Pottery Barn Clock Plates, Make Your Own

Welcome to the 189th Metamorphosis Monday!

Pottery Barn Vintage Clock Plates Knockoff Tutorial


Back around New Years I posted a wonderful tablescape my friend, Bonnie put together for a New Year’s Eve dinner party with friends.  I love vintage/antique clocks and this table was so perfect for a New Year’s Eve gathering with its clock theme.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off Tutorial


Bonnie used her Pottery Barn clock plates for this tablescape.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off Tutorial


These plates were available at P.B. around two years ago.  I sure wish they would bring them back.  I’ve seen them on eBay occasionally, but they always go for more than a $200 for just four plates…too pricey to tempt this girl to bid.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off Tutorial


So, what do you do when you’re craving Pottery Barn Clock Plates and there are none to be had?  Make your own!

Image from PB site in 2009

I spotted an ironing board cover in Marshalls a few weeks ago and it got the squeaky wheels in my brain a-turning.


I already had some clear glass plates that were just sitting in a closet in the laundry room gathering dust.  Many years ago I had a party for my Sunday School class.   I didn’t have a lot of dishes/china back then and  I really didn’t want to use paper or plastic plates for the party, so I bought 40-50 clear glass plates at Costco.  They were super inexpensive.  I think they ended up being around .50 cents each.

I’ve almost donated them a few times since I didn’t think I’d ever use them again.  They were not exactly the size I wanted for this project since they are more of an appetizer size than a salad plate size.  I checked two different Dollar Tree stores since I’ve seen clear glass plates there before.  Neither had smooth glass plates, only saw them with ridges and decorative raised designs.  I decided it was a sign to just use the ones I already had.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Tutorial


Using a seam ripper, I separated the wooly thick padding from the top fabric of the ironing board cover.  That only took about a minute because once I ripped a couple of the seams, the fabric was easy to pull away from the padding.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Tutorial


I wanted my plates to have a vintage look like the Pottery Barn plates, so I stained the fabric in a few places with tea bags left over from making a pitcher of tea.  I just blotted them onto the fabric in various places.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Tutorial


I cut out sections of the fabric, cutting each about an inch or so bigger than the plates.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Tutorial


I slathered Mod Podge onto the back of the plate with a sponge brush, covering the back completely. (Is there anything you can’t do with Mod Podge?  Love that stuff!)

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Tutorial


I placed the fabric on the Mod Podge covered plate, making sure the printed/decorative side was facing into the back of the plate.  I pressed the fabric down well, smoothing out any bubbles.  You want the fabric nice and smooth against the plate.  Next, I covered the fabric with a thin coat of Mod Podge to make sure the back was protected and really holding well to the plate.

Tip:  Mod Podge drys very fast so once you coat the back of your plate with MP, you need to work quickly and get your fabric in place.  Best to have your fabric sections already cut so you can stick them on right away.

Notice the small upside down bowl…that will come in handy in a sec.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off-Tutorial


After pressing the fabric down really well all over the back of the plate, I placed the plate on a small bowl to dry with the back of the plate facing upward.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off-Tutorial


Here’s all six plates doing their drying thing.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off-Tutorial


The next day, after the plates were dry, I trimmed off all the excess fabric around the edges.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off Tutorial


Do you see the tea stains?  I could have stained them a bit more than I did.  I just wasn’t sure how much to stain them so I decided to err on the side of less staining.  If you stained them all over or just dipped the fabric into a large container of tea for a while, they would probably look even more like the PB plates, which are more beige/antiqued looking.

One thing I didn’t do, but I’m thinking about…you could spray the backs with a clear sealer, just for extra protection.  I tested getting a little water on mine and they were fine, but spraying the backs with a clear sealer, like the Krylon “Make It Last” Sealer, would probably be a good idea, too.  Just don’t get the sealer on the side you’ll be eating on.

Pottery Barn Clock Plates Knock-off Tutorial


Here’s a little close up of my Pottery Barn “Knock-off” Clock Plates.  I know they aren’t exactly like the real ones, but they only cost me $10 for six plates and  I still have enough fabric left over to do at least two more.  You may be able to find “clock” fabric.  I just went with the moment and bought the ironing board cover when I saw it.

Pottery Barn Vintage Clock Plates Knockoff Tutorial

Don’t think I’ll wait for New Year’s Eve to use them.  I have an idea for a tablescape so you may be seeing these in action sometime soon.

