Friday, January 27, 2012

The *Personalized* Red Plate Tradition

If you have been following my Dates for a Year ideas, then you might recall mention of a Red Plate as one of the items suggested for October's "bake a cake" date.  Some of you may have heard of the Red Plate Tradition, and even have it integrated in your family.  This is something I heard about a while back, and you can actually buy an "official" Red Plate to begin the tradition.

Basically, the idea is that the red plate gets to be used by a member of your family on their special day. So, when it is your birthday, you got a good grade, you got a promotion at work, you win a soccer game, etc, you get to feel special by using the red plate!  It's a way to recognize and celebrate special days in your family and a simple, extra way to highlight big events!

I think this is a great gift for a wedding or new baby.  Both are big milestones and a great time to start new traditions.  Since I was my sister's maid of honor and was attending several different showers, I knew I needed a few smaller gifts to bring.  I know I didn't have to, but felt like I should bring a little something to each shower.  I had this in the back of my mind as an idea and thought it would be something cheap and easy to be one of my "little" gifts.  Well, when I saw the price of the "official" Red Plate, I got discouraged.  With a regular price of $39.99, there was no way I could afford that in addition to a nice (larger) wedding gift (which ended up being the Dates for a Year Basket).  However, I still had my heart set on giving a Red Plate and initiating a tradition for Kim & Larry.

So...time to improvise!  Surprisingly, it was VERY cheap and easy to come up with my own version of the Red Plate, and I think, actually better!  I started by heading out in search of a red dinner plate.  It was more difficult than I thought to find a single, plain, red plate.  I finally found one in the discount aisle at Tuesday Morning for a cheap price!  The second thing you need is a glass paint marker that will write on glass, ceramic, etc. and stay permanently.  I used this Pebeo Vitrea 160 marker, that I got from Michael's.  You can get them in almost any color!

Instead of writing on the front, where I was worried the marker might chip or come off, I chose to add some personalization on the back.  This was my first time using a glass marker, and I wasn't sure as far as health and sterilization if it would be okay for a surface where food would be eaten from.  I am a pretty simple person, so I didn't do a whole lot of detail.  Actually, all I did was write "Knox" (their married last name) and Est. 2011 (the year they got married).

I also printed this poem on some card stock and enclosed it with the plate.  Kim LOVED it!  This was so much cheaper than the actual read plate and added a personal touch of personalization.  You could customize it for any couple or family.  Maybe even create a special red plate for each member of the family!  

I hope someone else can use this idea.  Anytime you can save money AND personalize a gift, I think it's the better option!  

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