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How To Upcycle China Plates With A Ryobi Rotary Tool

I was very excited when Ryobi gifted me with a cordless rotary tool as I genuinely thought of buying one. The tool hasn’t disappointed me, and I used to upcycle China plates into mini trees.

This handy rotary tool is great for hobby crafts. There are so many things you can do with it, from drilling, sawing, grinding, engraving and polishing, etc.

What I was interested in was using the tool to cut and grind ceramics with. I love to upcycle china plates, and in the past, I have made a stunning wall planter with them.

This time though I wanted to cut the China plates into a specific shape for a fun Christmas decoration. The Ryobi rotary tool certainly delivered with this upcycle; it was surprisingly easy to cut and upcycle china plates.

I used the cut china plate shapes to make some mini Christmas trees. The china plates weren’t the only thing I upcycled for this decoration; I also used some old cotton reels and fabric scraps.

#gifted: Even though Ryobi gifted me the tool I was under no obligation to post about it. The craft is my own creation, and Ryobi had no control over the content.

Ryobi multi tool

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What You Need To Upcycle China Plates

what you need to upcycle china plate

How To Upcycle China Plates Into Trees

Step 1: Turn the China plate over and draw on it a simple triangle tree shape with a sharpie. This will be the guide to use for cutting. Next, attach a diamond cutting disc to the end of the Ryobi rotary tool.

Please make sure that you wear safety glasses when using the Rotary tool. Tiny bits of ceramic will fly off when working with the China plate, and you don’t want to get any of those in your eyes!

cutting china plate

Step 2: Next, using the pen marks as a guide with the rotary tool, saw the triangle from the plate. You will be surprised how easily the rotary tool will cut through the China plates to be upcycled. It is really easy to handle too.

how to upcycle china plates

Step 3: The cut piece of China will be sharp and needs to be smoothed. To do this, simply change the attachment on the end of the Ryobi rotary tool from a cutting disc to a grinding wheel.

Then smooth off all the cut edges of the plate by running the grinding tool over the edges.

Grinding the ceramic plate edges

Step 4: Next, change the Ryobi rotary tool attached to a wood-cutting disc. Then use this to cut a groove into the top of the cotton wheel. Make sure it is wide enough to fit the edge of the plate.

cutting cotton reel

Step 5: Next, glue the bottom of the cut China plate into the cotton reel groove.

gluing in China trees

Step 6: Finally, to finish these upcycle China plates tree decorations, cover the wooden spools with some scrap fabric.

I cut the fabric into strips about 1 cm in width and wound it around the spool. The fabric was kept in place with a small blob of glue.

adding fabric to cotton reel
upcycle China Plate Christmas tree

The Magic of Three

I made three cute little China plate Christmas trees to display together. Objects and ornaments always look better when displayed in groups of three.

The rule guideline of threes says that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings”

However, as you can see, I would be able to make a lot more than three China Christmas tree decorations out of one plate!

rotary tool cut plate
upcycle china plate Christmas trees

If you want a more traditional Christmas tree display, you can use a China plate in more festive colours of green and red.

Or perhaps you could use a plain white plate and then paint a tree onto the cut ceramic with paints or a sharpie. I like various colours with my Christmas decorations and not just stick to the usual colours of red, green and white.

If you want to turn this into a hanging ornament, a hole can be drilled into the China plate trees with the rotary tool.

china christmas trees
Upcycle china plate trees

I have recently received more Ryobi tools as a Christmas gift; this time, I used them to repurpose old tin cans into ornaments.

If you liked these upcycled China plate trees, check out some of my other cone Christmas trees and other upcycles.

This tutorial featured under the letter C for China in the alphabetical list of clever upcycling ideas and resources.

For more recycled craft ideas, visit


Monday 2nd of December 2019

Cute~~what a way to use broken pieces.

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

Thank you, I love to repurpose whenever I can.

Anita holland

Wednesday 13th of November 2019

What a clevet and creative project.

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 14th of November 2019

Aww, thank you so much. They do look lovely on the mantle.


Tuesday 12th of November 2019

Very clever. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's!

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 12th of November 2019

Thank you so much and thanks for hosting.


Monday 11th of November 2019

I adore this idea, Claire! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! Pinned!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 11th of November 2019

Thank you so much, Cecilia.


Friday 8th of November 2019

These are so cute and pretty!

Liberty @

Claire Armstrong

Friday 8th of November 2019

Thank you so much.