Update:  Used these plates in a Halloween tablescape this year.  Tablecape can be seen here: Halloween Tablescape with Spider Cupcakes

Pottery Barn Vintage Clock Plates Knockoff Tutorial


Tip:  I heard from a reader of BNOTP that this project didn’t work for her when she used a fabric that was dark in color, containing a lot of black in the fabric. She said the Mod Podge tended to show up with the darker fabric. She switched to a different fabric and it worked great.

So if you use a darker colored fabric, you’ll probably want to try a test plate first before you commit and do this project on all your plates. I didn’t have any problems with the fabric I chose to use, but just passing this along in case it’s helpful.

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters.

Psst:  You can view Bonnie’s clock themed tablescape in this post: Elegant New Year’s Eve Table Setting

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  1. Susan, these are fantastic! Don;t you just love when you see something and it sparks an idea and then you can’t wait to try it out. Love this idea! Thanks for hosting, as always. xxoo

  2. Susan, this was a terrific idea. The plates are charming, and I look forward to the tablescape that you will create spotlighting these “timely” plates.

  3. Hi Susan,
    Oh YES! How I wanted those PB PLATES! I have also wished they would bring them back! I certainly share your passion for old clocks and I can PROVE that by “How LONG it takes me to fiddle with that HOUR Springing ahead in spring and Falling back in Fall”, UGH!
    Your version is WONDERFUL! and I thank you so much for the instructions!!!
    Have a fun holiday,
    Big Hugs,

  4. Thanks for hosting, Susan! Hope you have a wonderful labor day! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  5. I love these plates Susan! What a great idea. I am pinning these:)

  6. This is an amazing knock-off! Now I don’t know whether this is my favorite or the shell chargers. I can’t wait to see what you will do with these clock plates?

  7. Hi Susan, Thanks so much for hosting 🙂 I love these plates so clever! I can’t wait for Pottery barn to come to Oz next year!! Lot’s of inspiration! Jo x

  8. Love the clock plates, Susan! Great way to go with a fun find! Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  9. Wow, these turned out great!!!! I had heard about gluing paper to the back of clear plates but dismissed the idea thinking it would look awfully messy and wrinkly. Love the fabric though. 🙂

  10. Merle Turner says

    Those plates sure turned out pretty good.

  11. Fabulous knock off Susan~! love this idea and it will make me look at fabric a lot differently.

  12. Thank you for hosting! Those clockface chargers are so cool! Thanks for sharing how to make them.

  13. Derrick Armitage says

    Great thinking, Susan! When I began reading I thought you were planning to photocopy the ironing board cover and use paper on the plates – but I realise the material would follow the plate contours more easily! Mary, over at ‘Home is Where the Boat is’ did a super table setting using the PB plates as part of a book review back in January, here: http://homeiswheretheboatis.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/the-night-circus/
    Can’t wait to see your tablescape!

  14. I am new to mod podge, but was wondering if you think it would work for a project I have in mind. I want to cover the top of a slightly damaged desk with some kind of fabric, maybe some faux leather. Do you think mod podge will hold it secure? It looks like it’s easy to manipulate fabric with it.

    • I’m not sure how it would work for that type application but I bet I know who could answer that question. Google “Mod Podge Rocks” (wwwdotmodpodgerocksblogdotcom) and ask Amy. She authors that blog and I bet she would know for sure!

  15. Susan, you are so creative! These plates look amazing, and I can’t wait to see how you will use them. I didn’t even know that they were making such attractive ironing board covers now because I don’t pull out the iron much since I retired! Thanks for being the hostess with the mostess!

  16. allison hancock says

    What a great idea! Always enjoy your creativity which is truly a gift. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Thanks for the party, Susan!! Brilliant use of that ironing board cover … love those plates!! 🙂

  18. Susan-
    Those turned out awesome! I just did my first Mod Podge item last week (since the 70’s).
    I love the print you found. Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places doesn’t it!
    The fabric was probably treated with teflon since it was for an ironing board….so with teflon and Mod Podge
    those are going to last forever!! LOL 🙂

  19. WOW!!! those plates look amazing!! love them!

  20. susan- just love this idea. Nowadays the clear plastic looks just as good as a glass plate !

  21. Oh my goodness I love these and now I need to go find that ironing board cover to make these :O) We’re having a New Years Eve party in the new kitchen and these would be SOOOO perfect they’re just adorable!

    Susan that you again for hosting another wonderful Met Monday, as always its just the best party in town and such fantastic inspiration from you and so many folks!
    PS I’m pinning these to my Pin board for “Beautiful Tablescapes” as well as my “Who Knew” boards :O)

  22. Wow! AMAZING PB KNOCKOFF. I can NOT wait to try it. I searched for Easter Bunny dessert plates back in the spring. I never found exactly what i wanted. Now you showed me I can find FABRIC exactly the right design. Thank you, Susan.

