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Make Food Face Plates

10 July 2010 31,960 views 21 Comments

by heather

Want to get your kiddos to eat more food at meal time? Serve their veggies on a funny food face plate! I recently made the dollar store version of the Food Face plates (as seen on At Second Street, inspired by the Fred and Friends Food FacePlate). The idea behind the plates is to decorate the faces with veggies and healthy food, as a way to encourage kiddos to eat. Kalleen's tutorial on the At Second Street blog shows how to make personalized food face plates by transferring and tracing photos of loved ones onto the plates. [click here for the food face plate tutorial]

(I forgot to take photos of my plates with food on them!)

For my plates, I just drew funny faces freehand (I sketched them on paper first so I had a plan). You can get plates at the dollar store (which is what I did), but you will need to have a Pebeo Porcelaine marker, which is made to write on dishes. You then bake the dishes to make the marker permanent. The markers cost a few bucks, but they are a really fabulous tool for dollar store crafting. If set your kiddos loose decorating dollar store dishes with a few of these markers, you'd have all your grandparent gifts for the holidays done in a day! I have used my marker for several projects, and it's a lot of fun to make custom dishes (especially when you're only spending a buck per plate, instead of $40 at a personalized pottery place).

The only tip I have for you is to make sure you draw thick enough lines, and you might want to avoid cutlery on these plates. You can wash them in the dishwasher, but I noticed a bit of wear on my drawings when we used forks and knives with the plates. I'm not sure if this is typical, or if it's just because my lines weren't very dark. You can also get the Porcelaine paint, which might go on thicker than the paint markers.

Project Estimate:

Total: $5.50 for project, $1 for each additional plate

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  • Lauren said:

    I love this idea! Makes me laugh, which makes me happy. I remember as a kid bringing home a plate I made in girl scouts. I think my parents still have it. Anyway, this post brought back fond memories, so thanks.

  • LOV said:

    Wow, I didn’t know about those porcelaine markers, thank you! The possibilities are endless! Definitely going on my xmas list.

  • Mich L. said:

    Your plates are so cute and funny! My nephews would love monkey plates – what a great idea. Thanks for spotlighting it and then making super charming ones for a buck (plus a little ink from that marker). I say it’s a one dollar project – nobody counts ink, do they? It also cracked me up that you included “oven – on hand.” So what you’re saying is, this is either a $1 project, or a $401 project, if I don’t happen to have an oven on hand and need to run out and buy one. hee!

  • Melissa said:

    I love it! I am going to have to give this a go…

  • jeannie said:

    I was looking for this tutorial a few weeks ago! I want to make them for my nieces and nephews – the perfect Christmas/birthday gift. Plus, how great/easy/cheap is this for birthday parties of my kids friends? Thanks so much!

  • JessA said:

    I love those pens, but they do specifically say not to be used in contact with food. I’ve used them to decorate mugs and the outside of bowls.

    I love this idea, though, so now I am wondering about finding clear plates at Goodwill and painting the bottoms of the plates.

  • heather (author) said:

    @JessA: I checked the guidelines, and they’re not recommended for surfaces that come in contact with food, but they are food safe.

  • JessA said:

    Well that is good to know! Thanks, Heather!

  • Early Childcare Resources said:

    Just love it!
    Imagine a dad saying to a kid … “Go on, I’m allowing you… Eat my eyes!”

  • TrixieB said:

    Are you sure you are supposed to eat off plates colored with these markers? I recall buying one and then reading it said “not for food consumption” or something to that effect.

  • heather (author) said:


    I checked the guidelines, and they’re not recommended for surfaces that come in contact with food (probably because the finish can be affected by food and/or use of utensils), but they are food safe.

    “Food safe, and dishwasher resistant.” See this page: http://www.delphiglass.com/oven-fire-paints/kits-and-assortments/porcelaine-150-marker-set-9-markers

    The Pebeo page for the Porcelaine 150 marker is here: http://www.pebeo.com/asp/prod/fiche.asp?lang=us&id=42

    It says “conforms to toy safety standard 71.3.” Which is the European Standard EN 71.3. which verifies that products are lead-free and complies with a toy product safety standard.

    I hope that helps!

  • Jessica said:

    I just did a variation of this for my daughter’s preschool snack. I got small clear plates from the wedding section of the dollar store and using a permanent marker, drew faces on the BACKS of the plates (that way I didn’t have to worry about the marker not being food safe). The day’s lesson is on being healthy, so I gave the kids several piles of fruit (strawberries, peaches, apples, bananas, oranges, etc.) as well as vanilla yogurt and let them go to town making their healthy fruit faces. They had a blast and certainly got in their daily requirements of fruit in the process. I hand washed the plates to reuse them the next time my daughter requests them.

  • Angela said:

    What do you bake them on and for how long?

  • heather (author) said:

    @Angela, follow the instructions on the marker.

  • Kelley said:

    Been googling on-line here. My sister bought my kids those plate sets that come with markers. It just says to polish it with tissue paper, write with the markers and polish with tissue paper again. I’m assuming that the reason it is to handwash is because they have not been baked. Can I bake them, so that the markers don’t come off? Would that work? If so, what would I bake them on?

  • heather (author) said:

    @Kelley, Sorry, I don’t know what you should do with your plates because I’ve never used them before. I’m guessing that unless the instructions say to bake them, avoid baking them.

  • Kelley said:

    Well that stinks as I was hoping to avoid to wash them by hand each time. lol Well a fun craft anyways. lol But I like the idea of making them on my own. The markers you are referring to can I buy them at Walmart? I was thinking great Christmas gifts!!

  • Debbie said:

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