Kix Cereal

DIY Seasonal Scenic Dishes

Given how easy it is to turn inexpensive, plain dishes into fun decor, I’m going to make some for every holiday. Display these festive dishes throughout the season, letting kids create their own fun scenes.

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Sure, the carrot nose is obvious, but maybe the snowman needs a sweet pea mustache and pasta hair? Or perhaps a Kix blizzard covers the evergreen with snow. Decorate the big tree for Christmas with blueberry ornaments and cheesy garland.  Fill Rudolph’s nose with red pepper pieces, and maybe give him a cucumber bow tie.

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How to make DIY seasonal scenic dishes

You will need:*

Plain, oven-safe plates
China paint pen

*The plates shown are from Ikea.  The pen used here is a Pebeo Porcelaine 150, found at Amazon.   Next time, I’ll try a pen with a wider tip, also at Amazon.

Plan your design first on paper, and then lightly sketch your design on the plate with a pencil.


Get the paint flowing in the paint pen according to the instructions on the pen, and test the paint first on a paper towel. Then, draw your design on the plate. Let the plate dry for 24 hours, and bake in a 300º F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before using. Make sure you handle these tasks for your kids.



  • To draw the trees, fold a piece of paper in half, draw half of the tree along the fold, cut it out, unfold the paper and use as a template to trace on the plate. For the snowman and reindeer, find circles around the house (cans, oatmeal containers, coffee can, etc.) to use as a guide. Trace them on paper, cut out and use as templates to trace on the plate.
  • If you make a mistake, you can wipe it off immediately with the corner of a damp paper towel. Let the plate dry before continuing.
  • Keep the designs simple so there is more room to fill in with food, but the design should still stand on its own without food. So for example, I drew the eyes and nose for the snowman even though raisins and a carrot can do the same job.

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FOOD SAFETY: Parents, please take note!! While there are no toxic ingredients in the porcelain pens and baking renders the gloss permanent and dishwasher safe, and these pens are often used on food plates as shown here, the manufacturer of the porcelaine pens does NOT recommend their use in areas that come in contact with food. Before kids begin to create their food art once the plate is ready, wrap the plate with plastic wrap before they start to play and eat. Alternatively, instead of eating off of the plates, have the kids fill in the designs and use these as festive holiday decor. Find more paint colors and information at Pebeo.


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I couldn’t resist just one more. Wouldn’t you like to wake up to this surprise at the bottom of your cereal?


Meaghan Mountford, author of Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion, has been creating crafty sweets for 15 years. She is especially fond of decorating cookies, marshmallows and putting sweets on sticks. See more on her blog, the decorated cookie.