Design & Decor - Crafts

Create mosaic art to display in the garden

Bonnie Summerfeldt
Photography by
Mark Burstyn

Use broken tile or china to jazz up a plain pot or other outdoor accessory

With a little imagination, you can easily put together a masterpiece for your garden or a one-of-a-kind gift with materials available from your local building supply store.

Whether you use rocks, marbles, buttons, game pieces, shells or pieces of tile, mirror, glass or china, you can make your own mosaic garden art in just one weekend using tools you already have on hand. Plan your pattern in advance, laying out all the pieces, or just create a design as you go along.

Here is what you'll need:

  • Base (e.g. terra-cotta pot or saucer)
  • Tiles, marbles, glass beads and stones
  • Tile nippers or hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Weatherproof mortar (cement-based)
  • Knife or popsicle stick
  • Weatherproof grout (unsanded)
  • Small rubber spatula
  • Buckets or plastic
  • Containers
  • Sponge
  • Towel or rag
  • Fine steel wool

Prep work

The terra-cotta saucer shown above has been tranformed into an inspired bird bath using broken tiles, marbles and glass beads. Though these projects were made using grey grout, other colours are available.

Step 1. Choose a simple base. We used a terra-cotta pot and a saucer.

Step 2. Cut the tiles into smaller pieces with tile nippers. You can also break tiles by wrapping them in a rag or towel, then gently tapping them with a hammer.

To keep a dish's pattern intact, put duct tape on the back of the plate first to hold the pieces together.

Always wear close-fitting rubber gloves and safety glasses.

Step 3. Mix mortar according to package directions. Make sure mortar (and grout) are weatherproof.

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