Garden Mosaics Made From Broken Tiles

6 Materials
4 Days


Upgrade your garden by creating mosaics of old broken tiles!

Our pool area needed to be fixed and connected to the patio at the house, so I used old, ugly pavers, a couple of cement blocks and some old broken tiles, and with that I created a new staircase and a pair of flower boxes.

This is how it looked before. The steps up tp the pool were falling apart and the soil fell onto the steps.

These were the old pavers I used for the base of my mosaics for the path.

The first thing I did was to break the old tiles into small pieces. One of the cats joined me in that!

Then I used the pieces to make the mosaics on some old pavers. I used regular tile adhesive to glue the tile pieces and after it had dried (24 hours) I used regular tile grout.

After that I continued to put tile pieces on two cement blocks which I intend to plant some flowers in.

This is what they looked like before the grouting!

After that I started with the steps up to the pool. I put bricks on the two first steps and then mosaics on the top step as you can see in the picture. I also made brick walls on the sides to keep the soil away from the steps.

The steps ready!

After that I continued by starting with the path that would lead to our patio and house by using the mosaic pavers and some pieces of brick. Since this is in South Italy there is no need to worry about winter frost so I only put some sand underneath.


The path is ready!

Now, I can walk without shoes from the pool to the house!


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Frequently asked questions

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  60 questions
  • Karen Stefani Karen Stefani on Aug 17, 2017
    Love it! How did you get the mosaic tiles so uniform to make your scenes? Thank you.
  • Cathy Cathy on Aug 17, 2017
    Did you have many multi-colored old tiles that account for all the colors in your mosaics? Or did you paint some of the broken tile pieces when they were on installed on the pavers?
  • Linda Medley Linda Medley on Aug 17, 2017
    Do you want to come to my house and share your talents?!? 😃 Great job!
  • Tdb28671538 Tdb28671538 on Aug 17, 2017
    You did a marvelous job lady! I would love to know how did you build the foundation for your pool? Yes I do apologize my question isn't about the flower board
    thank you😊 Dona
  • Hustonprincess Hustonprincess on Aug 17, 2017
    Did you consider using a NON SKID/SLIP coating on that surface?
  • Marilee H Marilee H on Aug 17, 2017
    Love this - will the mosaics hold up through winter?
    • SM SM on Aug 17, 2017
      See the full description
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 17, 2017
      I did this in the south of Italy so I don't need to worry about any cold winter temperatures. In Sweden though (I live partly in Sweden and partly in Italy) I think I would have checked more carefully that the tiles could stand frost etc.
  • Kathy Kathy on Aug 17, 2017
    Truly a work of art. How long did it take you to complete the project?
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 17, 2017
      Thanks! It took around a week, but I didn't work with it during the whole days. But you need to let the tile adhesive dry before you can put on the grout (at least over night) so you have to take some breaks!
    • Sharon Roscher Sharon Roscher on Aug 17, 2017
      A Week??? It looks like "years" worth of absolutely beautiful work!

  • Julie Porter Julie Porter on Aug 17, 2017
    Love it, and love that pool, it's such a natural looking setting. Can I ask - is it a regular in ground pool?
  • Bli28288242 Bli28288242 on Aug 17, 2017
    This is beautiful! May I ask how you colored the mosaic pieces or did you purchase them?
  • Julie Bounds Julie Bounds on Aug 17, 2017
    I don't speak Italian, but are yall issuing invitations to visit??????
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 17, 2017
      If you, or anybody, want to visit you are welcome! But I live part of the year in Sweden, so it has to be at a time when we are in Italy.
  • Mdo21567202 Mdo21567202 on Aug 17, 2017
    Beautiful but how long did it take to do?
  • Jsu29113116 Jsu29113116 on Aug 17, 2017
    just beautiful!! we are going to Italy next fall, are you near the Amalfi Coast Region?
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 17, 2017
      We are about 250 km from the Amalfi coast (2-3 hours drive), in the Basilicata region, in the countryside outside of the village/town Pisticci. It is near the Ionian sea and near Matera (a city on UNESCO's list of world heritages). The area is not very well known by tourists, so you get to meet the authentic Italian lifestyle if you come!
  • Patti Cardinal Patti Cardinal on Aug 17, 2017
    Do you know what you would have to do differently in a cold climate? You have given me hope that I can finish a mosaic walkway project I have been afraid to even begin!
    • Estasban Estasban on Aug 18, 2017
      Patti , check for any posts relating to installing a brick or concrete paver walk ways . Depending on you specific location you'll have to accommodate for the freeze/ thaw cycle but in most cases you can do it.
      Here is just one article that may get you started:
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 18, 2017
      I agree with Esteban.
    • Barb Barb on Apr 03, 2018

      It is fantastic ! What a beautiful area and work done to make it so relaxing and inviting . I really love how the path turned out with the brick around on an angle as you made it .

