July 8, 2011

Broken China Mosaic Projects

Many of you have expressed interest in my broken china mosaic projects so I wanted to show you two projects I think would be great starter projects.

  You will want to start on a small project.  A tray is really not a good project to start on.  It takes some practice to cut out center pieces and plate trim to form an attractive pattern.  You also want all of your tiles to be level so when you run your hand over it you feel a nice smooth surface, this also takes a little practice.

My advice would be to start with small projects until you get the hang of it.

You will need three things to get started.  Tile adhesive and grout, both available at your local hardware store and a glass mosaic cutter.  I have never seen glass cutters at craft stores, I purchased mine online for $24

Don't confuse glass cutters with tile nippers.  Nippers will not give you the precise cuts that you need.

The glass cutter is needed so you can precisely cut out the flowers you want from your china.  If you smash your plates with a hammer you will not be able to get the pieces and sizes you want.  For the shelf I cut the flowers from two of these plates.

I started with a plain shelf

Then cut my flowers out to fit and used tile adhesive to affix them.  I let it dry 24 hours and then grouted them.

I picked a porcelain flower and leaves from my stash and attached them with E-6000

These are very easy to chisel off nick nacks that are chipped.   Since they are damaged thrift stores sell them for pennies.  Usually there is still some good, unchipped flowers left.

You can read the whole tutorial on how to chip off flowers HERE

Here is another easy project.  
I started with a rusted vintage garden trowel

Cleaned it up, painted it, and added tiles

This is super easy, If you have ever had any thought of doing broken china mosaics these are two great starter projects.  

I get my china plates at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales.  Sometimes I will buy just one plate but, if I like the pattern I will buy a whole set.

My advise is to start small and get some practice

I don't profess to be anything close to a mosaic artist but, if you have any questions I would be glad to help, ask away!

Happy Creating!



Lisa Russell said...

These are all so pretty!

Graceful Rose said...

Carol, I've been missing you, glad you are back! I love that little shelf! You are just full of great ideas. Thanks for the tip about the mosaic cutter, I would not have known. Thanks and have a great day!

Angela said...

Those are beautiful projects, you are so talented in so many fields.
I love the tray, the colours are perfect.
I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Anonymous said...

I have one question,, does the grout have an smell ?I am really sensitive to strong smells like paint and varsol,, asthma you see , but I would love to try this,, its beautiful,, you are so clever,, and busy

Anonymous said...

So pretty- and you make it look so easy.
I used to do mosaics- but I didn't know your "secret" about the glass cutter- I used a tile nipper and could never quite get the look I wanted. You've put me in the mood to try to make another stepping stone for my garden.

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Thanks, Carol! I have a box of chipped/broken china that I have been saving to do mosaics. I've bought the adhesive & grout, but just haven't gotten started. The timing and content of your tutorial is so appropriate for me. Thanks for sharing!!!

Sylvia said...

Carol, great tutorial..I've never tried a glass cutter on my china...will have to try that out and chipping off flowers tutorial too.


Screaming Sardine said...

Wow, gorgeous! I'm definitely going to be trying this out. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing this.

Have a great weekend!

Tracy Screaming Sardine

sissie said...

Hi Carol,
Thanks for the how to on the mosaics. I love your tray and the little shelf looks easy, but I doubt that I could make it look that good.


Willow said...

Beautiful. I just adore that little shelf. You are so talented.

Suzann said...

Hey Carol,
Wow you are so talented and thanks so much for all the tutorials you do.
You are right it is so hot and humid to do any kind of painting outside.
How did you like the outcome of the Anthony Trial? I was shocked and sick to hear she even wants more children!!!
Enjoy your weekend!!!
Suzann ~xoxo~

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Carol, I love these projects! I have made a birdhouse and a mirror out of broken MacKenzie-Childs pieces. I think the trowel is darling, and would be so cute hanging in a garden room! :D

Ido said...

This project is so awesome, I would love to decorate a table with this technique. Thank you for the great tutorial!

Scarlett said...

amazing!!! Thanks for sharing, i love these :o) Scarlett x

Rebecca said...

You totally blow me away. YOU DO!

Did you get the SNUG HUG Ribbon????


Queenie said...

I love Mosaics and I have always wanted to try my hand at it...your projects are just beautiful Carol...thanks for sharing the how to and your advice...maybe one day, I'll make something pretty with all of my chipped old plates that I've been collecting and hanging onto :)
Big hugs,

Debbie said...

That's my biggest problem, I don't have the right tools. I generally smash stuff for mosaics, and they are so much more beautiful when you cut them like you do.

I really love that trowel!

DeeDee said...

I so love the flowers idea... and thanks for tellin me how to get the flowers out of the plate.... love youtr garden shovel lots..... :D

Rona Gregory said...

These are gorgeous Carole xoxox

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

I have a small box of plates waiting to become something "special"..how many days are you going to be here??!! LOL still think we need a craft day!
Always appreciate you sharing your talent!
deb :)

Vicki said...

Carol of love what you have done in both these projects. Thanks for the advice too on the tile cutters vs. glass mosaic cutters. Need that advice. I have some broken plates that I am playing with. xoxo

Nancy said...

Carol, Carol I am so excited!! Thank~You so much, I have always wanted to try this form of Art!! Your Mosaics are always just Gorgeous!! It's funny how many times I come over to your Blog to look for something. It is how I ended up here now, It's like my Crafting Reference Library!!
I hope you are having a wonderful week~end and the streets are calm over there!!

Huggs, Nancy

Ginger said...

I would love to try this. I have a table on my patio that would be great as a mosaic. Need to get the cutters first.

Gina said...

So pretty!

You must have mega patience to have worked on that tray. It's gorgeous.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh what do I love more!!!!

I have just returned from a week long camping trip and in the midst of massive amounts of laundry. Boys seem to know exactly where to find the dirtiest dirt. :)

Happy Sunday!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love beautiful mosaic pieces...would love to have a tray! But I don't think I'm brave enough to attempt one! You are so talented at everything you do! ♥

Anonymous said...

After viewing your items, I am finally motivated to try to salvage pieces of my Lenox Christmas Nouveau platter from last year. 1st idea was Christmas ornaments but thinking the round items may be too challenging. Your beautiful items inspire me to try something! Love the shelf and tray! You are amazing!!

L!ND$EY said...

Carol, I can always rely on you to have the best ideas and advice! Thank you for the tool tip; I'll be checking Habor Freight tomorrow for a pair of wheeled mosaic cutters.