How to Create a Broken China Mosaic

Creating beautiful pieces of art for your garden is not as difficult as you may think. If you are the type of person who enjoys the quirky and the handmade, then creating your own garden art could be the perfect way for you to enjoy original handmade pieces of art in your own outdoor space.

Bright china pieces make an eye catching display.

Bright china pieces make an eye catching display.

There are a number of original and inspiring ways to use junk and reclaimed pieces of hardware in your handmade garden art projects. Some pieces can be painted or embellished whilst others may be left just as they are and enjoyed in their original state.

A great way to use up broken pieces of pottery is to create a broken china mosaic. Some people may find pieces of broken china in their gardens as they dig; these are often quite old pieces and some are very pretty. Instead of throwing them away, why not make an original mosaic from them?

All you need to create a lovely piece of original mosaic art is some powdered plaster and your china pieces in addition to a suitable mold.

First, clean all of your broken china pieces in warm soapy water. It may take a little gentle scrubbing with an old toothbrush to lift off all dirt and debris. Once your pieces are clean, lay them out on a clean surface and experiment with patterns. Lay them out in different ways and see what looks good.

When you are happy with your design you may begin to mix your plaster according to the packet instructions. Next pour your plaster into your mold. This can be anything from a small shallow dish or tray to an ordinary plate with some depth.

Patterns can be intricate or simple.

Patterns can be intricate or simple.

Lay clingfilm over your mold before pouring in the plaster. Wait for around a minute before arranging your broken china on top of the still wet plaster. You will need to work quite quickly in order to ensure that your china sits within the surface of the plaster and not on top of it.

Leave to dry overnight and when you are certain that the plaster is set, gently pull it away from the mold with the clingfilm and lay it on a clean surface.

Now you can use a soft damp cloth to wipe the surface of your mosaic “tile” clean of any powder residue which may have been left on it.

You can hang your mosaic in the garden or perhaps use it as a coaster for coffee and teapots when you dine alfresco!

The beauty of mosaic art is that no two pieces are the same and the materials are very cheap or even free. If you do not have a good supply of broken china in your own garden, ask people to save their for you or buy up odd pieces from charity shops and break them yourself. Do this safely by placing the piece in a cotton bag, donning eye protection and hitting them with  a hammer.

Finally…watch out for sharp edges! Broken china can be extremely sharp so this project may no be suitable for younger children.