Sometimes having the container garden of your dreams starts with beautiful clay pots. These DIY mosaic flower pots add visual interest and elegance to your outdoor space. Plus, you’ll have loads of fun making them!
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DIY Mosaic Flower Pots
Mosaic arts involve using small pieces of broken glass. stone or other objects to create unique patterned designs. The tradition dates back to Mesopotamia, and you get bonus points if you can remember which millennium that was.
(It’s the 3rd millennium BC. I looked it up.)
Nowadays, you can use mosaics to decorate stepping stones, furniture, or (in this case) terra cotta pots. Many use it as a craft to repurpose broken china or thrift-store dishes. From trash to treasure, my friend!
Let’s gather our supplies and get started!
- Broken plates, stained glass or mosaic tiles
- Terracotta flower pots
- Clay pot sealer (optional)
- Tile adhesive
- Mosaic tile grout
- Safety goggles and gloves
- Tile nipper (if breaking plates or tile pieces)
- Mosaic sealer
Step 1: Apply clay pot sealer (optional)
This sealer works well to prepare your clay pots for the elements outdoors. Simply spray the inside and outside of the flower pot. Then, wait 24 hours for it to completely dry before applying your mosaic pattern.
Step 2: Cut tile pieces
To create the best mosaic pattern, you’ll want to use pieces that “fit” the size of your pot. I used a 5-inch clay pot, so I made sure my pieces were about a 1/2-inch big.
If you’re planning to use a broken plate or cut tiles to size, you should use tile nippers*.
*Note: Always use safety glasses and gloves when cutting tile. To prevent pieces from flying, place the plate or tile in a plastic bag or cover it with a towel or drop cloth before cutting.
For the rim of my flower pots, I used pre-cut tiles that come in a variety of colors at any hobby store.
Step 3: Apply tile adhesive and attach mosaic pieces
Now the fun part begins! You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to designing a mosaic. You can make a mosaic flower pattern or create other geometric designs.
I decided to create a random pattern using two plates I picked up at Goodwill. I love how they create a stained glass effect on my clay pots.
When working with the tile adhesive, I found it easiest to set the rim of my pot on the saucer (see below). This helped me use both hands to squeeze out the glue directly onto the pot. (My glue took a bit of effort to squeeze, so this method worked best.)
You do have a few minutes to make minor adjustments to your tile position before the glue sets. Plan to work quickly, but don’t get frantic if you need to slide a tile here and there.
After applying all of the tiles, let the adhesive cure for 5-6 hours per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4: Apply tile grout
Once you have let the tiles cure, it’s time to being grouting. The directions may differ based on the grout you choose.
I bought a white powdered form of mosaic grout that simply required adding water. You can also choose grout in other colors, like grey or black, depending on your mosaic tiles art project.
It’s best to use nitrile gloves or something similar to work the grout into all of the spaces on your pot. Ideally, the grout will remain flush with the tiles or slightly indented.
In hindsight, I wish I had placed my tiles even closer together to have less grout showing. I believe the size of my pots made it tough to break my plate (tiles) into small enough pieces. #lessonlearned
Step 5: Wipe away excess grout
After about 15-30 minutes, you’ll need to wipe away any excess grout to reveal the tiles underneath. Trust me, it’s tough to remove grout from tile once it’s cured.
You can use a damp cloth or sponge to buff away the grout on the tiles. This part does get a little messy, so work in an area where you can clean up the dusty particles that flake off.
Wait a few more minutes to let the grout set more. Then, repeat the process to remove any remaining cloudiness or residue on the tiles.
Step 6: Buff and seal the flower pot
After the grout has set for 24 hours (or the manufacturer’s recommended time), it’s time for some finishing touches!
With a damp rag, give the pot one final polish. Then, you can choose to apply a grout sealer. There are many to choose from, but this mosaic grout sealer is intended specifically for this purpose.
I decided to paint the saucer of my pot as well. You can learn more about how to paint your pots and properly seal them here.
Enjoying Your Mosaic Flower Pots
I hope this piece of garden art adds some beauty to your home this year. It’s an inexpensive way to salvage broken items and make them new again. Isn’t that a lovely metaphor?
To maintain your decorated pots, it’s best to place them in a covered area or at least apply a sealer for better longevity. I also recommend sheltering them from extremely cold temperatures to prevent cracking.
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I’d love to see your creations! Be sure to tag @firstdayofhome on Instagram if you share your photos!
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- Broken plates or tiles
- Terracotta pot
- Clay pot sealer
- Tile adhesive
- Mosaic tile grout
- Mosaic sealer
- Tile nippers
- Safety goggles
- Gloves (for cutting and applying grout)
- Optional: Apply clay pot sealer inside and outside of the terracotta pot. Allow to dry overnight.
- Cut plate or tile pieces (if needed) using tile nippers. Always wear protective safety goggles and gloves when cutting tile. You can cover the plate with a towel or place it in a plastic bag to help prevent pieces from flying when cutting.
- Apply tile adhesive to the tiles or flower pot directly, creating any mosaic pattern you like. The spaces in between will be filled with grout. Allow to dry 5-6 hours or per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Apply the tile grout in between the spaces on the flower pot. It's easiest to use nitrile gloves for easy application and smoothing.
- Allow the grout to dry 15-30 minutes before wiping away the excess to reveal the tiles. You can use a sponge or wet towel for this purpose. Then, allow the grout to set for 24 hours or per the manufacturer's guidelines.
- Buff the flower pot with a damp cloth. If desired, you can further protect the flower pot with a mosaic grout sealer.
Always use appropriate safety goggles and gloves when cutting tile. Adult supervision is required.
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