    One quick question: How do you wash them?

    • Thanks, Patti! I’m going to wash them by hand and just be careful around the edges, but the Mod Podge really sealed them well. That stuff dries pretty hard and feels very durable. I put a thin coat of the MP on the back of each plate so they are fairly water proof…but I’d definitely be careful around the edges. Be sure to Mod Podge the edges well when you make them.

  23. Those plates are AMAZING!


  24. They are amazing..I have been looking for plates like your PB ones ever since I saw that Tablescape. Awesome idea!!! I have a bunch of clear plates sitting here somewhere that are now screaming at me to cover them! I, too, would like to know how you clean them! Thank you!!

    • Thanks, Brenda! I put a thin coat of MP over the back so they are pretty durable. I’ll just wash them by hand and will be careful around the edges, but I think they could just about go through a flood. MP dries really hard so they feel pretty protected.

  25. Great idea and great knock off, Susan! I love that you used an ironing board cover for the fabric.

  26. Dear Susan, You are a life saver. Your plates look great and I’ll be trying this with some Christmas themed fabric for the annual ladies Christmas tea at church. I’ve been looking for new plates and I want something different for a reasonable amount of money. BINGO! I already have the clear glass plates, woo hoo. I’ll post pictures if they turn out half as good as your did. Love everything you do! Vikki in VA.

  27. Thanks for the party! I love creating new plates with mod podge…yours turned out FABULOUS! XO, Aimee

  28. Susan your plates looks so good and have my wheels turning coming up with all kinds of possibilities! Your blog is so beautiful and such a source of inspiration. Thanks for all the time you put in to it! Have a great day! Carol

  29. katie goldsworthy says

    Love, love, love those plates!!! Genius idea!
    Thanks for hosting!
    @ Creatively Living

  30. Susan these are fantastic,can’t wait to see what you do with ’em.

  31. I love, love, love your clock plates! Thanks for hosting another great party! Hugs, Penny

  32. flat out awesome!


  33. Very cool idea! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I wonder how they’ll hold up when you wash them? I have a feeling we’ll be seeing lots of fabric-covered plates like this in blogland. I’d love to do it with chargers. Thanks for hosting, Susan!

  34. This is genius. A whole plethora of possibilities just opened up. I bet you just started a run on glass plates everywhere. Awesome. Thanks for the incredible inspiration! ~CJ

  35. These are so awesome Susan! What a fabulous project for next to nothing. Just like Max, that ironing board cover was meant to go home with you :). I’m pinning this!

  36. Hi Susan, this is just “too” funny. I couldn’t sleep last night for thinking about the Pottery Barn plates, wishing and hoping they would bring them back. Love your version of the knock off.. now to find fabric, or an ironing board cover to make my wish come true. Thanks for hosting each week. hugs ~lynne~

  37. Oh My! Those are just beautiful – I love them! The fabric is just perfect and they look so easy to make!

  38. Can anyone say, FABULOUS on the plates! Great idea!!!

  39. AWESOME…..AND, something I bet I could do!!!! It is always “time” for a tablescape so these would be perfect to have. Genius. Happy Labor day. XO, Pinky PS, Does Met Monday go up at midnight on Sunday night? Thanks.

    • Pinky, it depends on my schedule for Monday morning. I have to put it up when I know I’m going to be home or available, to make sure it goes up okay and the Linky is working correctly. Ever since I moved to WordPress, it does bizarre stuff…the code changes after I install it. Have no idea why that happens but it does it almost every week. So it will vary but 99% of the time it will go up on Monday (not Sunday) and will always go up by 10:00 AM on Monday. There may be the rare occasion when I’ll have to put it up on Sunday evening.

  40. I like your plates better, you did a fantastic job .So pretty!!


  41. That’s a wonderful project Susan! Fantastic job!

    Thanks for hosting Met Monday!

  42. Thanks for hosting! Have an awesome week. Those plates are amazing!!!!

  43. I love this idea for New Year’s Eve. I pinned it!

  44. I love that! Now I need to find some clear plates to use my fabric stash lol…

  45. This is just TOOOO cute!!!! Fabulous! By the way for those looking for clear plates, I’m seeing a lot at GoodWill now.

  46. Susan I just love you blog. I have been following for several years. Thanks for sharing you many great ideas with us. I am new to using Mod Podge and love finding new ideas.

  47. Great job, Susan. I’ve long admired those Pottery Barn plates, too.

  48. What a great idea, Susan. Thanks for the tutorial, they turned out really nice….Christine

  49. Wow! What a great project! And you are so resourceful to use an ironing board cover as your fabric. I think this is definitely one of my fave projects!

