26 February 2012

How to Mosaic a Garden Pot

I love a FREE materials project.  Or just one that hardly costs anything.

1) old cement planter- given to me by my mom

2) key coat/ bonding liquid to paint over the pot

3) cement based adhesive

4) some old plates- also donated by my mother ( a super talented woman) who made these 15year old, beautiful  plates, which were just a little crazed and chipped from years of use. Dishwashers aren't so good for earthenware plates (yay)

5) some used, white glass tiles- donated by Sandy- a friend

6) a few mosaic inserts I had lying around

7) some old tiles- that had fallen off  a 12 year old mosaic project which had a wooden substrate. From the days when I did not know that mosaicing on wood or plywood surfaces does not last. (Please dont waste your time on that mistake people!)

Started by carefully breaking the plate into four pieces- using a glass mosaic cutter. Then into smaller pieces. Keep the puzzle together, don't get the pieces muddled up

First I tried smearing adhesive on to the pot, and then sticking the plate pieces on- but it was messy, so the next one I did, I applied adhesive to the back of each piece. Much tidier method.

The pot is placed on a large turntable or "lazy susan" so that turning it to work on a new area is easy.
I really enjoy working on a mosaic if it is on a turntable. It is essential for large objects like this pot.

Covering the entire pot took me one day to do. I worked until the sun was going down and the mosquitoes came out to feed on me.

The turn-table made my life a lot easier. A black and yellow wasp has made a nest under it, just to keep me alert. He buzzes in  and out while I work and we try not to inconvenience each other.

I added a bit of bonding liquid to the water I used for the grout.  Got busy smearing it on. What a messy job! A very important tip is to turn the pot upside down before you think you are finished spreading the grout. I also put an old dog blanket on the turn-table to cushion the pot's edge tiles.Fill the gaps under the bottom tiles as well.

A mosaic is only as strong as it's weakest piece.

When grout was dry, I used my Dremel tool to grind down the sharp edges on the plate. The plate has thicker parts and a curved edge- so it was impossible to get it totally flat. But I just made it work, knowing the grout and my Dremel tool would sort out the irregular and sharp bits.


  1. Anonymous2:51 AM

    wow, lovely. fantastic and inspirational.

  2. Hello, I've just found your lovely blog via pinterest! My friend and I will be doing mosaic tomorrow, hopefully it will all turn out well! I've made a few pots before but nothing like what you've done above, which is beautiful!

    1. Oh thanks.. love the compliments.

  3. Thank you! I really should add a photo of this pot on display outside Artifacts- a shop in Knysna. It looks great with flowering violas. as it has not sold, I should move it or bring it home. This town I live in, has too few mosaic buying enthusiasts. My garden is full of odd mosaic projects that no one wants. Boo hoo.

  4. I used to live in South Africa and I spent a day making a mosaic mirror with my sister, which I think we did in Knysna, not sure if it was with you, it's hanging in my daughter's bathroom flat!

    1. Oh wow! maybe? I dont do that many lessons so I should remember if I see the mirror...

    2. I love it! Itching to try one.

    3. Thank you, you must try one.


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