It's Mad Hatter Tea Party Totem Time

6 Hours
Medium

Blue and white dishes have always hit that soft spot in me, so I've ended up collecting a lot of it. Sometimes things break, but I can't bear to throw them away! So I pile them in cupboards. NOW, it's time to clean out things. Time for a parting of the ways. What better way to get rid of a bunch of broken things than to turn them into something fun and decorative for the garden. Here it is:
Chipped and Broken Dishes get new life
Chipped and Broken Dishes get new life
This is the finished totem. It's sitting by the front door at the moment. But I'm looking for a new home for it. (Update! Daughter is adopting the totem for her garden yay!) As stated: I'm trying to get rid of things not collect even more!
Yes, I have a problem. It's just that I can't pass up something blue and white. Now what?
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Disclaimer: No Good Dishes were Harmed in the Assembly of this Project.
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Here are some details on what I used to assemble this totem, the threaded rod was 32" long..
The base of the totem is a chunk of concrete I formed up using an old cat litter container. Put into the container about 10-15 lbs of concrete mix and stick a threaded rod in the center. Then add water, let it sit overnight. The next day, pour off the extra water and gently extract the still soft concrete from it's mold. At this point you can carve that cement and remove the sharp edges or whatever else you need.
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Drill holes in your dishes to put them over the rod,
Get a glass/ceramic bit for your drill (battery powered drill) - and put the spot you're drilling into the dishes into some water to keep it cool. Easy does it and be patient,
The first item is a re-use of a re-used item. That was a butter cover I made from a broken dish and a CD cover. I think it works better here. See the tiny little clock? And the spoon I bought from Hobby Lobby that I never knew what to do with,
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Angle them to allow drainage so when it rains the water gets out. Leave the hole at the very bottom and don't plug it with glue. Use packing tape to keep the angle you want, and tack with E6000 glue.
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Keep stacking and gluing. (This assembly took about 4 hours, because of the time required to drill the holes.)
repurposed tea set to outdoor decor, crafts, how to, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Top was finished off with a plate painted to be the Mad Hatter's alarm clock. I attached it with a spring so it's bouncy!

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Judy Kwiatkowski
    on Mar 10, 2016

    Is there a special drill for ceramics?

    • Bobbi Perreault
      on Mar 10, 2016

      Hi, Judy, The drill is just any old drill, except for I used a battery powered drill. But the drill bit is specifically for drilling ceramic or glass.

  • Vicki Gillette
    on Aug 28, 2016

    Might be a silly question, but do you take the packing tape off once the glue is dry? I think I still see some in the pics.

    • Vicki Gillette
      on Aug 28, 2016

      Thanks! I've made lots of plates flowers, and ready to branch out to totems. Just discovered threaded rod. Will be fun to try this. Must be our Minnesota ingenuity. I grew up in Milaca. Live Seattle.

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