsical/Vintage; Fall/Thanksgiving; or state plates.

Many of the plates I have collected have been purchased at garage sales. If this is something you enjoy, it's a great place to grab some bargains. Recently I nabbed a vintage plate showing the old Flagship Hotel in Galveston that was destroyed in Hurricane Ike. We stayed at that hotel the very first time we went to Galveston. The plates in this picture were procured for $2 total at a resale shop having a Christmas clearance sale. I love bargains like these!

On the flip side of this, you may want to get rid of dishes you are no longer using. Find a resale store, donate them to charity, or use a freecycle service to make space for more!

Replacement Dish Services

Replacements, Ltd.

The main dishes I have used for the past 40 years are a set of Noritake stone ware dishes that so far, I have not tired of. We have, occasionally broken some but I found this great replacement dish service and of course, they had my dishes. They are located in North Carolina and Replacements, Ltd. has earned a reputation for having what you need. Good Luck!

Memories From Dishes

Dishes can elicit memories from the past. For instance, I inherited a set of snack plates from my Aunt. She used these snack plates on Sunday afternoons when we would visit. I couldn't wait until it was time to set the table and get them out. When I use them now, I am transported back to those family visits. It was an honor to be the one who lifted them from the cabinets and placed them on the table. This was one way I learned how to properly set a table.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Joanie Ruppel

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