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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.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2003


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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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