Good Monday morning!

Ready to take another bite out of your elephant, er, to-do list?

Just in case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can read the original Project Elephant post, and then come on back.

(You can also take a gander at my first Project Elephant accomplishment—my redone front flower beds).

Here’s what my list looks like currently:

project elephant checklist1[4]

Hooray for progress!

To be completely honest, after I showed you my plate wall “before”…

plate wall before

…not much changed for quite a while.

Hanging things is not my forte. I tend to over-think it. If there’s a word for majorly over-thinking something (majover-thinking??), then that’s what I do. I measure and worry and fret. I make marks with pencils, then erase them, leaving unsightly smudges on the paint. I make (messy) diagrams. And then, finally, when I am satisfied that I have left nothing to chance, I tap one tiny nail into the wall, eyes squinted almost shut in dread at making a mistake. Then I start hanging things on those tiny nails…and discover that all of my obsessive tweaking and measuring was for naught. Because something is always at least a little bit wonky.

My husband is exactly the opposite. I can explain where I want things (because that part I’m good at), and he stands there holding it, makes a little mark, then confidently slams a nail into the wall, hangs the thing, and—WALA!—it looks fantastic. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but if there’s a term for hanging-challenged (that doesn’t make me want to make some sort of morbid joke about stretchy necks), I’m that.

Which is a reeeeeeally long, roundabout way of saying that I kept putting off hanging my plate wall because I knew if I did it alone, it would take me three hours, and I would probably still hate it when I got done.

Good thing I’m married to Super Hanging Man (who is desperately wishing I would stop giving him such dubious titles).

Because after a little noodling (Bwahahaha! I originally typed canoodling. Whoa, there, Abbie) around with different plate configurations on our living room floor (whilst 5 small children ran amuck, threatening to make Project Elephant: Plate Wall a moot point since broken plates don’t hang super well), we got after it.

I don’t really have any progress shots for you. Not that you need them since this is a fairly simple process. Plus, they mostly would have consisted of pictures of Shaun’s holding plates in various positions with a quizzical expression on his face, my cutting up more grapes to keep the twins occupied every 5 minutes, and my other kids’ sliming a Hello Kitty coloring book with glitter glue.

(If you really want to be entertained by our shenanigans, then you need to go check out their reaction to our “new” piano).

ANYhoo, after the configuation conoodling, I sketched out a very rough diagram so I wouldn’t forget where everything went in the 3 minutes it took to transfer it all from the the living room to the breakfast nook (a very real possibility when I regularly walk very purposefully into a room, then freeze and wonder why in peaches I am standing in the mudroom, holding tape, and staring at the paint shelf).


(I told you it was rough; isn’t my handwriting divine?)

And when all of the directing and quizzical expression and nail-pounding and glitter glue clean-up was said and done (only about 30 minutes of it, though), we had this:

plate wall 9

It sort of has a pattern. I love symmetry too much to be completely random. And I’m already twitching a little wanting to move a few of them around a bit. But for the most part, we just eyeballed it. Because that usually turns out considerably better than all my careful measuring. 

I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for a few more that will coordinate, but I’m happy with it for now.

plate wall 10

There’s lots of other color in the room, like in the mustard-colored chandelier:

plate wall 2 

And this cute little cream pitcher.

plate wall 5 

…not to mention my bright curtains:

plate wall 11

I’m still in the process of tweaking this room, but I’m thrilled to have that wall, which has sat blank for so long, filled with something cheerful and colorful at last.

plate wall 7

As far as the actual sources for my plates, some are from Goodwill (the yellow and the two teal solids), a few are from Marshall’s/Ross (the two diamond shapes and the purple flower), and the bird plate is originally from Pier 1 (sometimes, you can still find one on Ebay) but was a gift from Mandy.

The only ones you might be able to still find in stores are the blue and white damask platter, which is actually melamine and is from Walmart (I couldn’t find it online) and the three small plates (coral, green, and coral/green floral), which are also melamine, from Target.

And as far as the actual process: all but the melamine plates (which we hung with Command strips) are hung with nails and plate hangers (which you can buy from Michael’s with a 50% off coupon for about a $1-1.50 each).

It’s probably a $60-70 project all told. Not the cheapest DIY art ever. But quite the bargain for such a large scale impact.

Oh, and the wall color, in case you were wondering, is Sherwin Williams Really Teal.

So…now it’s your turn! How did you fare with Week 2 of Project Elephant? Remember: it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress!

Link up if you wrote a post about it, or you can always leave a comment (even attach pictures) or leave me a link on the Facebook page or Instagram using the hashtag #projectelephant.


Linking up at Tatertots and Jello.


