A simple wooden holder is a charming way to display a colorful set of plates, whether they're treasured heirlooms or off-the-shelf finds. A 1x12 pine common board, like the one we used here, gives the project a rough-hewn look, thanks to subtle imperfections that add character. After cutting the board to 36 inches, we sanded it smooth using a block and medium-grit paper. We laid out the plates on the board (ours are 8 inches in diameter, spaced 4 inches apart) and drilled pilot holes where the nails would go. Finishing the board with dark antiquing wax gave the wood an aged patina. Last, we hammered in decorative nails, then set the plates in place. Dishing up style has never been so easy.
Decorative cut nails lend rustic charm. We like these BT&C nails (2-inch size, about $16 for a 1-lb. box; Tools for Working Wood