After googling "plate wall collage", I found all kinds of other variations and knew this was my answer.
I had the perfect starting point...a plate that I got from my Aunt Vivian's estate that my MaMaw had made. My Aunt Ruthie used to have a ceramics studio and I can't tell you how many little ceramic figurines that I painted growing up. I'm pretty sure that's how she kept me entertained when I visited! Well, I wasn't the only one to sit in her shop and get dusty. Pretty much any one of my six aunts and many cousins could show you some creation either made by Aunt Ruthie or themselves somewhere in their home. I thought it a treasure when I spotted the cup and saucer in the hutch at my Aunt's house, and even more so when I turned it over and saw my MaMaw and Papaw's names scratched on the underside. (anyone else have a Grandmother named Willie?!)
I had been looking for a place to display them and this was definitely my perfect opportunity. Then came the search for my saucer's companions. I made a goal for myself (and kept it) to spend $2 or less per plate except one or two splurges. So I started out going to thrift stores in the area scouring for my frugal art creation. Goodwill became my best friend, as they had the best prices and most selection of single plates. (I think I've been to every one in a 50 mile radius) On our finalization day, my whole family decided to head to Canton (one, if not the biggest flea market in TX for you out-of-staters) and my Mom, cousin, and I had a blast searching for plates! I tended toward plates that looked hand made or from the 60's-70's (the rest of my house is a mesh of mid-century and modern) and finally was happy with my accumulated collection. I ended up ordering plate hangers off the Internet because I could never find enough in any one hobby store. So when they finally came in a couple weeks ago I was really excited. I started out by making templates on tracing paper of each plate and giving them their own names. I laid the plates out on the floor to find a pattern I liked and then taped the templates to the wall and moved them around to get them just right.Then I nailed in the appropriate hooks and one at a time, tore off the template and hung the plate. I was quite happy with my results!