Place a piece of large kraft paper on the table. Place your collection of plates on the paper so that you can arrange them. Look at each plate carefully for any signs of distress or damage. Most plates can be hung if they are in reasonably good repair.
Measure your amount of wall space. Transfer the measurement to the paper. There are two types of designs: organized and disorganized. An organized arrangement is the careful ordering and placement of plates in a symmetrical design. A disorganized arrangement creates an undulating mass of plates that wander off to a side or up a wall, as if escaping. The disorganized arrangement has more of a "wow" factor.
Space your arrangement with your plates close together. Try a second version with the plates further apart. Move the plates around until you see the arrangement you really like. Draw around each plate in the position you like. Lift the plate and label the circle so that you can identify which plate went where. Repeat for all of the plates.
Apply a sticky disc hanger to the center back of each plate. These hangers are strong, and they are designed for hanging plates. The hanger will not release until you wash the adhesive in hot water.
Position the paper on the wall and tape the corners. Nail a picture hanger at the center of each plate circle on the paper. Cut your paper around the hangers and place the paper on the table.
Reference the paper to hang the plates in the exact arrangement you designed.