    Have a great day and thank you for hosting the party!

  50. those plates look AMAZING! what a great project!!

  51. LOVE your plates!! I might need to copy using my botanical fabric:) I pinned them-love, love, love!!
    Thanks for hosting! Have a wonderful Labor Day!
    What Meegan Makes!!

  52. Jen Lossing, The Consigner Designer says

    These are wonderful! Love how easy the application was. Great job!

  53. I am so in love with your amazing clock plates! Wow. Great fabric find at Marshalls – loved your idea to stain it with tea bags for an antique flair. Wish I could come over and eat off your plates! hahaha 🙂

  54. Tic Tock, yet another great idea Susan. I LOVE them!! I too am a “clock” person, I even have Big Ben on my laptop chiming on the hour!! 🙂
    One could put anything on the back of those plates, think of all the choices it brings.
    Well done Susan.

  55. A true craftsman who can come up with such a cute copy. Love the clock plates.

  56. Susan,
    You did a great job on those plates!Thank you for hosting! Have a great day!

  57. I love your PB knock-off tutorials! Frankly, I like your pattern much better than the one from Pottery Barn. I am curious though, will you actually serve food on these, or just use them to layer? I was wondering about how easy (or not so easy) it would be to wash these.

    • Thanks! Definitely! The Mod Podge dries so hard, I don’t it would hurt if they got wet, though I haven’t test them. I just won’t put them in the dishwasher…just be careful when I wash them by hand.

  58. These are great! I did a Mod Podge project for this link..gingham frame! The power of transformation with MP! Thanks for hosting!

  59. These are wonderful. After you use them in your tablescape I see them hanging on a wall until you find your brown transferware. I think these are even better than your shell chargers, and I thought those could not be topped. The ironing board cover made me laugh; you are so clever. I have a friend that made her infant daughter a baptismal bonnet from the cut off sleeve of her sister, the nurse’s uniform sleeve. It was the most elegant thing I ever saw, but you may have her beat with the ironing board cover. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  60. Thank you so much for hosting the party and for the tutorial… Very inspiring!

  61. I remember that New Year’s post – awesome! Love the plates too – such a “timely” idea!! Thanks for hosting again, too ! Jane

  62. Hi Susan! thanks for hosting — times 189!!! Makes me exhausted to even think of how hard you work.
    Love the plates … what a great idea.
    Do you ever run out of wonderful ideas? You amaze me. 🙂
    Love, Cass

  63. Okay, this is my 3rd time to attempt to comment. I hope all of these aren’t going through. I don’t want to leave 3 comments, but it appears that they are not. I get a different failure message each time. I’m sure I’m doing something wrong. This is such a brilliant idea. I am pinning it, and hope that I can find similar fabric to make these plates. Thanks, Susan, for the inspiration. laurie

  64. Susan,
    I love coming to the party each week and seeing what you’ve been up too. These plates look great. Thanks for sharing and hosting!

  65. Susan…..brilliant!!!…..such a great idea. I just love it when you come up with those Pottery Barn knock offs!!…I truly loved your tablescape…I have been searching for some perfect plates for one of my rooms and have not found the..now you have given me the idea to find the fabric and create my own plates!!…Love it…thanks so much Susan….and thanks for hosting!! Have a great one!!

  66. Thank you, Susan, for hosting another great party! The idea for the PB knock-off is fantastic. They look wonderful!

  67. Susan, these are so wonderful. a few years ago I did Autumn leaves, Halloween and Christmas plates from clear plates that I had purchased from Wal-Mart. I still love them. Thanks for sharing.

  68. I’m loving the clock plates, just fabulous. Wish I had pottery Bran close by me, but we buy there when we go to Flo. I think they’re great for a New Year’s Tablescape! Thank you dear Susan for having yet, another great Met. Monday. Have a nice week.

  69. Since I won’t find any clock plates, I will try your fabulous idea…just checked it out again, and I think maybe I could go for it. Thank you honey, you are so clever and talented!!

  70. Oh my, Susan!
    Didn’t you talk about brown transferware only the day before yesterday?
    And today you already have new clock plates you did yourself?! Kudos to you!
    They are so beautiful! I can just imagine how many wonderful plates with different fabrics you can (and maybe you will!) make your own again and again, using this method! Great!
    Speaking about clocks… Is it possible your “clocks” differ from the clocks I have?
    My clocks have only 12 hours on their faces!!! Yours seem to have at least 20!
    (By daylight, only, of course! ;-))
    Hugs and happy Labor Day!