  1. I might have you beat with the dragging of the feet in hanging multiples – maybe. I resorted to making color copies of my assortment of framed mirrors I had acquired over time, then I cut the shapes out and hung those on the wall 1st with tape. And that was after I’d arranged and rearranged the actual mirrors on the floor for hours. Daughter walks in, asks if I’m satisfied yet, I say, “I’m not sure,” she taps the 1st nail in the wall and declares “you are now.” I. Am. So. Indecisive. But I was perfectly pleased with the final outcome. Waiting for your room reveal – I was in your home when your husband was building the seating under the windows. Adore your home, you are so talented, Abbie!

  2. I finally designed the thankyous for all the baby gifts (for my 4 mo old!) Now…to finish writing, addressing and mailing them…and making sure that the right language gets to the right people. (I’m American, my husband is Swiss German and we live in a French-speaking region.)
    Also, canned 10 jars of apple butter!

    1. Well done, Stephanie! Thank you notes are something I put off for way too long too, and all of my friends speak English! 🙂

      I totally need to get into canning too!

  3. Unfortunately, I left an “essay” comment on your first or second week of the Elephant project. Then I went and saw your flower beds and your plate wall! Wow! You are doing great! The flower bed looks great and the plate wall is stunning! I just read about this today but I will catch on and catch up! You’re so motivating! Thank you!

  4. Checking in with my PE progress. Wasn’t as grand as I had hoped, but 1 bite at a time, right?? I made a chore chart/chore system for the kids finally! Oldest has been wanting to save some $$ to buy a bulldozer so I finally organized a system by which oldest & middle can help around the house & earn some $$. Now, just have to stick w/ it 🙂 On the list this week, wash some old fabric & make some fabric pumpkins…..followed by decorate for fall. Gonna be ambitions, but gotta start somewhere!
    Great job on the plate wall! I’m just like you and procrastinate forever cuz I just can’t commit. Makes me break out in hives just thinking about it…..LOL! So, way to conquer it and I love the result & the bright cheery colors 🙂 Thanks again for the motivation!

    1. I TOTALLY need to make a chore chart, Leigh Anne, so you’re way ahead of me there. We mostly just do the same verbal reminders every day, but it would save me a lot of trouble to have it all written down. Now, THAT’S inspiring.

      Oh, and shoot me a pic of your fabric pumpkins when you get a chance. I’d love to see them! You’re so much better of a seamstress than I am!

  5. Love it! So bright and cheerful!
    Can I make a suggestion? Each time I look at the photo of the finished product, I keep wanting to turn the sconce upside down. Simple to do and would create a kind of “gallery wall” effect, highlighting the new focal wall. Just a thought. 🙂

    Feeling motivated to get some of those elephant list projects done myself! Thanks for posting!

  6. LOVE the plate wall…I have been a follower for awhile now, but don’t think I have seen this room of yours…I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fabric on the windows!!! I am a big fan of teal like the bottom portion of your walls and I painted my whole kitchen and hallway this colour! I am swooning…and jealous – I have wanted a plate wall for sometime now…you just might have pushed me into doing it!!

    1. Yeah, I’ve never done an official reveal, and I guess I still haven’t, but I will soon. Glad you liked it! Shoot me a pic of your plate wall when you get to it! 🙂

  7. Oh my, I am absolutely in LOVE with this room! The paint (OMG!) and the windows and the natural light, and the curtains. Ah, I can’t wait to finally have a house (rather than an apt) to decorate!

  8. My project elephant is moving along. I cleaned out my closet. By “cleaned out,” I mean that I started wildly tossing out anything that didn’t fit well, had colors I didn’t really like, had tears or stains, etc. Now my wardrobe is about 1/2 the size. But you know what, it makes me so happy every time I walk into my closet because it’s so clean and organized and I love all the pieces that are left in my wardrobe.

    Thank you for the encouragement!

  9. Absolutely LOVE that curtain fabric and the plate colors. Gorgeous! If you start ‘switching’ because of your ‘twitching’…. ;)…. then I wonder how the visual weight of the arrangement would change if you took the small blue plate/bottom right/swirl design/ and exchanged it with purple/coral flower plate? I love the symmetry of the shapes you’ve arranged, just wondered about putting a bit of the coral down with all the blue.

    You’ve given me courage to tackle a plate wall as well. But I need to put them on the wall instead of constantly tweaking them on the floor. My cat keeps curling up on the platters to sleep.

    1. With twitching did turn to switching, Gillian, but I ended up swapping the floral square plate on the top left for the teal on the bottom left, and scooching the green plate over, and… I love it! You’re totally right that the blues needed to be broken up!

      I’d love to see your plate wall when you get to it! 🙂

  10. Not being very efficient here. Did get some of the fabric folded. Had to order more of the organizers before I could continue. But I’m beginning to see the top of my dining room table. Last week I also got the safety and emissions test done and registered the car. Got a wedding present bought which I had been procrastinating about for a month (or more). This week I’m clearing off the top of my shredder (it’s a good place to store stuff that needs to be shredded, right?). Off to do something constructive. Oh, right, my family rogues gallery needs to be completed. Another thing that I’m having trouble with, similar to your plate wall.

I love hearing from you guys!