      I love the trees I thought they were willow trees at first glance lol.Had to look at the leaves better.


  • Janice Wilder Janice Wilder on Aug 17, 2017
    Bella!! Are those olive trees behind the pool?
  • Kitty Rozenstraten Kitty Rozenstraten on Aug 17, 2017
    Something tells me that you didn't just randomly broke the old tiles. Did you use a tile cutter? How did you get so many different colors?
  • June Joyce June Joyce on Aug 18, 2017
    how much water did you bring to your wife's clean floor?

  • Anne Anne on Aug 18, 2017
    Where did you acquire the colored tile pieces?
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 19, 2017
      The colored tiles were tiles left over from a previous project. I bought them years ago at a regular store that sell building materials.
    • Kam28564965 Kam28564965 on Aug 19, 2017
      If you have a reuse store in your area you can try looking there.
    • Anne Anne on Aug 19, 2017
      Thank you for the info, I think you said that in the directions, but there were so many pretty pieces, I thought surely you raided a tile store
  • Katherine Katherine on Aug 19, 2017
    Your work is truly beautful! Regarding the cement brick planters...I really love them and would like to make these. What did you do to the bottom of the planter? Is it open ? Did you attach a bottom of some sort?
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 20, 2017
      Thanks! I didn't do anything to the bottom of the blocks, just left them as they are. But, if you want you could of course attach some kind of bottom to ensure that the soil is kept inside.
    • RC Leach RC Leach on Aug 22, 2017
      You may have drainage problems, if you put a something on the bottom, though. I think I would try to figure out a means of retaining the soil in the blocks, (coffee filter paper maybe?) and draining the excess water out, and away from the walkway/steps.
    • Katherine Katherine on Aug 22, 2017
      Thakyou for our invites. I will take that under advisement
    • Jami Gonzales Jami Gonzales on Sep 17, 2017
      You can also use a diaper helps to keep the dirt and moisture in.
    • Muttley Motes Muttley Motes on Sep 18, 2017
      You could take a contractor garbage bag (bin bag) and cut the height down. Open it up inside the beautiful planter you have created, then pierce small holes for some drainage.

      Put a layer of gravel and such to keep the holes from clogging and then fill with soil and plants. You could also take thin pieces of left over tile and shore up the edges of the bag around the sides.

      I love that you have reused materials, as well as made such a pretty and unique walk that you can enjoy, as well as be proud of! Congratulations and we'll done!

    • Jos21444234 Jos21444234 on Oct 08, 2017
      I really like the way you juxtaposition the bricks and tiles so that the whole walkway connects beautifully from patio to the pool steps without having to figure out how to curve the whole thing. Nicely done!
  • Peggy Marcum McCarter Peggy Marcum McCarter on Aug 20, 2017
    Beautiful and you are very talented!! How long did this take?
    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Aug 20, 2017
      It took a week but I didn't work the whole days (the tile adhesive needs to dry before you can put on grout so you need to wait).
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Aug 30, 2017
    Could you do this on old concrete steps, rather than ugly outdoor carpet?

  • Teresa Navarro Tarazi Teresa Navarro Tarazi on Oct 20, 2017
    Beautiful project. I have a curved cement stairway leading to our pool area. One area of the curve is really off. How do I add more cement to make it at least appear more even?
    • Dianne Dianne on Jul 21, 2018

      Make a square frame from 2x4's and place over the bad area then pour your concrete. Be sure to level it with the remaining part of your walk.

  • Gracie Gracie on Jul 21, 2018

    hi, did it just take a week from start to finish, including all the cutting of the millions of tile shapes, and what tool did you use?

  • Den33569603 Den33569603 on Jul 21, 2018

    For those of us that HAVE FROST...even this even a possibility?!?!?

    • LorriLJ LorriLJ on Jul 22, 2018

      Yes. But you need to put gravel and sand to prevent heaving in the winter. The mosaics will hold up nicely if you seal them after grouting.

    • Amy Haines Amy Haines on Jul 28, 2018

      Porcelain tiles atre the only tile that are engineered to be “frost proof”

    • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Dec 15, 2018

      I suspect they DO have frost and snow in Sweden. Don't you?

  • Karen Daly Karen Daly on Jul 21, 2018

    I have lots of used bricks. Does anyone have DYI to dress them up and use on an incline path.

  • Genie Medlin Genie Medlin on Jul 28, 2018

    What is under the brick and tile to make the 3 stairs?

  • Kis7708465 Kis7708465 on Dec 15, 2018

    Can you come and do my backyard😉

  • Maggie Maggie on Dec 15, 2018

    What kind of paint did you use and did you use a dealer

  • Terry Terry on Dec 15, 2018

    Wow!! What a great job, but I got to ask, were you a brick layer before taking on this project?

