Decorating Dessert Plates with Sharpies

If you’ve been around Pinterest for any length of time, chances are you’ve seen photos of mugs, bowls, and plates decorated with Sharpies. This looked like a fun project to try so I did a bit of research before decorating dessert plates with Sharpies. I found some really helpful information that’s critical to the success of this project. (See food safety info at the end of the post.)

See how to decorate dessert plates with oil-based SharpiesThis was a fairly easy project to do and if you’re not confident with paint and a paint brush, I think you’ll feel fairly comfortable tackling this art project with Sharpies and a stencil.


Supplies for Decorated Dessert Plates include a stencil and oil-based Sharpies.I used stoneware dessert plates from Walmart at just 99 cents each.

And … it’s imperative you use oil-based Sharpies for this project.

Regular Sharpies, although permanent, tend to chip off with extended use.


How to stencil dessert plates with oil-based SharpiesI found a few smaller stencil patterns and taped the stencil to the plate.

Then it’s just a matter of coloring in the pattern with the Sharpies.

Be sure to hold the stencil in place while working.


How to fix a stencil mistakeAnd don’t press down too hard while working, like I did at first!

The paint will seep under the stencil template and smear.

Luckily, you can scrape off the excess paint after it dries (and it dries really quickly) with a small paring knife. In tight spots, I used the tip of a toothpick. If you remove too much paint, simply redraw that spot with your oil-based Sharpie.


Decorating Dessert Plates with Stencils. See food safety info at the end of the instructions.I ended up using 2 different stencil patterns.

This was really a fun project despite my error with the first plate.

Once your plates are decorated, place them in the oven and then turn it on to 350 degrees.

Keep the plates in the oven for 30 minutes, then take them out and cool completely.


Decorating Dessert Plates with Oil-Based Sharpies. See food safety info at the end of the instructions.Baking the plates seals the oil-based paint so it won’t chip off.

You can wash the plates by hand with soap and water. I didn’t test them in a dishwasher.


Decorating dessert plates with Sharpies. See food safety info at end of post.Although the oil-based Sharpies are non-toxic, they are not deemed food safe.

I would not serve hot food on the plates, and to ensure total safety, put a doily or napkin on the plate before serving cookies, creme puffs, or other light desserts.


Stenciled Dessert Plates. See food safety info at the end of the post.You’ll notice the mini creme puffs are not sitting on top of the pattern.

And although the fork is on the dried and sealed paint, I didn’t use it.


Decorating dinnerware with oil-based Sharpies. See food safety info at the end of the post.I think these plates would be really cute used as a display on a shelf or wall.

There’s no end to the patterns you can create when decorating dessert plates with Sharpies!


Here’s information from Sharpie’s website regarding the food safety issue:

While Sharpie markers are AP-certified non-toxic, we do not recommend using them on areas of items that may come in contact with food or the mouth (such as the rim of a coffee cup). Sharpie markers are only recommended for use on ceramic or glassware when the product is being used for decorative or display purposes and not intended to come in contact with food or the mouth. If you intend to design a mug or a cup using Sharpie markers and then use the mug or cup, any such designs must be at least one inch below the rim where a person’s lips could touch.


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  1. Hi Jennifer
    Those are adorable! I love your color choices. very cute! I Don’t think I would use them for food, but I would display them! The possibilities are endless, seasonal display plates!