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Patterned Mosaic Pots

Bedecking small household objects, such as these terra-cotta planters, with china fragments adds a delightfully unexpected flourish -- and requires only a few plates per pot.


Here, some of the pots are edged with the border patterns of china, and one wears a dainty re-creation of a flower design that was once part of a saucer. 


  • Tile nippers
  • Plate fragments
  • Terra cotta pots
  • Glue
  • Grout
  • Wooden stick
  • Gloves
  • Sponge or rag
  • Foam brush or spray 
  • Grout sealant


  1. Step 1

    Use tile nippers to break plates into small pieces. To replicate a plate's pattern, keep the cut pieces organized in the original design as you lay out materials.

  2. Step 2


    Carefully glue them on the pot, leaving small crevice in between, and then fill in the remaining surface with additional pieces. Let pieces dry overnight.

  3. Step 3

    Mix grout (which fills the spaces between tiles, locking them into place), according to package instructions; use a wooden stick to spread it evenly over the mosaic. Wearing gloves, use fingertips to press the grout into crevices.

  4. Step 4

    Wipe off any excess grout with a damp sponge or rag, being careful not to wipe away the grout in the crevices. Switch to a dry rag for any residual grout. Let the grout dry overnight. 

  5. Step 5

    Take the pots outside, and use a foam brush or spray to apply the grout sealant, which protects the grout from water damage, mildew, and dirt. (Glazed ceramic tiles are already waterproof, so you only need to seal the grout.) Wipe off any excess with a damp sponge or rag immediately, and let it dry for one day in a well-ventilated spot.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2003

Reviews (18)

  • shereesews 2 Mar, 2010

    I use Liquid Nails Small Project household adhesive LN700, it comes in a squeeze tube. It is for ceramic and masonry and is weather resistant. Seal the inside of your terra-cotta pot before hand, by painting it. It will add a layer of moisture protection. I put a liner in my mosaic pots before sitting plants in them. Make sure you knead the tube ahead of time to mix the inside contents. Sobo glue will not be strong enough!

  • kymsmum 28 Sep, 2009


  • MSLO_Admin3 26 Aug, 2009

    Hi everyone, Thanks for your comments. More detailed instructions have now been added!

  • Yombe 14 Aug, 2009

    Is that Sobo craft glue in the background on left? We need detailed instructions, please.

  • shaleina 13 Aug, 2009

    What good are craft ideas without instructions?

  • ward0284 18 Jul, 2009

    totally agree. great idea, but how do you make them??

  • drdc 30 Apr, 2009

    Instructions need to be included.

  • lbuser 30 Apr, 2009

    You will need mastic if using heavier pieces like rocks or cup handles, and silicon glue for tiles or stained glass. Glue on and let dry over night. Grout with non-sanded grout and apply with a popsicle stick. Let dry for several hours or over night. Wipe off then seal. That is all there is to it. If you are letting little kids do this, make sure they wear gloves, but they love this. Easy and fun.

  • Anngel 30 Apr, 2009

    I would love to make this since I have lots of cracked and broken dishes but we need instructions...............

  • lildudleysmom 29 Apr, 2009

    My sisters made these and used tile glue, outdoor grout and grout sealer along with the pieces of tiles and terra cotta pots. They also added pieces of sea glass here and there for added color and texture, they are absolutely beautiful.

  • northernsongbird 29 Apr, 2009

    This is a great idea, but we need more than just the idea, we need instructions, including a materials list, as others have stated.

  • Susanhurtado 29 Apr, 2009

    To find a materials list go to and it POTS, not TOPS (typo in the directions)

  • Mrs S 29 Apr, 2009

    The bottle almost looks like regular craft glue. Not likely. Materials list, please!

  • Pnutz 29 Apr, 2009

    Had same prob last yr with pebblel pots. Used liquid nails and plain grout from Home Depot. Depends on indoor/outdoor. Check out, have lots of help there.

  • naoko53 29 Apr, 2009

    It would save our time if we know what to use.
    I think you need epoxy glue (or some sort of strong glue) then use grout or something to fill the spaces... But I've never done this kind of craft so I'm not so sure. It's cheaper to go to hardware store, instead of place like Michael's

  • mrscoop111 29 Apr, 2009

    I agree..a materials list would be great..especially for a non crafter like myself!

  • CaseyL 29 Apr, 2009

    It would be nice if the materials list was included in this craft. I would like to know what kind if adhesive was used as well as grout.