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Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates

Have you ever seen some crazy simple art selling for outrageous amounts of money and said to yourself, “My KID could do that”!

Guess what?! You were right!

I fell in love with some Marimekko designs (ok, who hasn’t?!), and thought the same thing. So I put it to the test. I printed out some simple modern art designs off of the web, gave the kids very general instructions, and let them at it. Behold, my little artists in waiting:

DIY Marimekko Plates So Easy a Kid Could Do It.

DIY Marimekko Plates So Easy a Kid Could Do It.

So yeah, they are gorgeous – but that’s only half of the awesomeness of this project:

  • I made them with $1 Dollar Store plates
  • I had paint markers on hand – so the project cost a whopping $3
  • These would make The. Most. Awesome. Holiday. Gifts. No more lame presents that you display for the sake of your kids artist’s ego! These turned out SO well you will actually want to display them – I am!!

And for the record, here’s some of our original design inspiration:

Marimekko Line Art Inspiration

Marimekko Line Art Inspiration

Marimekko Plates Display

Marimekko Plates Display

Marimekko Flower Fabric

Marimekko Flower Fabric

What You Need to Make Kids Modern Art Plates

Kids Modern Art Plates Closeup and Materials

Kids Modern Art Plates Closeup and Materials


Paint markers or porcelain paint

Pebeo Porcelain Paints WERE the only paints I’ve found that are permanent on glass/ceramic and food safe. But their product description changed and now says they aren’t food safe (yet they say they are non-toxic – so WTH?!) If you just want them for display, use Folk Art Enamel Paints ( affiliate link), though I wonder if you could also just use permanent markers? I’ll have to try it and see! I’ve used both kinds of paints, and I do recommend treating the plates/glass with kid gloves once complete. They say they are ‘permanent’, but do scratch somewhat easily with wear (especially with silverware use!).

Modern Art With a 10 Year Old Flourish

Modern Art With a 10 Year Old Flourish

Finding inspiration is easy – I poked around on Google Images looking for Marimekko stuff, but I also recommend looking for vintage mid-century modern dishes by Arabia, Figgjo or the Fajance line by Royal Copenhagen (my vintage collecting habit is showing!). Ebay is another great place to find these products with artwork that kids can easily reproduce. And for really young children, you could draw the outline yourself and let them color in the shapes. With this kind of art, they don’t really need to stay within the lines. ;)


19 comments for “Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates”

  1. […] Inspired by an expensive Marimekko Plates display, these adorable plates are made by kids! That’s right, simply get some dollar store plates and some paint markers and you are ready to go. Get the full instructions for this kid friendly modern art plate craft at Craft Jr. […]

    Posted by DIY Modern Art Plates · Home and Garden | | November 8, 2010, 2:55 pm
  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Finnish Design, said: DIY Marimekko plates by kids – wow! […]

    Posted by Tweets that mention Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates | Craft Jr. -- | November 8, 2010, 3:58 pm
  3. GREAT IDEA! Featured your post on my blog!!
    I’m a fan of your site! Thanks for the great work!!!!!

    Posted by Becky | November 8, 2010, 8:00 pm
  4. […] Link: Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates […]

    Posted by DIY Modern Art Dishes Inspired by Marimekko | Copycat Crafts | November 9, 2010, 9:37 am
  5. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing. You’ve inspired me to go ahead and jump right in…

    Posted by Syndi | November 9, 2010, 12:52 pm
  6. […] couple of weeks ago, I put up a kids modern art plates craft that quickly became one of my all-time favorites. My goal was to create a gift craft kids can make […]

    Posted by Gift Crafts Kids Can Make | Craft Jr. | December 1, 2010, 11:43 am
  7. […] Modern Art Plates So lovely. (Warning on this site, it’s annoying … has this stupid pop up at the bottom and it’s all around just distracting – but worth the click because this How To is really fun.) […]

    Posted by Things We Love To Do « jodimichelle | January 7, 2011, 5:19 pm
  8. I don’t think that the Pebeo Porcelain paints are food safe. From the Dick Blick website:

    “Porcelaine 150 is not recommended for use on surfaces that come in contact with food.”

    Posted by ECline | January 12, 2011, 12:46 pm
  9. Thanks ECline! An older version of the product description stated they were food safe ( I’ll update the post!

    Posted by Wendy Piersall | January 12, 2011, 1:19 pm
  10. I have been debating whether this would be a good project for my “not so artistic” son…he is way more critical of his art abilities than I am. Now I see that he would benefit from this. Love the inspiration pieces! Thank you…so glad I found this blog.

    Posted by Elisa | February 17, 2011, 4:23 am
  11. […] Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates | Craft Jr. I think this would be so fun for the boys and/or our homeschool group. (tags: crafty) […]

    Posted by links for 2011-04-11 — Becky Blogs | April 11, 2011, 3:02 pm
  12. are these dishwasher safe? And how can we make them food safe?

    Posted by jacquie | July 30, 2011, 1:29 pm
  13. sorry, forgot to add my website

    Posted by jacquie | July 30, 2011, 1:30 pm
  14. Thanks for this brilliant idea! We tried it out this week and love the results :-)

    Posted by Kelly | December 9, 2011, 8:18 pm
  15. a creative idea for homemade art

    Posted by pierce Harrell | April 23, 2012, 12:58 am
  16. […] 4. Modern Marimekko inspired china art Create these chic china decorative pieces in an afternoon. The secret to their success is to provide your child with some visual inspiration for their artwork, print outs of Marimekko designs or other modern art pieces. Inexpensive china plates and some paint pens that are made for china/glass are all you need. Genius. Get all the scoop for this great idea from Craft Jr. […]

    Posted by 7 DIY Gifts Your Kid’s Can Make (that people will be happy to receive!) — Yes Spaces | December 20, 2012, 3:24 pm
  17. I wouldn’t recommend using permanent markers. There is a chemical reaction between permanent markers and plastic which, after a little bit of time causes a dingy yellow shadow around the marked design.

    Posted by Beth | November 19, 2014, 6:56 pm
  18. Can you eat on these?

    Posted by I Have A Question | November 26, 2014, 3:58 pm
  19. For permanent use oil based paint pens and then bake

    Posted by amber neel | December 10, 2014, 2:15 am

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