How To Make A Stunning Wall Planter From Broken Plates

How to Transform Broken Crockery into a Beautiful Mosaic Wall Planter

Why I made this wall planter. When my eldest son accidentally broke my favourite plate, whilst silently screaming on the inside, on the outside, I was calm. I just put the plate to one side. I couldn’t bare to throw it away.

My favourite plate was beyond repair but I it was too lovely to just chuck out. I was determined to find a use for it. And I did with this beautiful mosaic wall planter.

Of course, I used more than one plate for my mosaic wall planter.

Living with 3 teenage boys and being afflicted with the clumsy gene myself, my broken crockery box soon grew to include a few more plates, chipped bowls and mugs.

I have this quirk that I love to eat off a fancy plate. I don’t know why because not much else is fancy in my house. And the food I eat off them isn’t particularly fancy normally just a bit of cheese and chutney.

I actually have quite a collection of fancy plates. Every time I visit Anthropologie I can’t resist buying one of their Lou Rota Plates. I now have the complete set.

My collection broken crockery was from my beautiful plates and bowls. Therefore I didn’t design a fancy mosaic pattern for the wall planter as the broken pieces had pretty patterns and colours on them.

For me, the clever bit of this project was actually cutting the chipped bowls and mugs in half to use as them as planters.

Stunning mosaic wall planter made by upcycling broken crockery.  Full step by step tutorial.

I can’t decide whether to have this mosaic wall planter in the garden with bedding plants or to have it inside with succulents. I will just have to carry on collecting another box of broken crockery and make another one.

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What I used to make a mosaic wall planter

The tools used ..

A few specialist tools were needed for this project. Listed are the ones I used.

Any tile cutter will do, if you don’t have one perhaps you could borrow one.

The other bits and pieces needed…

  • Collection of broken or chipped plates, mugs, and bowls.
Broken crockery to be upcycled into a stunning succulents mosaic wall planter
  • A piece of wood to mount your mosaic wall planter on. You will want something that is suitable for outside (or it will warp). If you don’t have a suitable piece of wood that is treated for outdoor use you can use a concrete backed board. The type that is used when plastering bathrooms.  You should find this in your local DIY store.
  • Outdoor wood varnish
  • White ready mixed tile adhesive and grout.

How to construct a mosaic wall planter

Preparing the base..

1. The first thing you will need to do is to prepare the base that you will use for your wall planter. I used an old kitchen cupboard door rescued from a friend’s skip (dumpster). The door was solid wood, the right size and had hinges which I thought would be useful for hanging. In order to weatherproof the wood, I coated it all over with outdoor marine wood varnish.

Preparing the crockery..

This is where the power tools come in handy. You need something that will saw and drill into tiles/porcelain.

2. Next, use a specialist drill bit to drill a couple of holes in the bottom of each bowl and cup. However, if your planter is going to be out of the rain then you may be able to skip this bit.

Drilling hole in base of cup.

2. Then, using a Dremel rotary saw carefully cut each bowl and cup in half. Don’t forget to wear safety goggles when doing this as little bits of porcelain fly all over the place.

Sawing porcelain cups and bowls in half

3. Next, place the rest of the crockery in a box and smash it into smaller pieces with a hammer. If you want a piece of crockery a particular shape and size then you can also use the tile nippers.

Smashed crockery for mosaic wall planter

Making the mosaic wall planter..

4. This was a random piece of mosaic there was no design to follow. I did, however, lay my bowls out on the door and take a photo of them. This gave me a reference of where I would like them placed on the finished mosaic wall planter

Testing mosaic layout

6. This next stage is the fun part.
Spread a layer of the ready mixed adhesive and grout to a thickness of about 3mm on the door. Using the photo as reference push the cups into the adhesive.

crockery for mosaic wall planter

7. Next, stick the individual broken pieces of crockery around the cups until the whole board is covered. Sometimes it helps to put some of the adhesive mixture onto the broken china as well as the board. You will need to work quickly as the adhesive will start to set (about 30mins).

Sticking the broken plates and bowls to the board.

8. Leave the covered board overnight to dry. Before picking up the board gentle wiggle each piece to ensure it has stuck down firmly. If not just apply some more adhesive to it.

upcycle them into a gorgeous mosaic wall planter?

9. Finally, leave the mosaic wall planter as is, or smooth it out with more grout. However, bare in mind these are random pieces of ceramics of different thicknesses. Some bits are even curved so you will never get a flat finish like with a tiled mosaic.

smoothing grout
mosaic wall planter

Once fully dried the mosaic wall planter is ready for planting. Either with pretty bedding plants and flowers or succulents and cacti.

You could even have it as a herb planter. In the right kitchen, it could look fantastic.

