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Santa loves milk and cookies - especially on his special "Santa Plate." Create a Christmas Eve heirloom with a few simple materials. 

Finished Santa plateHere is a combination craft of reverse-glass painting and decoupage.  The result is a sparkling serving plate with the look of a hand-painted heirloom. Display it on a plate stand - or leave some cookies out for Santa.


  • Clear glass dinner or dessert plate (ours had a ribbed rim)
  • Vintage image, printed on light-weight photo paper
  • Text for plate, printed in mirror image (reversed) letters on plain white paper
  • Acrylic gel medium for decoupage, like Mod-Podge
  • Wide paint brush for gel medium
  • Opaque white paint pen
  • Acrylic craft paints in bronze and dark red
  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
  • Black (or gold) spray paint
  • Natural sea sponge
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Transparent tape
  • Brayer
  • Circle cutting template, such as a small plate or saucer, that is slightly smaller than the base of your clear plate 


  1. Santa Plate step 1Cut apart the letters of the printed text into small squares, keeping them in order. Working from the FRONT of the plate, turn each letter FACE DOWN, and tape it in place, to create a guide for hand-painting the letters on the BACK of the plate (See Tips).

  1. Santa Plate step 2Place the plate FACE DOWN. With the printed letters as a guide, use the white paint pen to paint over each letter on the glass.  Let it dry.
  2. Use your template to mark a circle on your image, and cut it out.  Be careful to cut away all of your marked line.

  3. Santa Plate step 3Place the clear plate upside down. Brush on a coat of gel medium to the bottom of the plate.  Apply a coat of gel medium to the face of the image.  Place the coated side of the image onto the plate, centered and aligned with your painted text.  Use a brayer to press out any air bubbles.  With a damp rag, wipe off any lumps of gel medium around the image.  Let it dry overnight.

  4. Santa Plate step 4Using the natural sea sponge, dab on a light pattern of bronze paint over the back of the entire plate.  Leave some clear glass showing.  When it is dry, sponge on the red paint and let it dry.  There should be very little clear glass showing now, but it will still be translucent.
  5. Paint the back of the plate with two light coats of black (or gold) spray paint. Let it dry between coats and after.


  • Hand-painting the text ("Cookies For Santa") on the back of the plate is a test of your spacial perception, hand-eye coordination, and possibly high-school calculus.   It doesn't have to be painful - just methodical.  
    • Print out your text (in reversed or mirror-image letters).  Cut the letters into small squares, keeping them in order by word. Turn each letter over, face down, in place.  You should be able to read the words properly (unreversed) through the back of the paper.
    • Place the plate face up.  Place each letter on the FRONT of the plate, where you want it, and tape it in place (you can mark your placement with a grease pencil before you start).  When you are done taping the letters on, hold the plate up to the light to proofread the words from the FRONT.
    • Turn the plate over.  From the BACK, you should now see the printed letters, reversed behind glass.  These are what you will carefully copy over with the white paint pen.
  • Consider personalizing your text - "Cookies from Debbie and Bill" or "Kerry's First Christmas."  You can create your text with a word processor, like Word, and specify that it be printed in reverse in your printing instructions. Use a large, chunky font for the easiest painting.
  • You can decoupage smaller cut-outs around the rim of your plate.  They can be elements from your central image, or scraps or cutouts from other images, greeting cards or wrapping paper.
  • Use a small, craggy natural sea sponge.  Fill it with water first, and squeeze it dry in a towel, to get it soft for painting.
  • Many paint-color combinations will work, if they coordinate with the colors in your image.  Metallic copper paint and pale green paint will give a faux-patina look.  Metallic gold and black is dramatic.  The text paint color should be as contrasting as possible, light for a dark background and dark for a light background.
This plate should be used for decoration only.

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