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How to Design a China Mosaic Planter

Break a dish? Transform ceramic and plate shards into a china mosaic flowerpot.

Eileen Haller of Marina del Rey, Calif., comes from a family of artists, so it wasn't surprising that she quickly mastered the mosaic technique after being impressed by a friend's mosaic fireplace. Now she scours thrift shops to incorporate found objects in her unique mosaic flowerpots.

Materials and Tools:

plain ceramic flowerpot and saucer
variety of colorful broken shards
colored glass marbles
unusual decorative piece to incorporate into design:
-small Buddha
ceramic tile adhesive
hard stone to break dishes
dry grout
mixing bowl
grout sealer
safety goggles
rubber gloves
masking tape


1. Select a base for the project: standard terra cotta flowerpot and saucer, cement stepping stones, glass containers, or bowls from garden stores for birdbaths. Paint your own unfinished mosaic foundations purchased from local suppliers.

2. Select colorful and patterned crockery (ceramics, plates, china, etc.).

Figure D

3. Wearing safety goggles and rubber gloves, break ceramics into shards with a hammer. Tip: Break pieces inside bags to confine to one area.

4. Lay out desired design on a table or tray. Incorporate found objects (shells, small statues, marbles, etc.) into the design.

Figure E

5. Adhere pieces in a decorative pattern to the pot and saucer using ceramic tile adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the back of each shard using a knife like buttering a piece of bread. Piece must be allowed to dry 24 hours before grouting.

Figure G

6. Mix grout with water to an oatmeal-like consistency. Caution: Wear a dust mask and rubber gloves while mixing the grout. Brush the grout on the piece, filling in the spaces between the shards. After a couple of minutes, wipe the grout off of the ceramics using a wet rag.

7. Remove grout from each piece of shard. After the pieces have dried completely, eliminate any remaining grout residue with alcohol. After 24 hours, spray pieces with grout sealer.

Enjoy your flower bouquet in your china mosaic planter.


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