Don't throw away your beautiful broken plates and bowls why not upcycle them into a gorgeous mosaic wall planter.  Lovely in the garden with bedding plants or in the kitchen with herbs
succulent mosaic wall planter

I love making planters here are a few of my other planter ideas you might want to check out.

Don't throw away your broken plates and bowls. Upcycle them into a stunning mosaic wall planter for your, flowers, herbs or succulents. #mosaic #wallplanter #rpurosedcrockery #planter

87 Responses

  1. I just did a small mosaic planter for next month challenge. You take this to
    The next level. Gorgeous!

  2. Great idea for using broken dishes and it looks amazing! Love it!

  3. Have you thought about using a darker colored grout? Black grout would really make your ceramic dishes colors POP! A great idea though! I saw one recently for your house numbers in the HGTV magazine. Retail…$215! And no fun but clicking a mouse button! Now, I have 2 great outdoor gardening mosaic projects to try! Thanks!

    • Thank you, I like the idea of house numbers with a darker coloured grout. I’ll have to take a look at that.

  4. Pat

    Thank you for very informative detailed instructions. I keep searching and reading blogs trying to take the leap into mosaic design. Thank you!

  5. […] bunun için bir kullanım alanı bulmaya karar vererek  bu güzel mozaik duvar bahçesini yapmış blogger arkadaş ve elbette, mozaik duvar bahçesi için birden fazla kırık tabak, çanak kullanmış. Çok […]

  6. […] mag nicht der richtige Tag sein, um so eine Mosaik-Pflanz­wand zu machen, aber in den folgenden Tagen kannst Du sicher ‘Material sammeln’ […]

  7. […] may not be the right day to make such a mosaic wall planter, but you can surely ‘gather your materials’ in the following days […]

  8. What a creative idea! I love it!

  9. Amazing,great,great idea!!!

  10. This is great, Claire! I have old cabinet doors from a recent remodel, and plenty of vintage chipped china. I just might give it a go! Well-deserved feature of the month on Vintage Charm!
    Rita C at Panoply

  11. That is gorgeous & you make the process sound so easy! I would love to try that, but I don’t have the pretty pieces of china that you’ve been collecting…boo. I have done a little tiling like this, but never with cups. I just love it! A well-deserved feature!

    • Thank you so much. The plates were so pretty I just had to re-use them.

  12. Vintage Charm 81 | The Blue Willow House

    […] Feature Claire, who blogs at Pillar Box Blue, wowed us all with her amazing mosaic wall planter, created with pieces of broken vintage china. What makes this project truly unique are the halved […]

  13. […] Mosaic Wall Planter by Pillarbox Blue […]

  14. I have the urge to run out and buy lots of brightly coloured crockery this looks fabulous Claire.

    • Thank you!. It may be worth hunting around your local charity shops.

  15. This is fabulous, Claire! Love what you did here!

  16. Love this project, Claire and wanted to let you know I featured you at last week’s Vintage Charm party 🙂 Thanks for linking up!

    • Thank you so much and I will check out the feature.

      • Hi Claire–tomorrow at Vintage Charm we’re announcing our April Feature of the Month and you’re mosaic is our pick! You and eleven other monthly winners will be in the running for some special prizes at the end of the year 🙂

  17. This is a fantastic reuse of broken china. So sad that this beautiful china is broken but you found a way to make it beautiful and useful again. Great inspiration!! Can’t pin this one fast enough. Love it.

  18. Really cute and clever! I wondered why I had been saving all those broken pieces of antique porcelain. Thanks for sharing.

  19. […] Broken teacup mosaic wall planter, by Pillar Box Blue […]

  20. […] How to Make a Mosaic Wall Planter from Pillar Box Blue […]

  21. You have some serious skills, this is fabulous! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

  22. Unbelievable. This is one stunning little garden! So artfully done!

    I’ve featured you in this upcoming DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 376. Thanks for linking up! 🙂

  23. This is absolutely gorgeous and such a fabulous idea! Pinned

  24. I’m a huge fan of repurposed and upycled products. Your planter is so lovely. The colors and designs are so very pretty and cheery together. Congrats, you’re featured this week at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

  25. I am so in love with this idea. I think I would have a hard time breaking the pretty dishes, but I would do it for something this lovely. Thanks so much for sharing this at the This Is How We Roll Link party. Your post was the most viewed last week. It has been shared on 2 bloggers social media channels. See you this week!

    • Thank you so much and thanks for the share. The dishes I used had been chipped or broken already, I didn’t break them just for this project.

