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How To Make A Stunning Wall Planter From Broken Plates

With our easy-to-follow guide, you can learn how to create a unique mosaic wall planter using broken plates and cups. This DIY project is perfect for upcycling old china into stunning, functional decor for your home or garden.

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

My favourite plate was beyond repair, but it was too lovely to throw 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, my broken crockery box soon grew to include a few more plates, chipped bowls and mugs.

I have this quirk: I love to eat off a fancy plate. I don’t know why, but 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 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.

DIY Broken Crockery into a Beautiful Mosaic Wall Planter

My collection of 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 cutting the chipped bowls and mugs in half to use as planters.

Transform your garden walls by upcycling old china into a stunning mosaic wall planter. This tutorial will guide you through creating a durable, weather-resistant home for plants using fragments of your favorite ceramics. It’s a creative way to blend art and gardening in your outdoor spaces.

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.

Materials and Tools

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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 Materials

  • 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 Make A Mosaic Wall Planter

Preparing The Base

Step 1: First, you must prepare the base 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. To weatherproof the wood, I coated it all over with outdoor marine wood varnish.

Any other solid wood would work well as long as you prepare it for outside use by waterproofing it with a marine-type varnish.

Preparing The China Plates and Crockery

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

Step 2: Next, use a specialist diamond-tip 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, you may be able to skip this bit.

Drilling hole in base of cup.

Step 3: Using a Dremel rotary saw carefully cut each bowl and cup in half. Remember to wear safety goggles when doing this, as little bits of porcelain fly all over the place.

China will get hot as you cut it with the rotary tool, and it may even glow. It is handy to have a bottle of water to squirt onto the China as you work to cool it down.

Sawing porcelain cups and bowls in half

Step 4: 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 in a particular shape and size, use the tile nippers.

Wrapping the crockery in an old towel before smashing it with a hammer will also stop small pieces from flying off.

Smashed crockery for mosaic wall planter
breaking plates with tool

Making The Broken Plate Mosaic

Step 5: This mosaic piece was spontaneously crafted without a specific design in mind. However, I arranged my bowls on the door and took a photograph to use as a reference. This helped me visualize their placement on the completed mosaic wall planter.

Testing mosaic layout

Step 6: This next stage is the fun part. Spread a layer of the ready-mixed adhesive and grout on the door to a thickness of about 3mm. Use the adhesive spreader to ensure that the grout is rippled; this helps when sticking the plates down. Using the photo as a reference, push the cups into the adhesive.

crockery for mosaic wall planter

Step 7: Next, stick the 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 and 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.

Step 8: Leave the covered mosaic 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?

Step 9: Finally, you can leave the mosaic wall planter as is or smooth it out with more grout. However, remember that these are random pieces of ceramics of different thicknesses. Some bits are curved, so you will never get a flat finish like 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 made a small indoor version of the planter in a picture frame to use as a mosaic wall vase using a teacup and saucer. If you still have some teacups left over, check out these cool teacup crafts.

I love making planters, and here are a few of my other ideas.

This China upcycle is featured under the letter C in the A to Z of upcycling projects and in the 50 best garden upcycles.

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Wednesday 20th of February 2019

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


Monday 24th of June 2019

Hi Claire! I have some practical did it hold up when watering the plants and the drainage holes? Does it stain below the cups? How did you hang it? I've done a table top and a few pots but nothing this in-depth! So beautiful!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Thank you Maria ?

Linda at Mixed Kreations

Sunday 17th of February 2019

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

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 17th of February 2019

Thank you so much, Linda.


Sunday 29th of July 2018

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!

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 29th of July 2018

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