Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2008
On a computer, reverse the photograph. Print it onto the decal paper, and cut out the image.
Place the decal paper on a baking sheet, and heat in an oven according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Put the decal into the bowl of water. The plastic will begin to curl away from the paper backing. Slip off image, and apply it facedown on the plate, positioning it as desired.
Dampen paper towel with water. Heat the image with the blow-dryer on low, using the paper towel to smooth the image and press out any bubbles or ridges as you work.
When the image is completely smooth and the decal has dried, heat the plate in the oven to set the design, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Water-slide decal paper for laser printers, available at stationery and crafts stores
Bowl of water
Ovenproof porcelain plate
Tips: Photograph the image you plan to use against a plain background. We photographed pears with crinkled sheets of tissue paper against a sheet of white paper. Not all laser printers are compatible with decals -- check the decal package before you start the project. The finished dish will be food-safe but not dishwasher-safe; wash it by hand.