Mosaic Pots With Broken China

We love the look of a mosaic made with broken china. The china tiles have such an elegant, vintage style that looks lovely in the garden -- perfect for dressing up terra cotta pots. We thought breaking china into tiles might be hard, but it turns out it's easy! All you need is the right tool. Here's how you do it.
For a complete list of the tools and materials you'll need for this project, plus step-by-step instructions, head over to our blog
The first step for making china mosaics is to gather decorated plates. We find these at flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales. (We think this is a really fun step!) We decided to add three-dimensional china roses to this project so we looked for china knickknacks with flowers, too.
If you've never done it before, breaking the china for a mosaic might seem daunting. How do you cut the plates? Well, once you see how it's done, it's not that hard. So we made a video to show you how. The key is to use the right cutting tool!
The trick to cutting up plates into mosaic tiles is to use either tile nippers or wheel cutters. You just squeeze your cutting tool onto the edge of the plate and a piece of china will break right off!
Keep cutting the china pieces into smaller pieces until you have all the tiles you need. Then glue these onto your terra cotta pots.
We used sanded white grout for this project and mixed it according to the directions on the package. You really do just smear the grout all over the tiles, making sure you get it in between the tiles.
Then you clean the grout off the tiles with a damp sponge.
We let our grout dry for 24 hours and then sealed the surface with grout sealer. Then we planted our trio of mosaic pots with trendy succulents!
To see the complete how-to, including steps to chisel the roses off the knickknacks, come over to our blog at We have loads of mosaic projects, and we are always available if you have any questions. Just leave us a comment and we'll reply!
Jennifer & Kitty, The O'Neil Sisters
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Jennifer & Kitty O'Neil

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 22 questions
  • Yvonne Gustafson
    Yvonne Gustafson
    on Apr 23, 2018

    my daughter and I made these pots about 10 years ago but I found that some of my cuts stood out from the pot making the area very sharp. Can you sand down some of these pieces before you glue them to the pot? I plan on making these a DIY project for my girls weekend sleepover! Figured I would ask each girl there favorite color and use plates of that color. Also will nip and cut the pieces myself, as well as paint the pots to save time for my guests. So all they will do is glue the pieces, grout and seal the pot! Thanks so

    much! I love making these.

  • Melanie
    on Nov 24, 2018

    I have made several mosaic pots lately. I'm having a hard time finding old China to use. Where can I find China?

  • Janet McCarraher
    Janet McCarraher
    on Dec 5, 2018

    What type of glue did you use?

Join the conversation

2 of 147 comments
  • Carrie Lynn Helton-Blair
    Carrie Lynn Helton-Blair
    on Jan 23, 2018

    How about if you use a circle glass cutter to cut the center flower or design out will that work just as well it might ensure that you will save the design.
  • MCC
    on Mar 26, 2020

    I love this idea; especially with old blue plates that were my mother’s, but none match and nobody wanted them. So now I know what to do with them!!!

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