  • Jean Jean on Dec 15, 2018

    Holy schmokies! What a lot of work! Beautiful results but I'd like more finish between the brickwork and tile in the walkways. Could you put sandbox sand in there or something? Still, GREAT JOB! jh

    • TOM TOM on Dec 15, 2018

      mix sand and concrete powder together. pour over tiles, sweep it in and lightly spray with hose. may have to do seval times, but makes nice looking finish.

    • Dmb Dmb on Dec 15, 2018

      beautiful piece of art !!!

  • Virginia ann bowman Virginia ann bowman on Dec 16, 2018

    Beautiful!!!! I love it. You did a fantastic job.

    Did you do the flowers "free-hand" or did you have a pattern for the flowers,e tc. that you followed?

    I love the idea of putting the pattern on the concrete bricks and use them for a planter. Looks great!! I love flowers and I really like this.

  • Cindi Eagle Cindi Eagle on Dec 22, 2018

    What to do with an uneven backyard, has a hump in the middle and I don’t have the money to have it fixed?

    • Maria d santis Maria d santis on Jul 05, 2019

      Unless it’s in your way, don’t fix it. Plant it. It sounds like it’s a berm.

    • Leslie Leslie on Jul 05, 2019

      Cindi, how tall is the hump and can you dig into it, if so, get some of the neighborhood kids to help you level it. Give them some money depending on the time it takes to level it. If you have no one to help make it a project and do it yourself. If the stuff you dig up is good soil save it by shaking it out into some heavy duty bags and save for your garden. Good luck.

    • Brad Brad on Jul 05, 2019

      It's an ancient Indian burial ground. Don't mess with it, or a Poltergeist situation could happen to you.

    • Sandra L Warren Sandra L Warren on Jul 05, 2019

      OMG your comment made me snort! I wasn't expecting actual humor here! You made my morning! Thanx Brad!

    • Sandra L Warren Sandra L Warren on Jul 05, 2019

      Google berm landscaping, there are a lot of great ideas. Otherwise take a pickaxe to it to loosen it and spread it out even.

    • Rose Rose on Jul 05, 2019

      Too funny Brad. The exact reason I have not touched the root humps in my yard. Are they really root humps???

      Any ideas on dealing with root humps on an incline? I can't chop the roots up and dig them out since my trees are still alive and I want to keep them.

      I would love to be able to level the space and put pavers or something there so we can enjoy the shaded space, but cost is the issue here too.

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 24, 2018

    What can I inexpensively cover a large sandy area where I park my vehicle, even if its temporarily

    • Beth Beth on Jul 05, 2019

      Your best bet, believe it or not, is indoor outdoor carpet. I know. Sounds awful. Install it carefully. Put lots of staples in so it doesn’t get all wadded up. Plan on smoothing it out fairly often.

      It will eliminate weeds and reduce the dirt on your shoes.

    • Sam12587 Sam12587 on Jul 05, 2019

      my 5 cents would be landscape fabric with bark style mulch on top.

      The mulch will minimize tire ruts that could make it harder to move the vehicle tires over time. Also that type of mulch doesn't give splinters when wearing sandals. Different stores have different sizes of this mulch, I'd seek out the one larger peices of bark.

      The landscape fabric would kill weeds and help block out mud when wet. Due to the weight of the vehicle, I'd avoid cheap landscape fabric as I've had it tear within a week on heavily used spots...

  • Dawn Dawn on Jul 05, 2019

    Gorgeous! How heavy is the step? How long for the whole project?

  • Karen Karen on Jul 05, 2019

    This is gorgeous art work! God bless you for your patience in doing this beautiful tiling! Will you come to my yard??

  • Sam12587 Sam12587 on Jul 05, 2019

    I really like this mosaic on pavers idea. So versatile!

    I've done floor mosaics in a very dim jar manner and can't beleive I never thought of this....

  • Karen Karen on Jul 06, 2019

    Beautiful,I love it,wanted to know was that an above pool dug in the ground halfway to make it look like that? Thanks

  • Diane Franklin Doletzky Diane Franklin Doletzky on Jul 06, 2019

    Ann-Christin, I am so impressed with your finished project! You are very talented and patient, too, with all of those tiny pieces! Thanks for showing us how to do a project carefully and so beautifully!!

    Diane In Arizona, USA

  • Marie Marie on Jul 12, 2019

    does anyone know if these tile mosaics would last outside in the winter in New England (zone 5) I really think they are beautiful but want to know about longevity..

    • Linda Linda on Jul 12, 2019

      Yes it should be fine

    • Joann Ward Joann Ward on Jul 12, 2019

      I am in Georgia and our relatively mild winters (compared to Wisconsin, South Dakota or even North Carolina) broke pieces of tile in a snow fall. This is what happened to me. YMMV but caution IMO should be factored in.

