How to Make a Mosaic Using Broken Dishes

Written by cyndee kromminga
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This mosaic project is a wonderful way to make a keepsake using broken dishes. Make a serving tray, table top, chair seat or what ever your mind can imagine. The few pieces of Great-Grandma's china that matches nothing you own but that you can't bear to part with can be made into a beautiful mosaic heirloom to last for many more years. Establish a new family heirloom by picking up stray china plates at flea markets or local yard sales and crafting lovely mosaics from broken dishes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • China plates
  • Contact paper
  • Grout
  • Household cement
  • Spatula
  • Sponge
  • Rubber mallet
  • Paper grocery bag
  • Tile nippers

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  1. 1

    Prepare the surface on which you'll create the mosaic. If the surface is covered with fabric or foam, remove it and discard.

  2. 2

    Cut and peel a piece of contact paper and stick it to the back of a china plate. Place the plate upside down in the paper grocery bag and tap the back lightly using the rubber mallet. Carefully pull the plate out of the bag. The broken plate will be stuck to the contact paper like a puzzle.

  3. 3

    Pick the pieces off the contact paper one at a time. Glue the pieces to the surface you are covering using the household cement. Leave a slight margin between the pieces. Duplicate the china plate pattern until all the pieces have been glued.

  4. 4

    Place another plate in the bag and tap lightly with the rubber mallet.

  5. 5

    Pour the pieces out of the bag and glue them in the void area around the plate until the whole surface is covered. Break more plates if needed. Use the tile nippers to trim the pieces to size for a better fit. Allow the glue to dry.

  6. 6

    Apply the grout to the mosaic using the spatula. Squish the grout between the pieces and smooth over the mosaic.

  7. 7

    Remove the excess grout on the mosaic using a damp sponge. Continue rinsing the sponge and cleaning until the mosaic feels smooth and not grainy. Allow the grout to dry.

  8. 8

    Wipe and polish the mosaic to remove the film using a dry polishing rag.

Tips and warnings

  • Many different pieces of china will work for a broken dish mosaic, but plates offer a wider, flat surface with fewer curves.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the grout container for applying and drying time to achieve a successful project.
  • Consider making several mosaic trays with broken heirloom dishes and gifting other members of your family with a keepsake.
  • Experiment with other types of dishes, such as stoneware.

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