It's Mad Hatter Tea Party Totem Time

Bobbi Perreault
by Bobbi Perreault
6 Hours
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
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?
Disclaimer: No Good Dishes were Harmed in the Assembly of this Project.
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.
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,
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.
Keep stacking and gluing. (This assembly took about 4 hours, because of the time required to drill the holes.)
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!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Judy Kwiatkowski Judy Kwiatkowski on Mar 10, 2016
    Is there a special drill for ceramics?
  • Vicki Gillette 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.
Join the conversation
2 of 91 comments