How to Make a Plate Holder

Making a plate holder is a simple and affordable way to add function and style to your kitchen or dining space. With just a few basic tools and materials, you can create a customized plate rack to store and display your dishware. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to make your own plate holder.

Gather Your Materials

To make a plate holder, you will need:

  • Wood boards – The base and shelves can be made from 1×4 or 1×6 boards that are cut to size. Pine boards work well.
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws – 1 inch screws work well for assembling the holder.
  • Sandpaper – For smoothing wood surfaces. Go with 120 and 220 grit.
  • Wood finish – Such as stain, paint, polyurethane for protecting the wood.
  • Metal brackets – For attaching the holder to the wall. Get a couple small right-angle brackets.
  • Power drill and drill bits
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Saw – A miter saw or handsaw will be needed for cutting the wood.

Make sure you have all the necessary materials before getting started on this easy DIY project. The type of wood, size, and finish can be customized to match your kitchen décor.

Determine the Size

Once you have gathered the materials, determine what size you want to make the plate holder. This will depend on how many plates you want it to store and the space you have available.

Consider the size and shape of the plates you will be storing in the rack. Leave about 1 inch of space around the plates for them to fit easily without rubbing. You can make your holder with wider spacing if you plan to include other dishware like bowls or cups.

For a standard plate rack to hold 8-12 plates, a width of 12-14 inches usually works well. The plate holder should be about 4 inches deep and around 18-24 inches tall, depending on your space.

Adjust these dimensions as needed to meet your storage needs. Take measurements of the area where you plan to put the plate holder and sketch out the size.

Cut the Wood Pieces

Once you know the size, you can start cutting the wood for the different pieces of the plate holder:


Cut 1 board to the desired width and depth for the base. A 12 inch wide by 4 inch deep board will work for a standard rack.


Cut 2-3 more boards to the same width as the base for the shelves. The shelf length will depend on the height, usually around 16-20 inches long.

Cut the shelf boards to your pre-determined lengths. You can make them the same length or stagger them in incrementally shorter lengths.

Side Supports

Cut 2 boards to the desired height of the rack. For an 18 inch rack, cut them 18 inches long. They should be 3-4 inches wide.

Use a miter saw or handsaw to cut your wood boards to size. Cut the ends straight across at 90 degree angles.

Assemble the Frame

With the wood boards cut, it’s time to assemble the frame. Use wood glue and screws to connect the pieces.

  1. Lay the base board on a flat work surface.
  2. Position the side support boards perpendicular to each end of the base board. Apply wood glue on the connecting edges.
  3. Attach the side boards with 1 inch wood screws driven into the base board. Drill pilot holes first to prevent splitting.
  4. Attach 2-3 shelf boards parallel to the base, spacing them evenly apart. Apply glue and screw them into the side supports to complete the frame.
  5. Allow the glue to fully dry before moving on. Use clamps or weights to hold the pieces tightly together as the glue dries.

The frame of the plate holder is now complete! Make sure the corners are square and shelves are aligned evenly.

Add Finishing Touches

With the holder fully assembled, add any finishing touches:


Lightly sand all the wood surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth any rough edges. Wipe away dust.


Apply your choice of wood finish to protect the holder and give it a polished look. Stain, paint, or polyurethane are good options.

Install Brackets

Attach a right-angle bracket to the back of each side support near the top edge. This is for mounting the holder on the wall later on.

Now your DIY plate holder is ready to mount and use!

Mount the Plate Holder

Decide on placement and install the plate holder on the wall:

  1. Determine the location – Hold the rack in place and mark where to attach the brackets. Make sure it’s high enough that the plates won’t hit the counter.
  2. Drill pilot holes – Use a drill bit slightly smaller than your screws to pre-drill holes into the wall studs.
  3. Attach brackets – Drive screws through the brackets into the studs. Make sure the screws are securely fastened.
  4. Hang plate holder – Lift the holder and slide the brackets over the screw heads. The holder should rest firmly on the brackets against the wall.
  5. Add plates – Style your plates on the racks, standing them vertically. Adjust the plate angles and spacing as desired.

