Want to make a mosaic flower pot

Patty_M(6 MI)June 20, 2003

I have collected broken china and also have a fair amount of 4x4 ceramic tiles. Can someone post instructions on how to cover a clay pot? I have never attempted too many craft projects and need specifics on how to adhere them to the pot and how to grout. Nothing is too basic for me!!! Thanks.

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dldm1123(z9 Albany, LA)

I thought I was the only oddball who would spend hours covering a pot with broken ceramic pieces. That's at least what my husband says but hey, I like being different! Just find some glue that adheres to ceramic and is fairly quick setting. I can't remember exactly which glue I used (it's been years since I did this) but elmers glue I think would work. Just don't use too much where the ceramic piece is sliding down the pot. Once you have glued all your pieces to the pot, it's grout time. If you want white grout or a special color grout, go to micheal's craft store. I used a grout called Make it Mosaics by Plaid. If you want just grey go to Home Depot and buy a bag of portland cement. It's cheaper than grout but it still gives you the same result as grout. You will definately have some left over for any other projects. The Mosaics grout box has instructions on how to apply it.
1. Mix 3 parts grout to 1 part water.
2. If it's white, you may tint the grout with colorants to
achieve a different look.
3. Apply grout on top of design with a float, spatula, or
4. Push grout into small areas with your fingers.
5. Once grout has setup (10-15 minutes), wipe off excess
with a damp sponge. Continue this until a grout is
removed from top of the tiles.
6. Once dry, polish tiles with a soft cloth.
By the way, what design are you doing on the pot? (flower, swirls,etc?)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 12:52PM
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Patty_M(6 MI)

Thank you Dana, your instructions are fabulous. I don't have a pattern or design in mind; I am just going for a mosaic look that will be free form. But you have inspired me to think about trying a design once I get the hang of working with the grout. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 11:11PM
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melissad(4 Upstate NY)

do you know of where I can get pattern ideas for tiling my pots. I also do mosaics, I dont use plates but I do buy mosaic tiles. You can also use marbles the kind you find for filling vases for faux flowers.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 6:10AM
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dldm1123(z9 Albany, LA)

Michaels Arts & Crafts store has a section in the store for mosaics. They may have a booklet of patterns for that. If not, try looking on the net for mosaic flower pot patterns. Dana

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 10:41AM
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SthrnTami(z7 AL)

I've been doing mosaics for about 6 years, after taking a weekend workshop from a seasoned professional. Here are a few tips:
There are 4 things to consider in making a mosaic:
*The base (the pot)
*The tesserae (tile bits, broken plates, etc.)
*The adhesive (I prefer Weldbond or Liquid Nails Small Projects)
*Grout (I use various colors of SANDED grout mixed with acrylic admix, purchased from hardware store.)

1. Make sure your base is clean and dry. If you are not going to mosaic the whole pot, you might want to paint the rest with Patio Paints, then seal with an acrylic spray sealer.
2. Select and prepare tesserae. Go ahead and break up your tile or plates. Strive for some uniformity of size. (I usually re-break any piece that is larger than a quarter.) To protect the surface of the piece you are breaking, and to prevent shards from flying around, place the tile/plate between old rags before hitting with a hammer. Wear goggles!
3. Glue tesserae to base. Place a good sized dollop of adhesive in the middle of the tesserae, then press it firmly to the base. You should be using enough adhesive so that a small amount squeezes out around the edges. Use a toothpick to remove excess adhesive between tesserae, if it rises above the level of the tesserae (you need to have room for the grout). Do not place your tesserae all the way to the edge of the base. You need to leave enough space to bevel the grout to the edge. After all the tesserae are in place, allow the piece to dry overnight.
4. Grouting. Use masking tape to tape off pot edges. Mix up the grout, using water or acrylic grout additive. Add the liquid slowly, stirring well, until the mixture is about the consistency of thick oatmeal. Allow the mixture to slake (let it sit about 5-10). While the grout sits, make sure your tesserae are clean of adhesive. A one-sided razor is handy for scraping off bits of adhesive. You may want to spray the pot with water before beginning to grout, or the grout will tend to dry out too quickly. Scoop the grout onto the piece, and work the grout between all the pieces of tesserae. You may want to wear gloves. Bevel the grout to the edges. Scrape off any excess grout and then let it sit for about 10 to allow the grout to begin to harden. Using a well-wrung out rag or sponge, carefully clean the grout off the surface of the tesserae. You donÂt want to use too much water or pressure, or you will remove the grout from between the pieces as well. Cleaning the tesserae is a two-step process. First you Ârelease the tesserae, simply uncovering all the excess grout, but not being too concerned about the haziness. Q-tips are handy for cleaning around awkward shaped pieces, such as glass nuggets or stones. After all the tesserae are uncovered, and your grout edges are smoothed, allow the piece to rest for 10Â-15Â. Then, go back and carefully polish each tesserae with a dry or almost dry, soft cloth. If you notice any dips or pinholes in your grout, patch before it completely hardens. If a haze remains on your tile surfaces, you may use vinegar or sulfamic acid to remove it.
5. Finishing: Carefully remove the masking tape. Tap down any bits of grout that were raised by lifting the tape.
Scrape excess grout into trash can. Wipe out bowl and spoon or other utensils with paper towels. Then rinse outside. Never, ever, rinse grout down your household drain. It can block pipes! Allow your piece to dry at least 24 hours undisturbed, out of direct sunlight. ItÂs a good idea to seal your project with grout sealer to prevent stained grout.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2003 at 1:17PM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

I wouldn't say its an oddball thing to do..... there's instructions all over the web for it local classes on it...... and potters and containers (birdbaths ..... ) etc. often go for a high price...... a perfectly reasonable way to use broken china etc. :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 11:43PM
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This web site also has a Stained Glass and Mosaic Forum at That Home Site...
Attaching a link!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 6:47AM
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You have many good instuctions above. I used the grout bags purchased at Hobby Lobby and just followed the instructions. I covered a bird house, not a garden pot. I like the eclectic look and used a variety of tiles, shells, broken (little) clay pots and buttons (with herb designs on them). It turned out great.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 4:16PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Definately not an odd ball thing to do. Pop over to Garden Junk. Those ladies will mosaic anything that holds still. The botanical garden here was auctioning off birdbaths that had been mosaic'd and WOW I don't even want to repeat some of the prices they were getting... let's just say that $200 was on the "cheap" end.

If you're going to actually PLANT the pot, you MUST seal it first. Use a terracotta waterproofing spray... otherwise, when you get water under the tiles they can pop off.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 7:39PM
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loomis(Z6a Western MA)

Better late than never. I came across this site ages ago & kept it in my bookmarks for future reference. Hope you enjoy it!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 10:54PM
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Does anyone know where to get the terracotta waterproofing spray? Do you spray the outside of the pot? I want to make some pots for an indoor herb garden, so I don't want to do anything that would be toxic. Thx!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 3:36PM
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I'm about to 'mosaic' a bowling ball to replace a gazing ball that's been destroyed by hail and high winds. Do I need to seal? (other than grout sealer)?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 8:27PM
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Does anyone know how to grout first, then add the embellishments? I saw a pot like that and it looks like mud on the flower pot...with funky items added (small ceramic wildlife, stones, marbles, etc.). Could it be as simple as grout first...then quickly add the items. Would love to know!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 9:12PM
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