How to Upgrade Your Basic White Dishes

You don’t have to be royalty (or rich) to serve your meal on china emblazoned with your monogram—or a personalized detail. All of these pieces were embellished with waterslide decal paper. We laser-printed sheets with butterfly, bow-tie, and silhouette clip art, then transferred them onto inexpensive plates with a technique similar to temporary tattoos. (Any at-home printer will work; once set, the images are permanent and food-safe.) While making 200 for a big reception may be a tad ambitious, it’s a fun idea for a shower, or use them only at your reception’s head table. Find the full how-to below.

Photography by: Raymond Hom


  • Clip art or design of your choice
  • Inkjet or laser printer 
  • Water-slide decal paper 
  • Scissors
  • Bowl or cup
  • Ceramic plate

Photography by: Raymond Hom


1. Print clip art images on decal paper following the manufacturer’s instructions. With scissors, carefully cut out designs leaving little to no extra border. 

Photography by: Raymond Hom

2. In a bowl or cup of lukewarm water, soak the cut-out design for 20 to 40 seconds, or until the paper backing starts to slide off. 

Photography by: Raymond Hom

3. Remove paper backing and place decal on clean ceramic surface. Gently smooth out any air bubbles and excess water with finger.

4. Let dry for 3 hours. For waterproof and dishwasher-safe items, bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes and let cool completely before use.


Waterslide decal paper, $24 for 25 sheets,

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