Mosaic Teacup Planter

7 Materials
3 Days

I went to an estate sale, found these beautiful teacups and plates and paid $5 for all. I didn't just want to display them behind glass doors, I wanted to use them. And now that spring has finally sprung, creating a planter would allow me to make them into something useful and enjoy them every day.
I also purchased this shutter set at the same sale for $2.50. This would be the back of my planter.
I only needed one shutter so I unscrewed and separated the set.
After washing all of the cups and plates, the fun began. I used a shallow box to smash the china into small pieces. Of course, I wore eye protection since glass shards could go flying.
I wanted to use the cups as the planters so,
A-I began with the tea cup
B-Using a Dremel, I scored two lines on the cup,
C-cutting through completely
D-I then scored a line at the bottom of the cup, connecting the two lines
F-And cut the piece completely off
G-I also cut a slit on the front of the cup, at the bottom. This slit is the drainage hole.
Again, I wore protective eye wear, gloves and a dust mask because of the tiny glass shards flying off of the cups.
This is what the cup would look like once it was attached to the shutter.
I applied mastic to the shutter using this notched "trowel" (cost $0.99 at Lowe's). If you never applied mastic before, you cannot apply it as a smooth surface, you must make grooves so whatever you are applying, in this case the china, actually stays in place.
I worked in small sections so the mastic wouldn't dry too quickly.
Because my shutter had a recessed panel, I filled the groove with mastic making the entire shutter surface even.
Then I placed my pieces of broken plates and the teacups onto the shutter making sure they were secure in the mastic.
I allowed the mastic to dry overnight. Now it was time to grout.
I applied the grout it using a Mr. Clean magic eraser-type sponge. You have to squish the grout between each piece of china and this sponge was small enough to do that.
Again, I worked in small sections.
Once the grout was complete, I used a damp cloth to wipe away any excess grout. You normally use a sponge to wipe away the excess grout; however, this project was small and the pieces of china were tiny so the cloth worked much better than a sponge.
I allowed the grout to dry 24 hours.
After the grout was dry, I flipped the mosaic on it's back and attached 2 "U" hooks onto the back of the shutter.
I took the mosaic outside and sprayed the front and back with Thompson's WaterSeal. I allowed it dry for 2 hours.
I planted the teacups with plants called "Treadwells" which are low, creeping ground cover.
I hung my planter on a stone wall beside my patio. I screwed 3" screws between the blocks and hung the mosaic with the "D" rings.
This area gets late afternoon sun so it's perfect for these plants.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Rose Brady
    on Sep 20, 2018

    Love this idea. I inherited a set of dishes from an aunt that belonged to her mother. I needed to find a way to display them. It sounded like you were saying something like mastis (sp) but what I see is this Weldwood Multi-Purpose Ceramic Tile Adhesive,are these the same things? But I also liked the artificial flowers the gentleman commented. I would love to do this in my kitchen where tea is served and real flowers would not work. I even have the shutters!! I don't know if I like the cracked saucers I would want to see if there was a way to keep the saucer in tack like gluing down the saucer and seeing if I could glue the cup to the saucer or have the saucer in the middle since they would all match. Now to find someone to cut the cups for me???? But please tell me if Welwood is the correct word and any certain grout or is grout grout

    • S
      on Apr 20, 2019

      For a small project like this, I would recommend using unsanded grout, rather than sanded grout. Sanded grout (has sand/aggregate added to grout) is much more durable (usually used for flooring) but it may scratch the surfaces of your pieces.

      Weldwood is one of many types of mastic, Liquid Nails is another...since it’s organic, it can harbor mold in high-moisture areas. (Mastic is an organic glue made from the sticky resin of the mastic tree.) You may want to opt for Thin Set in applications where it will be exposed to moisture.

  • Beth
    on Sep 30, 2018

    Where do you get teacups and saucers like that. I don't want to buy a whole set, since I would want variety there. Thank you.

    • Cynthia Porter
      on Apr 27, 2019

      Good will stores and The Salvation Army thrift stores always have these. Good luck.

  • Karen Pullen
    on Apr 18, 2019

    First of all, this is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing. One question: did you have trouble with some of the saucer pieces being too curved or was your mastic thick enough you could sink it enough so that they laid flat? Thanks again and take care.

Join the conversation

2 of 120 comments
  • Ann fuqua
    on Jun 17, 2019

    I work for an estate sale company. We can hardly give away “”valuable bone China” I have 3 entire sets myself, that my daughter does not want!

    It is so great to see it repurposed in such fun creative ways.

  • Mike
    on Aug 1, 2019

    Tried it.....

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