  26. […] How to make A stunning Wall Mosaic Wall Planter […]

  27. Vintage Charm 80 | The Blue Willow House

    […] DIY that just blows my mind. Using an assortment of vintage china and tea cups, she created a mosaic wall planter that serves as both a planter and a stunning piece of artwork. I especially love it planted with […]

  28. This is so clever and really looks like a piece of art regardless of using it as a planter. The planter part just takes it to another level. No way would I have ever saved broken pottery because I would have never thought that I could do anything with it. thank you for joining us at TADA! Thursdays

    • Thank you Debbie. The plates were so pretty I couldn’t bare to throw them away, and I knew I would eventually come up with something to do with them.

  29. I love it Claire – the colours are fabulous. The mixture of flat to 3D , the half cups standing out amongst the mosaic, brilliant.

  30. This is beautiful, such a great use of your old crockery.
    I would suggest keeping this indoors, maybe put it out in the summer but bring it in for winter.
    When my kids were little we did a mosaic with broken tiles, plastic lids and marbles. It hung outside for years but eventually the frost got in and some bits dropped off so when we moved it didn’t make it with us. I’m inspired to make another, though I don’t supposed I’ll be able to get the kids to get involved these days!

    • Thank you Julie, and thanks for the tip I didn’t think about the frost. I think you should definitely make a new one with or without the kids.

  31. I adore this, Claire! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm–pinned!

  32. Stop it Claire! This is GORGEOUS!!!! I couldn’t be more in love with this project if I tried. Great work.

  33. This is fantastic love it and teacups are a favourite of mine. Always admire mosaic’s

  34. This is so beautiful. At first I was wondering how you were able to break your cups and bowls perfectly in half. 😉 Seeing this makes my all white dishes look so boring! Although I am able to coordinate for every holiday! Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

  35. Your wall planter is so cheerful and colorful! This looks like such a unique and original project. It’s quite lovely with the flowers blooming from the cups.

    • Thank you so much, it does look really cheery in my small garden.

  36. I am loving this mosaic planter! It’s so pretty and plants will actually grow in it because you didn’t skip the drainage.

    • Thank you, I’ve learnt from mistakes in the past about drainage.

  37. Such a wonderful idea and great way to reuse those stunning dishes! Thank you for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday! Pinned & sharing 🙂

  38. That is too cute! Thanks for sharing at To Grandma’s House We Go.

  39. SO very cool and colorful. I love this kind of mosaic!

  40. Wow, this is such a neat idea. The saw and drill bit seem kind of intimidating, but worth the extra effort!

    • Thanks, the drill, and sawing was really easy. In fact, it was so easy I’m trying to think of other things I can do with sawn cups and bowls.

  41. creativejewishmom/sara

    gorgeous Claire! having done quite a bit of broken pottery mosaic in the distant past I do have quite a few boxes of stuff, nothing quite as gorgeous as yours, but maybe now I’ll finally put them to use.thanks for the inspiration and for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

    • Thank you Sara, I’m sure you will be able to create something beautiful.

  42. What a fabulous idea Claire! I get so sad when my favourite dishes or teacups get chipped and now I can enjoy them for longer! Thank you for the inspiration 🙂 Pinned!

    • Thank you. I don’t feel quiet so bad now when a nice plate gets broken or chipped now I have a use for them.

  43. I love working with mosaics and make so many things but never thought of this.It’s beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing I love it!

    • Thank you, this was my first time with mosaics but I will be doing it again.

  44. This is absolutely ingenious. I love it and I have so much broken dishes and stuff because I am a klutz.

  45. I love this idea, I think anything mosaic is just so beautiful! It kind of reminds me of a scene in How to Make an American Quilt, have you seen it? Thanks for sharing with #wastelesswednesday!

    • Thanks, and no I haven’t seen it but will look it up. Hopefully, it’s on Netflix.

  46. RS

    So creative, I truly enjoyed viewing this project.

  47. What an interesting idea! I’ve not seen anything like it before. 🙂

  48. Love your mosaic wall planter! So fun and creative way to use tea cups, broken or not. Visiting from Welcome Home Wednesday party.

    • Thank you Susanne. Yes I’ve started another collection of broken crockery.

  49. I would kick off if anyone chipped my PIP Studio bowls. Fly right off the handle! I love that you managed to reuse it. I’m off to share x

    • Thanks very much Claire. If you notice as well as some Anthropologie plates there is a PIP Studio bowl on my wall planter. I confess it was me that chipped the PIP studio bowl.

      • Hey Claire, I think I’d be even more annoyed if it was me. At least if someone else chipped it I could most definitely justify buying some new ones x

  50. Claire this is spectacular! You are so inspiring, I’ve been saving broken tiles and dishes as well. Now you’ve got my wheels turning…

  51. I love it! So bright and cheery and what a great way to use broken dishes. I always hated throwing away a broken plate or bowl. Very clever 🙂

    • Thank you, Susanne. I have a box of broken crockery which seems to grow regularly.

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