Sometimes broken china and pottery can be used in very interesting ways to create something new. This guide is about reusing broken dishes.
Here is a picture of my grape hyacinths. I used some broken bowls to edge the top of the rockery. Both bowls were broken but a good half section was still whole so I leaned them up against the plants in the rockery making it look like they were growing out of the bowls.
Purchase an old metal serving tray at a flea market, yard sale, or discount store. The design doesn't matter so the uglier and cheaper the better. Then, pour a layer of thin-set mortar onto the tray. Smooth it with a serrated spreader, either one made for tile or one you make yourself by cutting notches into a piece of plastic. Then, push the broken pieces into the mortar. You can create a design with multiple broken plates or recreate your original plate design, leaving spaces between each piece. Fill these spaces with grout when the mortar dries. Colored grout adds to your design, so consider some options. Wipe the grout from the pieces with a moist sponge before it dries. Now you have an interesting serving piece, a center piece tray (try making your collage on a lazy susan), or a wall hanging that matches your place setting.
If you're looking to replace your entire place setting, consider open stock dishes. They're more expensive, but they offer the ability to add extra plates, replace broken dishes, and purchase only what you need. If you don't use saucers, don't waste money on them. Instead, add extra dinner plates for company, purchase larger cereal bowls instead of salad bowls, or mix and match styles to anticipate future mixing and growth.
Word to the wise....
Someone suggested coffee filters as a method of safely packing dinnerware. We moved 3 miles; placed 4-6 filters between gumbo bowls; of the 16 bowls, 10 arrived CRACKED.
Cool ideas. You can also make outdoor or indoor table tops, trays, frames and more. Heck, you can now purchase china pieces on line!
This is an interesting site
I say if it's not broken don't fix it...if it is, turn it into something new!
I would like to find someone who would make jewelry from my mother's old dishes. How should I go about such a search?
By ERIS from Tilden, IL
I was going to suggest finding someone on Etsy and one came up in my google search:
I didn't look to see if they do custom work but here are some others on Etsy using broken china:
Here are some others that say they do custom:
Not sure if this one does custom but it never hurts to ask...I really like their designs:
There will be a lot of street fairs coming up since summer is about to begin...you might check there to see if there are local artisans that work with broken china.
Maybe try etsy.com
I do wire wrapping on pieces of seashell and rock slices. If you are interested you can email me.
I don't know if you've found someone yet or not but I do create jewelry from broken china and have had many customers who have been very happy with their custom orders. It's easy to get the process started so let me know if you're still interested. I'll do all that I can to work with you to create the jewelry that you envision.
Please visit my website at http://www.marjoriescracked.com to see my work.
And thank you, Kaelle, for mentioning my site in your posting.
I would like to cut some designs out of china dishes. Does anyone know what kind of tool I need or how to do it? I saw some lovely jewelry made out of pieces of broken plates and would love to try it myself.
By Marlene from Billerica, MA
I don't know about small items but there is a table saw for ceramic tile at home depot. I'll bet they could advise you.
Decide what type of jewelry from china that you want to make. Pendants, necklaces, pins and earrings are most suited since china is delicate. Bracelets and rings take greater abuse and are more prone to break.
Remember your china already broke once and you are re purposing it into jewelry from China. No need to press your luck.
Step 2 Sketch out your design for your jewelry from china. You can break the china and use the organic pieces or you can create a defined pattern and cut the china into shapes you desire using glass nippers or a jewelry saw and blade.
Step 3 Select the finding needed to make your jewelry from china. You will need ear wires to make earrings, a bail to make a pendant or a jump ring to make a charm to hang from a necklace or bracelet.
Step 4 File and then sand the broken china to remove all sharp edges.
Step 5 Drill a hole in the broken china using a drill and a diamond drill bit. Drill slowly and submerge the china in water as you drill. Take care to keep power tools away from the water you are using as a lubricant for your diamond drill bit.
Step 6 Feed the finding through the hole you drilled with your diamond drill bit to turn your broken plate into jewelry from china.good luck.
You may want to consider wire wrapping your china pieces if you aren't able to drill holes after you cut your pieces with a jewelry saw.