Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY Personalized Platter: A Surprisingly Wonderful Revelation!

UPSHOT: Old Sharpie just as effective as oil based Sharpie for dishwasher safe designs on china!

PROJECT DETAILS: I love the idea of being able to commemorate an event, a person, a moment in time with a useful keepsake. As years go by, memories are fading a bit - even those I thought I'd recall forever like funny stuff my kids said when they were little, or nicknames my Grandma had for things. A personalized plate or platter is a great way to preserve these words and share them with the next generation.

I recently did an experiment involving Sharpie markers. My project? In a free-form artsy scrawl, capture all the funny things my kids have said over the years. I planned to write in a spiral pattern around an old white china platter from a thrift shop. I wanted to begin at the center so I could add sayings as the spiral widened. Checking online, my research indicated that most DIY bloggers recommend using the Sharpie oil based marker on clean china, then curing in a 350 degree oven in order to make the design permanent. I dutifully went to Michael's and found the new oil based Sharpies in a big gorgeous end cap display. From amongst the dizzingly large array of choices, I selected a fine line black and medium nib gold marker. They were expensive, yo. Like starting at $3.99 each, if memory serves. I use the wonderful regular old Sharpies (fine line) all the time, buying them by the dozen for about $8.50.

I decided to do a test on the back of a square china plate I got at Target for $3. Once I got the paint flowing to the tip (it was one of those 'press on the tip tons of times until you see ink' pens which bothers me because I think that process dulls the tip and I like a fine line) writing was effortless and fun. I found the paint a little prone to smearing - more than a regular Sharpie so I tried a few sentences with my regular old smear free Sharpie as well. After baking in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, I turned off the oven, and let the dish cool before removing. Nothing smeared during hand washing. So far so good! Then into the dishwasher it went. And....ta-da! I was so delighted with the results, photos were quickly taken and 'show and tell' began to several disinterested parties residing at our address. Both Sharpie markers came out perfectly! So, here's the deal. If you want pens of varying colors and nib sizes, you'll find them in the Sharpie Oil Based Markers Fancy End Cap at Michael's. If you get more of a thrill using what you already have, go with good ole regular Sharpie!

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