  71. I love your plates! In fact, I think I like them better than the PB ones!

  72. Hi Susan: Thank you for hosting the party again for us today–I do appreciate it. Your clock plates are really neat–such a clever way of using Mod Podge!

  73. Thank you for hosting again this week, I hope everyone has had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!!

  74. The plates look great! Thanks for hosting! Life to the full, Melissa

  75. you are talented! love the plates

  76. What a wonderful job. I love your clock plates – they look just as fab as PBs. You probably won’t believe this, but I haven’t used Mod Podge yet – so thanks very much for the mini-tutorial. Thanks for hosting!

  77. Amazing! I really love this. Years ago the in thing was to do this with all kinds of fabrics, but this really brings everything up to date! Thanks for the great idea!

  78. Susan, You are so creative! What a great idea that was both thrifty and innovative.

  79. This is an awesome idea!!! Love it! You did such a great job! Have a wonderful day!

  80. Thanks so much for reminding us of that great idea of modpodging on the backs of plates…so many possibilities with this technique! I have thought so much about your “scraping/theiving” blog post. I know need to make some changes to my blogging to help stop that practice (not that I know of that I have been scraped). Thanks for all the good info you pass along to us.

  81. What a great project. I like your plates better than the PB ones. Thanks for hosting again this week, Laura

  82. First, thanks for hosting this party. Second, I love your plates…better than Pottery Barn. Third, I did the same idea. Only I used white glue so I can easily remove the fabric or paper or whatever and redesign the plates for next time.

  83. I love, love, love these plates, Susan! You did such a wonderful job. Thank you so much for posting these instructions. I always learn the neatest stuff on your site. Right now I’m thinking of all the different wonderful fabric I have and the creative wheels are turning madly.

  84. Judy MacDonald says

    Susan, I LOVE your project. My head is spinning with ideas to try this myself. Thanks for another creative idea.

  85. Hi Susan!!
    I just wanted you to know I have chosen your plates as one of “my fave pins of the week”. I wil share a post first thing Friday morning. Your plates will also be on my right side bar of my blog.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring all of us!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    What Meegan Makes

  86. Susan, these are wonderful. I bought clear plates to do this with no less than 10 years ago, but have NEVER done it. I think I saw the idea in a Southern Living Christmas book (aren’t those great books?!). You have rekindled my interest. I’ve always wondered about the durability – can’t decide whether to make them very durable or to let them last until they need to be redone and make a whole new set!

  87. Karen, that’s a good point. May not want them to last forever…so you can change them out periodically. I have so many of these clear plates, I could make a bunch more. Wish they were salad size, though…mine are all more of an appetizer size.

  88. I loved the clock plates! Around Christmas I am always looking for gingerbread dishes that I like and so far haven’t found any. Now that you gave us this wonderful idea, I’ll just get plain glass plates and make my own gingerbread plates. I have some adorable gingerbread fabric that I can use and make a set for my Christmas party this year. Thanks so much, Susan. You are an inspriation!

  89. I like your plates better than the PB plates!

  90. I love your plates so much more than the Pottery Barn ones! Gorgeous!

  91. I’m so glad you referenced this post with your tablescape. I somehow missed it the first time. Great execution!

    – The Tablescaper

  92. Did you see that Pottery Barn did bring these plates back? They are not yet available it looks like on their website, but I am looking at them in the “gift” catalog. This year they are black with white or offwhite clock numbers. Item #11-0234253. I love them!

  93. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    What a great tutorial. I love this idea. The plates came out so well. I would never have guessed they were, ‘home made,’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) 😉 And it opens up so many possibilities. I really love this idea, Susan. I’m already stewing on possibilities, lol. Oh-oh. You’re dangerous! 😀

  94. You answered my question for New Year’s Eve. The plates are wonderful and if you don’t mind I really want to try to make them. I might use cut outs. I am not sure but thank you for answering my question as how to make those plates

  95. Beautiful, and what a great idea! I am thinking about all the fabrics I could do this with. I, like you, already have a supply of clear plates, my mind is spinning with all the plates I think I could make!

  96. Any idea’s for a baby shower tablescape?

  97. Any idea’s on a baby shower tablescape?

  98. LaRica Krischel says

    How do you wash them? Do you hand wash them? How many coats of the Krylon sealant do you have to put on?

    Thank you!


  99. Hi – thinking this was such a cute idea, but knowing I’ll almost certainly not get to it, I thought I would try to make it easier for those of you who might. So, I did a quick Goog, and here are an awful lot of fabric choices with clock faces. Good luck, crafty folks 🙂


  100. Very clever, somehow I got here by clicking on the thumbnails of a current post. Your knockoffs look better than the ones you copied.

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