Thursday, January 21, 2010


Do you know what a Charger Plate is? Is this a Charger Plate? WiseGeek says that a Charger Plate is “an elegant and underused element of a place setting.” It says that it is “also known as a chop plate, service plate, or under plate…. it never directly touches any food.” The Charger Plate is larger than a dinner plate and is to make the table look pretty. They can be made of a wide range of materials from metal, wood, plastic, etc. Do not eat off of your Charger Plate.

I noticed that Moda had a pattern for a Charger Plate. As WiseGeek says, a Charger Plate can be made of a wide range of materials. What, I wonder is the difference between a Charger Plate and a Placemat? We obviously are not going to eat off a Placemat. I use my Placemat for decorative purposes; among other things. (Like keeping my tablecloth clean). So is a Charger Plate just a fancy word for a Placemat? Can a Charger Plate be made out of cloth?

Did you know that there is etiquette to using a Charger Plate? According to Manners International, a Charger Plate should be on the table when the guests arrive. Makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is this. Manners International says that you can use your Charger Plate for the soup, fish or salad course but “It is customary for the Charger Plate to be removed prior to the serving of the entree or dinner course.” What about that entire decorative ambiance? Does anyone serve courses anymore? Manners International does say that the choice is up to the host whether to leave the Charger Plate on for the main course, however you should always remove the Charger Plate before the dessert course.

Whether you call it a Charger Plate or a Placemat you should look into Lurline’s tutorial for making a very decorative piece to go on your table. Lurline has a wonderful tutorial and she made it with beautiful fabrics. She got me inspired to do something with my scraps. It’s not as pretty as hers, but I did use up some of those scraps. Check out Loft Creations also. You will get inspired when you see how others are using their scraps to make beautiful creations.

Until next time,


Terry said...

Could it be that a placemat is rectangular and a charger plate is round? I love the one you've made here! It would make a beautiful addition to any table! :0)

free indeed said...

Well now, you've burst my bubble! I so love chargers! I have a baroque set I bought for my daughters wedding dinner (and afterward decided to keep for me...bad mommy). They do so set up an elegant table. I saw that post about dresden plate chargers and oh, I needed me some of those! So I bought a wedge and want to make fall colored 'chargers' for my next Thanksgiving. Now to think they might only be placemats after all!!!!! Burst my bubble!...but I'll make them anyway and call them chargers and if it isn't too complicated, I may try to make them reversible so I can have a Christmas set as well....humph....placemats indeed! ;)

Stephanie said...

I love Lurline's tutorial. It's on my "to do" list.

Allie said...

Well that is awesome - and I would call it a charger plate, since it's round!

Shippymolkfred said...

What a fantastic piece of work.

Greetings from Scotland

Miss Nancy said...

Thank you for leading us in this direction. These placemats are so bright, cheery, and colorful. Love these placemats. Great tutorials.

This is something I would like to do soon. We need something to brightn up the fog we are having.

Have a super great day.

Chris said...

Beautiful, beautiful work!

FYI - There is another use for the charger plate. In restaurants and healthcare the plates are heated, so they are WAY too hot to handle. You use the special tool (a long handled suction cup, affectionately called a "thwacker" due to the sound it makes) to lift the hot plate. You set the hot plate onto an unheated plate, tray or liner so you can safely transport it without burning your hands!

Anonymous said...

I always thought of a charger plate as an actually plate - different than a place mat or a beautiful decorative cloth piece that might go under a plate. However, these are beautiful!

Mary Lou Weidman said...

I adore these and for charger plates it is an elegant and great idea! The only thing in my house I would need is plastic to save them from drips and drops of soup and gravy. They sure are pretty!

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