Making festive plates is fun for the whole family.

"David and I try to involve the kids in whatever projects we can," says Meme Hobbs. "And around the holidays, there seem to be an abundance of them--both kids and projects," she says with a laugh.

This time of year, Meme and her children paint ceramic plates to display. Take a cue from the Hobbs family, and turn up the Christmas carols, sit in front of a roaring fire, and paint pretty plates for the season.

It's easy to embellish ceramic plates with special designs. Create your own keepsakes following our simple steps. You're not limited to plates; children will enjoy painting wrapping paper and cards as well.

Step 1: Wash ceramic plates with soapy water, and allow to dry.
Step 2: Prepare the surface of the plates by wiping thoroughly with denatured alcohol.
Step 3: Paint designs on the individual plates, allowing each color to dry completely before adding a second color. Use fine-line paint pens for smaller accents. Protect the finish with a clear glaze. Wash your new plates by hand. (Note: These plates are for decorative purposes only.)

Supplies list for ceramic plates.

•plain ceramic plate

•denatured alcohol

•cotton rags

•paint (such as Delta Air-Dry Perm Enamel) and paint pens

•paintbrushes in several sizes

•glaze (such as Delta Air-Dry Perm Enamel Clear in a satin finish

"Holiday Keepsakes" is from the December 2002 issue of Southern Living.