Learn to cut china for mosaics. We’ll show you how to turn thrift store china into mosaic tiles using wheel cutters and tile nippers. We love broken china mosaics! Because we do so many mosaics with china, we’ve learned a lot about how to cut china for mosaics. Here are our best tips and tricks, including some little videos to show you how to cut your own mosaic tiles from china.
First, go shopping at the thrift store for pretty china pieces to cut. We look for plates with roses in the center and on the edge. The parts with the patterns need to be flat to cut them into tiles, so teacups aren’t ideal (except for the handles which can be cute added to a mosaic!), but the saucers work great!
How To Cut China For Mosaics
Tools & Materials
Tile nippers or wheel cutters for tile
Large Ziploc bags
Protective leather gloves
1. To get started cutting the china, put on safety glasses and protective gloves. Place the china plate inside a large clear bag or on a cardboard box lid to catch the shards. Grasp the edge of the plate with the tile nipper blades placing the blades perpendicular to the edge of the plate. The tile nippers only need to bite one-quarter to one-half inch into the plate. You’ll want to hold onto the china plate with one hand and then press or bend the plate against the tile nippers as you squeeze the blades onto the china.
The tile nipper blades will create a crack that will break the china into two large pieces. Cut one of the pieces again, using the same technique. And then repeat to cut larger pieces into smaller tiles.
The tile nippers work great for big cuts, but we like to use the wheel cutters for more precise cutting like cutting out roses. We use both types of cutters, but you can buy either one and it will work for fine.
Here’s a video we made showing how to use the wheel cutters and the tile nippers:
Sometimes we find a plate with a pretty rose in the center or some other nice image that we want to recreate in the mosaic.
To keep the image together while cutting it into smaller tiles, you can place clear packing tape over the image. It usually holds the image pieces together even though the china breaks into tiles.
Have you ever made your own broken china mosaic? Here’s a birdhouse we made that turned out great.
Click to see the whole project! And remember if you need any help or info, just leave us a comment and we’ll reply!
Jennifer & Kitty