Monday, May 24, 2010

Collecting And Making Decorative Felt Plate Couples

Clueless About What To Call These Adorable Couple Plates: Help The Kitschy Collector Out

I love these "Mom" and "Pop" plates which were popular crafting projects generations ago. Although I have not definitively dated these plates, I'm going to say that these fun decorative felt plates were made by gals in the 1950s, 1960s and even 1970s. but did they appear earlier than the Atomic Era?

"Gay Nineties" Styles

Many of these plates have images associated with "Gay Nineties" styles. The classic "old money" couple known as a "Gay Nineties" look was said to be coined in the 1920s and referred to the 1890's. There are several explanations of the use of the description "Gay Nineties".

How To Make Your Own Decorative Felt Plate

I actually know something about this topic, because I made similar plates years ago.
The plates shown are all vintage and are from several different sellers. See credits below.
Isn't "Floyd" just darling? Let me know if you have any plates, I'd love to hear more.

Making A Variety of Vintage Style Plates

In fact I branched out from "couples" to "Baby Plates" (to announce the birth of a new baby) and professionals such as "Teacher Plate", "Lawyer Plate", "Doctor Plate", "Nurse Plate" etc.

Business was actually quite good back in the days when I peddled my version of these type of plates at flea markets in Miami, my home before moving to New England. (Leaving was a very dumb idea).

Oh, How I Love Sharpie Pens

I would make many different style plates and customize them with the recipient's name written with a Sharpie marker on the bottom of the plate. Or sometimes I just made "generic plates" that said "Best Teacher Award" instead of "Jane Smith".

How To Make Patterns For Your People Plates

This was not a hi tech operation. I used old cardboard and cut our shapes for my patterns. For example I had patterns for "heads", "shoulders". "neckties" etc. I simply made my patterns very simple and traced the felt with the cardboard patterns. I of course worked on the reverse side so that I would not show the tracing marks after cutting.

Materials You Will Need to Make Felt decorative People Plates
1. Felt squares
2. Glue
3. Sewing notions (rick rack, lace, sequins etc.
4. Plain white ceramic plates (look for ones with a decorative edge).
You can leave the decorative edge plain or paint a color
5. Sharpie markers
6. Scraps of material
7. Ribbons
8. Charms and trinkets to go with the plate..i..e. diaper pin for baby plate or themometer for nurse plate etc.

Finding The Plates

If you just want to make a few plates, try the thrift stores, such as Good Will, Salvation Army etc. If you want to make a career out of will need to find a vendor who sells these plain plates or ones with a scalloped edge plates. if you look at the photos, you will see that the scalloped edge plates have paint around the edge. the plain plate (bottom) has rick rack. Check on line for companies. And notice the "oval" shaped plates on the bottom, a little different look.

Making Mistakes When Personalizing

If you add someone's name to the plate and you make a mistake,rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip work
well to remove the name. Dry the area well before re-writing the name. Or if you buy vintage plates and want to change the name on the plate, perhaps personalizing a new name, you can also
wipe off the old name with some rubbing alcohol.

Covering The Plate
With Plastic Wrap

I always stretched plastic wrap over the plate to form a protective nice "cover".
Collecting Couple Plates

You can find plenty of these couple plates around and the good news is that they are not scooped up too quickly which means the prices are very reasonable. You can find a pair of plates for $10.00-15.00.
Photo Courtesy of :

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. In the 60's we made these in Vacation Bible School. I now have my husbands grandparent's plates..nobody wanted them..Imagine!!

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham


  3. So - is it crazy that I read your post title and knew EXACTLY what you were talking about??

  4. These are so cute and vintage-looking!

  5. Dianne, These are so cute. Great job! Stan

  6. These plates never really appealed to me until included such cute examples....I think I'll even try making a few of these myself thanks to your post!

  7. How cute these are! Thanks for the tutorial!

  8. I found a pair of these plates in my grandma's things, and I've listed them on Etsy. I'm glad to have found your blog, as I didn't know anything about them. Thanks! You can see the plates here: