How Can I Re-purpose China Cups & Plates?

By Becky Lower

Things Needed

  • China
  • Decoupage materials
  • Glue
  • Protective eyewear
  • Pencil and paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Tile snips
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Bucket of water
You can give old china a new life in a variety of ways.

Anyone who uses china plates and cups knows that over the years, a certain amount of breakage will occur. You'll end up with a lot of odds and ends that, while colorful, are not coordinated. Rather than throw them out, you can repurpose them and provide an entire new life to your china by being inventive and creative. Big projects, like a backsplash made from broken china pieces, may actually involve searching through antique store and flea markets for more china.

Easy Repurpose Projects

Position a colorful bread plate under a plant. Not only will it catch excess water, but it will add a splash of color to the plant and the room.

Cut plates into large pieces using tile snips. Place them in the garden with their half-moon sides sticking out of the ground as a landscape border.

Place a clean cup and saucer into a fish tank. It will give the fish an unusual place to hide and will be a conversation starter whenever someone looks at the tank.

Hang plates on the wall in a grouping for colorful wall art. Use cups as plant vases or planters. Use cups as votive candle holders.

Decoupage a picture onto the front of a plain cup to use for storing office supplies or as a planter.

Make a Tiered Plate Stand

Match up three plates in decreasing size -- a dinner plate, a salad plate and a dessert plate.

Find two matching coffee mugs that are approximately five inches high.

Glue one of the mugs in the middle of the dinner plate. Use a strong glue that will bond to china.

Center the salad plate over the top of the mug and glue it into position.

Glue the next mug into place in the center of the salad plate.

Position the dessert plate on top of the second mug and glue it into place.

Create a Backsplash

Separate the china by color and/or pattern.

Measure the backsplash area and draw a template of the area onto a sheet of paper. Create a design on the paper; you can mimic waves, a quilting pattern, random swirls or use a design of your own creation.

Cut the china into pieces using the tile snips to better control of the size of the pieces.

Position the pieces onto the template you've drawn.

Affix tile adhesive onto the backs of the china one piece at a time and position the piece onto the wall, following your template design. Let the china dry overnight.

Apply grout using a sponge. Work it in between each piece of china.

Wipe off excess grout after about 20 to 30 minutes. Use a damp sponge to clean off the china.

About the Author

Becky Lower began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in "elan" magazine, a northern Virginia publication, "Good Old Days" magazine, the "BGSU Alumni" magazine and on the website thenovelette.com. Lower has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Bowling Green State University.