  • Marie Marie on Jul 12, 2019

    does anyone know if these tile mosaics would last outside in the winter in New England (zone 5) I really think they are beautiful but want to know about longevity..

    • Aaron Aaron on Jul 12, 2019

      This all matters how things came together. There is ways to make it work. With the humid, salt, water issues. Makes it harder. Better question. How long will it last. Use chicken wire, at very least, within the adhesives and completely coat them in the silicon/concrete/adhesive. No water let in. Even after full seal on top. You will have to at least, have to place some sort of sealant on top of it every year up there. If lucky, every two years

  • Becky Bright Becky Bright on Jul 12, 2019

    This is BEAUTIFUL!!! This the BEST thing I have seen on this site. Just wondering one this. Did you "rough up" the mosaic tiles? Or did you use some kind of coating for the top? The reason I ask is would they be slick and dangerous to walk on?? Major THUMBS UP on your project!! AWESOME!!

    • Aaron Aaron on Jul 12, 2019

      You can paint on top of tile now. Plus, typically anything like mosaic will have a natural slip resistance. Not Bc of the tiles top finish but the areas of broken and grout. The mosaic should be somewhat, naturally slip resistant. Not say that you can’t slip on it.

    • Ann-Christin Lövstedt Ann-Christin Lövstedt on Jun 22, 2020

      Thank you for your kind words! Didn't use anything to rough up the mosaic but we have never slipped. Guess that the grout makes them less slippery!

  • Diana Diana on Jul 12, 2019

    I also want to know if the mosaic would be slippery? But absolutely love the whole project even tho it's time intensive. Especially likewhat you did to those ugly cinder blocks!😊 Diana S.

    • Aaron Aaron on Jul 12, 2019

      Look above. By in large. Answer is no. In a completely perfect world of you and spouse. You smaller should worry. If with broken tile, concrete, wood or whatever, nothing is perfect. Everything makes an abrasion. Even trump or Obama. Real world just does. No. Your mine using same mosaic. If you really worry, like, stepping right out of pool, focus on tiles with abrasions for the mosaic. It will only prob work about two years. Then replace again.

  • Tracyann Tracyann on Jul 12, 2019

    I have a pallet of pavers and a pool I'm putting up we have a girl that drops down like this I'm going to try something like this it just opened my mind to a whole different way to do my yard thank you

  • Mary Mary on Jul 12, 2019

    This is so awesome!❤️

  • Christine White Christine White on Jul 12, 2019

    Does your pool have a liner

  • Nancy Schulze Nancy Schulze on Jul 12, 2019

    This is simply gorgeous!

    You did a beautiful job.

  • User User on Jul 12, 2019

    I don’t have a question I’d just like to tell you I love love it,it’s beautiful

  • Luwanna Sue Luwanna Sue on Jul 12, 2019

    Absolutely beautiful! Excellent work! Love that you planted in the open cinder blocks!

  • Terry Terry on Jul 12, 2019

    Absolutely gorgeous...

    Love this..

  • Colleen Colleen on Jul 12, 2019

    What could you do with skids?

  • Ruth Ruth on Jul 12, 2019

    Won't the tiles be slippery????

  • Merly Merly on Aug 02, 2019

    how to best lift bad odors from a teenager shirts

  • Vicky Vicky on Feb 27, 2020

    Can you do this on flat Rock

  • Sue Kujawa Sue Kujawa on Jun 21, 2020

    Is that your property???

  • Were the concrete steps there to begin with? Don’t see them in the before picture.

  • Darva D Darva D on Jun 21, 2020

    WOW 🤩 Just gorgeous!

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jun 21, 2020

    Absolutely Gorgeous! Wow! Are you selling your retro chair and table? I love them.

  • Michelle Mimi Coleman Michelle Mimi Coleman on Jun 22, 2020

    What's the thinnest substance can be used to make my mosaic masterpiece

    • Erin Erin on May 18, 2021

      As your substrate or as your mosaic tesserae? If you intend on stepping on your substrate, it has to be something that won’t crack underfoot. Like the pavers. As to your mosaic materials, you can use glass. Just make the pieces small enough. Big pieces of glass could crack when stepped on.

  • Susie McDonald Susie McDonald on Jun 23, 2020

    Oh wow. So does the pool come free 😂😂😂

    • Pat Pat on Jun 28, 2020

      You did an awesome job! Looks professionally done. Thank you for showing it.

  • Nancy D Nancy D on Jul 04, 2020

    How I combine Deco and keystone pavers to make a seating area?

  • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on May 18, 2021

    Are you accepting visitors? Che bella creazione!


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2 of 525 comments
  • Ladyphy2001 Ladyphy2001 on May 26, 2021

    Stunning! You must have been working with mosaics for quite awhile to be able to do such a creative and beautiful design.

  • Patty Patty on May 30, 2021

    Absolutely beautiful! Love the pattern of the path. Great job.