Gifts Kids Can Make: DIY Modern Art Plates

Have you ever seen some crazy simple art selling for outrageous amounts of money and said to yourself, “My KID could do that”!

Guess what?! You were right!

I fell in love with some Marimekko designs (ok, who hasn’t?!), and thought the same thing. So I put it to the test. I printed out some simple modern art designs off of the web, gave the kids very general instructions, and let them at it. Behold, my little artists in waiting:

DIY Marimekko Plates So Easy a Kid Could Do It.

DIY Marimekko Plates So Easy a Kid Could Do It.

So yeah, they are gorgeous – but that’s only half of the awesomeness of this project:

  • I made them with $1 Dollar Store plates
  • I had paint markers on hand – so the project cost a whopping $3
  • These would make The. Most. Awesome. Holiday. Gifts. No more lame presents that you display for the sake of your kids artist’s ego! These turned out SO well you will actually want to display them – I am!!

And for the record, here’s some of our original design inspiration:

Marimekko Line Art Inspiration

Marimekko Line Art Inspiration

Marimekko Plates Display

Marimekko Plates Display

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Marimekko Flower Fabric

Marimekko Flower Fabric

What You Need to Make Kids Modern Art Plates

Kids Modern Art Plates Closeup and Materials

Kids Modern Art Plates Closeup and Materials


Paint markers or porcelain paint

Pebeo Porcelain Paints WERE the only paints I’ve found that are permanent on glass/ceramic and food safe. But their product description changed and now says they aren’t food safe (yet they say they are non-toxic – so WTH?!) If you just want them for display, use Folk Art Enamel Paints ( affiliate link), though I wonder if you could also just use permanent markers? I’ll have to try it and see! I’ve used both kinds of paints, and I do recommend treating the plates/glass with kid gloves once complete. They say they are ‘permanent’, but do scratch somewhat easily with wear (especially with silverware use!).

Modern Art With a 10 Year Old Flourish

Modern Art With a 10 Year Old Flourish

Finding inspiration is easy – I poked around on Google Images looking for Marimekko stuff, but I also recommend looking for vintage mid-century modern dishes by Arabia, Figgjo or the Fajance line by Royal Copenhagen (my vintage collecting habit is showing!). Ebay is another great place to find these products with artwork that kids can easily reproduce. And for really young children, you could draw the outline yourself and let them color in the shapes. With this kind of art, they don’t really need to stay within the lines. 😉

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About the author

Founder and CEO of Woo! Jr. Kids Activities, Wendy loves creating crafts, activities and printables that help teachers educate and give parents creative ways to spend time with their children.

View all articles by Wendy Piersall


  1. Beth

    I wouldn’t recommend using permanent markers. There is a chemical reaction between permanent markers and plastic which, after a little bit of time causes a dingy yellow shadow around the marked design.

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  4. Elisa

    I have been debating whether this would be a good project for my “not so artistic” son…he is way more critical of his art abilities than I am. Now I see that he would benefit from this. Love the inspiration pieces! Thank you…so glad I found this blog.

  5. ECline

    I don’t think that the Pebeo Porcelain paints are food safe. From the Dick Blick website:

    “Porcelaine 150 is not recommended for use on surfaces that come in contact with food.”

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