I love to find a good repurposing project for all those thrift store finds! I always see so many beautiful plates at those stores, but it always seems the good ones only have 1 or 2 pieces. Here’s a project to take those onesies and turn them into mini-works of art for your garden.
– Lovely plate, of course
– Concrete stepping stone (make sure it is slightly larger than your plate)
– Tile adhesive, premixed
– Sanded grout, premixed
First thing you want to do is break your plate. Put in on a hard surface pattern side up. I made the mistake of doing my first one pattern side down, as the first photo shows, and had the dickens of a time putting the plate back together properly – it was like doing a jigsaw puzzle without having the box to look at. Put a towel or tarp over it to prevent any flying shards and give it a light tap or two. Take a peek. Keep tapping until you’re happy with the number of pieces you have. You don’t want too many small pieces.
Spread the tiling adhesive on the top of the stepping stone. It’s pretty much the same as icing a cake, the consistency’s the same as well. I made it about a 1/4″ thick. If you happen to have a toothed trowel laying around, you can smooth it all, but I usually just skipped this step.
Lay on your plate pieces. Start with the out edge and work around the complete circle first, then go back and fill in the center. You may not have room for all the pieces, if so, you can just fudge the center. For certain pieces, like where the rim is on the bottom of the plate, you may need to add some more adhesive to flatten it out. The goal is to have the pieces lay flat and even, so you’ll have to keep playing with it. The adhesive takes a while to dry, so there’s no rush.
Once it’s all together, let it dry according to the package instructions which is usually overnight. (Notice how the center of my plate is a little fudged…)
Once the adhesive is dry you can grout your pieces. Get a bucket of water and your sponge ready. Take the sanded grout and apply it liberally to the top of the plate. Spread it out making sure to push it into all the nooks and crannies between the pieces. Don’t worry about the tops of the tiles, they will be covered as well.
Once it’s fully covered take a wet sponge and wipe over the top of the stone removing all of the extra grout. Keep dipping your sponge in the water and wringing out the excess in between wipes. Keep at it until all the grout on top of the tiles has been wiped off. I then went back and added grout to the sides of the stone (again, like icing a cake) so that it looked consistent all the way around. Then do a quick wipe of the sides with a sponge as well so the texture matches the top.
Let the grout dry and you’re good to go!