Two different atmospheric pressure microplasma systems are discussed and used for the synthesis and surface engineering of a range of nanomaterials. Specifically a gas-phase approach from vaporized tetramethylsilane has been used to synthesize silicon carbide nanoparticles with diameters below 10 nm. A different microplasma system that interfaces with a liquid solution has then been used for the synthesis of surfactant-free electrically stabilized gold nanoparticles with varying size. A similar microplasma-liquid system has been finally successfully used to tailor surface properties of silicon nanoparticles and to reduce graphene oxide into graphene. The synthesis and surface engineering mechanisms are also discussed.