Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Charger Plates...I Don't Get It

There seems to be a new trend in decorating Charger Plates. Some of my friends have done some great things with these plates and I have done the whole "oooohhhh" "aaahhhh" with some of the great vinyl alteration. But....I don't get it!

I have seen Charger Plates in stores ever since I can remember and I have always read the same thing "not intended for food" and I always think the same thing "THEN WHAT IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO DO WITH IT IF I CAN'T PUT FOOD ON IT?". I decided to look up the purpose on the internet and here is what I found on Wikipedia, which I am sure ya'll know has to be gospel because anyone can give information *okie hopes folks know that was said tongue in cheek and wonders why we say tongue in cheek when we really mean we are being a smart azz*...

Charger plates or service plates are larger decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events. While the charger plates have been around since the 19th century, they returned to popularity in the late `90s. Since food is not actually served on chargers, they are often called underplates or chop plates.[1] The word "charger" originated around 1275 - 1325 from the Middle English "chargeour". Formerly, a charger signified either a large platter or a large, shallow dish for liquids.[2]
They are usually larger than most common dinner plates. Since they are not used for food, charger plates can be found in a variety of materials, from traditional china, to metal, wood, glass, plastic and pearl. And they may be decorated with substances that can be toxic if ingested.
Charger plate etiquette and use varies among caterers and restaurants. Some professional catering companies remove the decorative charger plate as soon as the guests are seated. More commonly, charger plates are kept on the table during the serving of soups and first courses, and act as a base on which food-bearing bowls and dishes are placed. In other instances, when the design of charger plates complements the design of dining plates, charger plates are left on the table throughout the course of meal. However, charger plates are always removed before serving desserts.[1]

So you see, from Wikipedia it also says that the plate is not meant for food. I know it explains the decoration part but I thought that's what placemats for tablecloths were for. I will accept it can possibly give accent to your dinnerware but to remove it as soon as someone is seated? *okie raises one eyebrow and wonders if anyone is making sense of this useless plate*.

So it is a decoration for dinnerware. But now here is the thing...if you are gonna put vinyl in the middle and make it look so nice then what the hell do ya do with it? Do you put a plate on top of the Charger and cover up the design or do you go out and buy all clear plates so you can see the design? I am wondering if people collect charger plates and then have to wonder at the size of their plate rack for such a collection, does it take up a whole wall in their dining room?

*okie sighs deeply* I think sometimes I am too practical in some areas of my life. I prefer everything have a purpose, a practical purpose and well I guess these Charger Plates don't have any purpose for me. But I'll be damned if I probably won't purchase one or two in the near future and see how I can decorate this useless thing and then stick in a tote somewhere in my house because I don't know what the heck to do with it! Someone please tell me I got enough useless crap in totes and not to even consider this project!


  1. I've loved these things forever! These and the miniature salt and pepper shakers to have at each place setting.

    We used to entertain a lot and I would have LOVED a set to use on the table under my dishes. Back then, you could only buy them from high end stores and they were exxxxpeeensive!

    The plastic ones make great decorations for the mantle during the holidays. And, it's a challenge to come up with a pretty design to put on one.

    If I had four red ones, I'd darned sure use them under our plates tomorrow. They'd be gorgeous on the table cloth I'm using for Thanksgiving dinner. LOL!

  2. Okie you can also put them on a plate rack with your family initial . You can put different designs on them for holidays and such .

  3. They can be hung on a wall or as Linda said, put on the mantle to dress it up! Truthfully, I just found out about them about 5 years ago when my son got married and they used them. They did not get removed when they sat down to eat though. That seems kind of pointless! But, they really are fun to decorate and make great gifts at Christmas. Hope you and your daughter and her boyfriend have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. LOL Okie - I know where your coming from on this one - I bought some about 6 months ago, but I thought they would make great decorations for the girls bedrooms or maybe make them into a clock if you can drill a hole through the middle. But they are still in the cupboard. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. I've altered a couple of chargers and hung them on the wall as a seasonal decoration. I never put them on the table.

  6. Mine have been in their box for the 4 years I've had them. DON'T DO IT! You have much better things to do with your time than to mess with some plastic plates you might do something with..."you have enough useless crap in totes"!

  7. Mine have been in their box since I got them 4 years (or more?) ago. DON'T DO IT! As you said, you have enough useless crap in totes, don't waste your time on something you might do something with.

  8. You crack me up as usual! I totally agree with you. I have never bought them. If you would keep them on the table under the plates, people would drip stuff on them and then you'd be hand washing double the dishes!! Don't do it...

  9. Charger plates are mainly just for decoration. Of course you can't eat on them. It's just for your table to look nice and elegant. I don't use them for crafts or wall hangings or anything like that because personally I think it looks tacky. Yes, if you are a messy eater, then your food is going to spill in the charger plates but you just wash them and that's all. They don't take lots of room to store. I have them in red for Christmas, Valentine's and Thanksgiving and silver for other holidays or daily use. I guess it all depends what kind of lifestyle you have. If you are a simple person, you don't need them. If you are a little bit like me, I love to decorate my home and that includes eating in a decorated table with charger plates, then you would lime to have them. I don't need a holiday to set up a nice looking table. I decorate and garnish my food in a daily basis, and my husband and my daughter love to eat in an elegant decorated table.