And that’s it! Proper installation ensures your plate holder remains securely mounted on the wall and ready to show off your lovely dishware.

Plate Holder Variations

Customize your plate holder with these design variations:

  • Add hooks under the shelves for hanging mugs or utensils
  • Paint or stain the wood in your favorite colors
  • Distress or whitewash the wood for a vintage look
  • Decorate with woodburning, stamps, or decals
  • Suspend with rope for a floating shelf style
  • Adjust number and size of shelves as needed
  • Include a hinged door on the front to conceal contents
  • Mount sideways for a vertical holder for cookies sheets or cutting boards
  • Add trim, beading, feet or other decorative elements

Experiment and get creative with your own unique plate holder design to suit your needs and home décor style.

Plate Holding and Storage Tips

Maximize the use of your plate holder with these handy tips:

  • Organize plates by size, type, color, or pattern
  • Allow space between plates for easy grabbing and to prevent scratching
  • Avoid overloading racks to prevent tipping accidents
  • Wash plates before displaying to remove food and germs
  • Dust racks every week to keep plates looking clean
  • Check plates for chips and cracks before putting away
  • Store fragile plates on lower shelves or in a cabinet
  • Consider using plate racks just for display, not storage
  • Complement racks with wall hooks, drawer organizers, dish caddies

Keep your kitchen organized and eye-catching with a customized plate holder you made yourself. Enjoy the convenience of quick grab-and-go dishware access. Impress guests with your DIY handiwork skills.

Frequently Asked Questions about Making a Plate Holder

Making your own plate holder is a relatively straightforward craft, but there are some key questions that come up:

How do I know what size to make the plate holder?

Measure plates and calculate spacing to determine overall dimensions. Leave a 1 inch gap between plates. Width around 12-14 inches works for 8-12 plates.

What type of wood should I use?

Pine, poplar, oak, cedar – most common woods work. Avoid very soft woods. Choose durable, inexpensive wood in desired stain color.

What tools do I need for this project?

You’ll need a saw (miter or hand), drill, sandpaper, tape measure, screwdriver, clamps. Basic tools like these are sufficient.

How do I keep the plate holder sturdy?

Glue and screw joints tightly. Use adequate support boards and right-sized wood thickness – around 3/4 inch. Securely install mounting brackets into studs.

How much weight can a plate holder support?

Depends on materials and construction, but around 15-20 pounds for an 12″ x 18″ rack is reasonable. Don’t overload shelves.

How close together should I space plates?

Around 1 inch between plates allows easy removal. More spacing is fine too. Stack no more than 3-4 plates per compartment.

What’s the best way to mount the plate holder?

Pre-drill holes into wall studs for screws brackets. Ensure screws are firmly anchored into studs to bear the weight.

Can I customize my plate holder design?

Absolutely! Paint, stain, add hooks, shelves, handles. Get creative with woodburning, decals, trim. Make it your own.

What décor styles work with a plate holder?

Plate holders suit farmhouse, cottage, rustic, bohemian, French country, industrial, eclectic, and other casual styles nicely.

Making your own plate holder is a gratifying DIY project! Follow the steps closely, take safety precautions, and enjoy your handmade creation.


Creating your own custom plate holder is a fun and fulfilling project for all skill levels. With some simple tools, materials, and these step-by-step instructions, you can add beautiful and functional dishware storage to your kitchen or dining space.

Personalize your plate holder to suit your needs – adjust sizes, wood types and finishes, decorative elements, and display techniques. Mount it properly and keep plates organized for quick access. Add a handcrafted touch to your home with this practical DIY decoration.

So gather your supplies, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to learn how to make a plate holder. Your dishes will be organized in style with a holder you can be proud to have made yourself. Enjoy the fruits of your crafting labor for years to come!