Turn old holiday china into a dashing mosaic tray! We love using old chipped china from the flea market to make beautiful mosaics. So when we found this Christmas tree plate for $2, we knew we needed to make somethin great for holiday entertaining. Oh Christmas Tray!
How To Make A Broken China Mosaic Tray
From the Flea Market
1 Holiday plate with a central design
3 Holiday dinner plates
1 Holiday salad plate
2 Holiday saucers
Unfinished wooden tray, 14”x9¾”x2½”
Plaid Make-It Mosaics white sanded tile grout
Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint, Cardinal Red #414
Plaid FolkArt Waterbase Varnish, Satin Finish #792
Beacon Adhesive’s Glass, Metal & More
Amaco Rub ’n Buf Wax Metallic Finish, Gold Leaf #76361A
Clearsnap Color Box Opaque Pigment Stamp Pad, Gold
Autumn Leaves Rhonna Farrer Clear Stamps, Flourishes v.2
EnviroTex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Finish resin, 8 oz. kit
Tools & Supplies
Tile nippers or wheel cutters (these are made and sold for mosaic crafting)*
Clear packing tape
Large resealable zipper storage bags
5 Large plastic cups
Small craft paintbrush
1. Paint the tray with the Plaid FolkArt Cardinal Red paint. Let dry. Paint with a second coat if needed and let dry.
2. Look through the Christmas plates and choose one plate with a special design to be your central image. (Tip: Take a snapshot of the image to help you piece it back together after the plate is broken.) Tape over the image with packing tape to help with the reconstructing.
3. Put on your protective gloves and eyewear and place the plate inside a zipper bag. (This is to catch sharp little pieces of china.) Use the tile nippers or wheel cutters to cut the plate inside the bag. Grip the edge of the plate with the tile nipper blades so they are perpendicular to the edge of the plate. The nippers only need to cut about ¼” to ½” into the plate. Squeeze the nippers to create a break in the plate.
Here is a video we made showing how to cut china plates into tiles for mosaic:
The tape will hold the design together. Once you have cut the plate into the tiles you want, remove the tape and reassemble the central image, leaving 1/8” to ¼” gaps between each piece for the grout.
4. Cut the rest of the china plates in the same manner. Collect the pieces that have the most color.
5. To finish laying out your mosaic, use pieces with straight sides around the outside edge. Create a “frame” around the central image by selecting pieces that are the same color. (We chose gold.) Then fill in the rest of the spaces with colorful pieces of broken china, leaving 1/8” to ¼” gaps between each piece for the grout.
6. Glue the tiles to the bottom of the tray, starting with the central image. Then glue the pieces around the outside edge. Next fill the space between the border and the central design by choosing pieces to fit the spaces like you would solve a puzzle.
7. Mix the grout with water following the directions on the package. Stir with a chopstick. Use your gloved fingers to wipe dollops of grout over the tiles, pressing the grout into the grooves. After 15 minutes, wipe the surface of the tiles with a damp sponge to remove excess. The tiles will dry with a haze. When the grout is cured, use the soft rag to buff the tiles.
8. Use the small paintbrush to paint the grout with Gold Leaf Rub ’n Buf. Wipe any gold paint off the tiles with a soft rag. Let dry.
9. Put on a clean pair of gloves and cover the mosaic in the bottom of the tray with a layer of resin following the directions on the package of EnviroTex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Finish resin. Use the two-cup method of mixing, where you stir the two-part resin with a chopstick for 2 minutes in one cup, then dispense into a second clean cup and mix for 1 minute more. Pour the resin over the mosaic. Tip the tray to distribute the resin evenly. Place the tray on a level surface and cover with a cardboard box to let cure for 48 hours.
10. Stamp the tray with the flourish stamp and gold stamp pad to create a brocade pattern. Let dry. Seal with Plaid FolkArt Waterbase Varnish.
We love how this project turned out. It is a Christmas craft to keep for a long time. We hope you’ll make your own, maybe even using a china plate that matches a family china pattern. Let us know if you have any questions. Just leave a comment and we’ll reply!
Jennifer & Kitty
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