Anglo Saxon Plate Decoration

The Anglo-Saxons were skilled metal workers. They knew how to craft and forge gold, silver and other precious metals. To add extra beauty they would inlay their objects with jewels and enamelled ground glass. Anglo-Saxon jewellery was very colourful so be sure to make your design stand out from the crowd!

Anglo Saxon Plate Decoration

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

1.5 hours + drying time for paint and glue

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Cut an 8cm diameter circle from a polystyrene sheet then glue it in the middle of a large cardboard plate (any colour). Cut a 3cm diameter circle then glue it into the middle of the bigger polystyrene circle. To draw the circles, you could use a cup or a glass for the bigger circle and a glue stick for the smaller circle.
  2. Cut 4 small matching wedge shaped pieces from polystyrene, glue them around the circle into a cross.
  3. Roughly mark out 6 x 3cm circles onto the plate in pencil, spacing the circles evenly on the flat area of the plate. Cut 6 x 10cm-12cm pieces of cotton string. Brush glue over the pencil circles, leave it for a minute or so to get tacky then stick the string into spiral shapes to make a raised pattern. Brush glue over the middle of the cross then stick a pieces of string into circle on top.
  4. Glue around the edge of the plate then stick 2 x longer pieces of string (70cm + 60cm) into a border. Cut some short 3cm string pieces then glue inside the border to make a pattern. Trim off any overhanging string ends. Leave to dry.
  5. Paste glue all over the plate, string and polystyrene. Press a piece of tissue paper (any colour) over the top brushing it over the plate and the raised areas. Any small tears in the tissue can be covered with paint at the next stage. Tuck the tissue over the edge of the plate then leave it to dry.
  6. Paint the whole plate gold and leave it to dry.
  7. Use a small brush to fill in some of the raised areas with metallic colours to look like enamelling. Leave to dry. Glue coloured mosaic stones in between the string patterns. Leave to dry. Stick gold or silver pearls onto the plate as extra decoration.
Anglo Saxon Plate Decoration Anglo Saxon Plate Decoration Anglo Saxon Plate Decoration

Top Tip

To make the decoration stronger, before you start glue 2 large cardboard plates together as a base to work on. It’s easier to stick down the string pieces if you leave the glue to get tacky for a few minutes.

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