How to Decorate Wood Charger Plates


I love to make my own wood charger plates. You can customize them with paint, stain, or decoupaged napkins to match your plates!

How to Decorate Wood Chargers.

I have just taken mixing and matching to a whole new level! I love the idea of decorating wood charger plates. It’s an inexpensive and eco-friendly alternative to buying them, plus you can customize them with whatever you want. I used napkins, glued them on top of a piece of wood, and these came out great!

Wood Charger Plates

How to Decorate Wood Charger Plates

I get asked all the time how I come up with my craft ideas. 

I wish I had a single answer. But my ideas usually come from all over the place. Take this project for example. 

I was looking for some cocktail napkins online and saw these dinner napkins. I really liked the colors and ordered them. Never once did it occur to me that they matched my new dinner plates perfectly. 

Or the table runner I made earlier this week. 

When I opened up the box and saw the napkins I realized how perfectly they paired with my plates. The only problem was that I don’t typically use paper napkins with my nice china plates. 

I opened one of the napkins and sat the plate on top. I instantly knew what I wanted to make. 

A charger plate!

I just had to figure out how.

Fortunately, that was the easy part.

How to Decorate Wood Chargers

What is a charger plate you may ask? A charger plate is a decorative plate that is placed on top of the tablecloth or placemat. The dinner plate is placed on top of the charger. If you have followed me for a while, you have probably noticed that I love to mix and match plates. A charger plate is a perfect backdrop for setting a beautiful table with layered plates!

How to Decorate Wood Chargers.

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Doesn’t this look amazing on my table?

How to Make Wood Charger Plates.

How to Make a Napkin Covered Wood Charger Plate

Wood Charger with Paper Napkin

There are so many decorative napkins available and I thought a charger made with a pretty pattern would make the perfect charger.

Materials You Need to Make Eight Chargers

One package of decorative paper napkins (with a continuous print on all sides). You need a minimum size of 12″.

Tacky Glue

1/4″ thick plywood board, cut to the size of the napkin. Cut as many square boards as you need. I cut them 13″ square to fit this napkin. (You could also use cork for this too.)

White acrylic paint


Rust-Oleum Woodcare Triple Thick Polyurethane

Step-By-Step DIY

  • one – Carefully peel the backing off of the napkin.
  • two – If needed, sand the sides and edges of the pylwood board.
  • three – Mix up some white acrylic paint and paint the top and sides of the wood charger.
  • four – Let the boards dry, and then place the napkins on top of each of the boards.
  • five – Glue the napkin on top of the painted board. Let dry.
  • six – Cover the top and side of the napkin with Polyurethene. Let dry.

It is important to know that I figured out how to glue the napkins on the boards and it will save you a lot of angst. You can’t put the glue down on the board and place the napkin on top. It will never work as the napkin is too thin. I put a tiny dot of glue in all four corners with my brush and gently laid the napkin on top. I flattened out the napkin and made sure it was in place. Then I painted the glue on top of the napkin and covered it in its entirety. (This will glue the napkin to the board, I promise! If the glue is too thick just thin it with a bit of water. And don’t press too hard as you don’t want the napkin to rip.

How to Make Wood Chargers

Can you imagine the possibilities of what you can make with so many gorgeous paper napkins for sale?

The best part about entertaining is having an amazing table to serve up your delicious food. One important aspect of creating a beautiful table is the chargers – they are what set the tone for the rest of the event!

How to Make Wood Charger Plates

Links to the Items Shown in This Post

How great would these look together? Make the charger to match your plate! Napkins are on the left and plates are on the right.

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Decorate Wood Charger Plates (2)

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  1. Oh my goodness, so amazing! I love this idea đź’ˇ! Now I just need time, have to get busy. Thank you so much, again, for such wonderful lovely inspirations….

  2. Leslie, I have been following your blog for over a year, (+/-…?) and THIS is one of my favorite DIY projects, yet! I love that you provided a couple of options, wood or cork, and that it is so simple BUT the end result is soooo amazing! I agree , chargers add a whole other dimension to a beautifully decorated table. You are correct – the possibilities here are endless! Thank you for this and all of your other fabulous inspirational projects and ideas!

  3. I love a layered look on a special occasion table. The square chargers give the layered look plus they show that the hostesses take an extra special care to make the table special. It’s a compliment to the guest. says:

    I love a layered look on a special occasion table. The square chargers give the layered look plus they show that the hostesses take an extra special care to make the table special. It’s a compliment to the guest.

  4. These chargers are beyond gorgeous, Lesley!!! I am charged about making them, but I have a question. I will be making mine from corkboard and when I clicked on the Amazon corkboard squares you suggested I saw that they were 12″x12″. I believe that you said you cut your plywood 13″x13″ for the 12″x12″ napkins. Will the 12″x12″ corkboard squares work?

  5. I’m wondering if the 12×12 napkins will work on the 12Ă—12 corkboard since Lesley said she cut her plyboard 13×13.

    1. You cut the wood or cork to your napkin size….or cut the napkin to fit. It won’t be a one size fits all kind of project. I can’t wait to make these!

  6. This is really a great idea and they look nice…except I could not live with the raw wood edge showing on the bottom. Maybe the smaller lighter cork board would keep that from happening? The napkins are perfect for your colors this year, and also these colors look nice with the rug you added to the dining room this year.

  7. What a beautiful napkin! Goes so perfect with your plate! This is a great idea to add big impact to your table! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Leslie…This is so creative and you made such pretty Chargers. I love all the flowers and colors on the lovely napkins. How large of a piece of plywood did you have to buy? I know you said it was 1/4″ thick. Did you cut each Charger yourself or did the lumberyard cut each one for you? Thank you for sharing…………Leslie F.

  9. How absolutely PERFECT!! This could be styled so many ways. One question – how can you know for sure when ordering off Amazon and such if the napkin is a continuous pattern or not? I’ve submitted questions to the sellers, but I’m not sure they know what I am asking. An unfolded napkin picture would be so helpful in this case.

  10. Hi Leslie! I’ve been following you on IG for awhile now and have used many of your ideas in my own home, and I’ve ordered the paper napkins for this project! Every time you highlight a project or place setting using these fall dishes, I swoon. Please please please tell us the pattern/maker or where you got them. The colors are so perfect for an updated autumnal look!
    Thank you,

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