A Trash to Treasure Love Story

a true trash to treasure love Story.

Have you ever had a project that turned out even better than you envisioned?

A project that was years in the making?

A project that truly leaves you just a little bit smug with yourself?

A true love story.

But… like every good love story, there’s always a plot twist.

Because love doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.

(Make sure to read to the very end.)

This story begins several years ago…

when my sweet daughter found an old set of red toile dishes in a Thrift Store in Wisconsin.

Knowing my Love Affair with Red Toile dishes she couldn’t resist the $25 price tag.

While packing their car for their visit home, my son in law picked up the box to rearrange the

car and the bottom fell out.  Most of the dishes survived.  Several of the large plates did not.

Deciding to turn lemons into Lemonade, I kept the broken plates to make garden stepping

stones with  my grandson, Nicholas.  (one of my most popular posts.)

  Click on picture for project.

Being a “saver”,  I saved the remainder of the broken plates for a future project.

(notice I didn’t use the word hoarder?)

Then there’s the base of a broken bird bath.

I’m ashamed to admit how many years that base has been sitting around.  (it was a lot!)

I used the rest of the broken dishes along with the base and a 20″ round wood top cut from

cabinet scraps to make the Mosaic table.

To start my project…

I gave the base a simple cleaning and painted it with Decoart Outdoor Living Paint: picket fence*

After the base was fully dried, I dry brushed the base with  Color Stain in Ash Grey.

To make the mosaic table top…

  • Lightly sand the 20″ wood circle to prime it to accept paint and glue.
  • Paint the sides and bottom of the 20″ wood circle with the white paint used on the base.
  • Glue the broken pieces of china onto the wood base using a good glue specific for mosaic tiles such as Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue* or Weldbond Multi-Purpose Adhesive Glue*.
  • Try to use flat pieces of china whenever possible.  You can smooth the sharp edges of the china using a Dremel Tool*.  (read product instructions before using)

  • I used unsanded grout because I didn’t want to take the chance of it scratching the china.
  • Mix the grout as directed and follow the package instructions when applying the grout onto the top.
  • Confession Time…I did not smooth the edges of the China before gluing them onto the top.  After the grout had dried,  I decided that some of the pieces were too sharp.   After it was grouted I  went over the sharper pieces with a Dremel tool.  The table isn’t completely flat.  But that doesn’t matter for  how I plan on using the table.
  • Seal Grout with Grout Sealer.

Mosaic Table Product Information:                   (*affiliate link)

Disclaimer:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

I really loved that table.
It was just the perfect size to sit by a comfy chair with a good book.

And then there’s the sad part…

The Plot Twist…

To be honest… I made this table on a warm week-end in February.

By the time I was staging the table for pictures, the weather was beginning to really cool down.

Being in a hurry to photograph the project,  I didn’t take the time to secure the top

to the base or seal the grout .  I stuck it into the garage to do at a later time.

When I finally got around to finishing the project…

I carefully moved the top so I could seal the grout and then glued the top to the base with

a  strong adhesive.  While the adhesive worked initially, when I went to move it again a few

days later by the top (what was I thinking), the base came crashing down on the garage floor.

To say “I felt defeated” would be a understatement.

That’s one reason…(even though I had a 100 good photo’s)

that I never posted the project  until now.

Why?   Because, I didn’t want to mislead you.

The Happy Ending…

Always resourceful, I did find that I had a 20″ black metal mesh table that the top fit perfectly on

and I didn’t have to worry about securing it.

The table has sat there beautifully on my back deck all summer.

(who am I kidding…it’s still there.)

So the moral to the story would be to find a super duper industrial adhesive.

Or…what I would do now if I had to do it over again.

I would cut a small wood disc that is slightly smaller than the top of the bird bath base so that it

would fit inside.  I would glue the disc (with a really good glue) to the bottom of the wood and

keep it as a removable top.  That would help stabilize the top and make for easy storage.

So remember if you decide to try this at home…. 

Sometimes you have success and sometimes you don’t.

And…sometimes you have a little bit of both.


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18 thoughts on “A Trash to Treasure Love Story

  1. Robyn Wright says:

    That is beautiful and creative and you still get to have your favorite dishes around you. And the edges of the plates made it so EASY to place around the table. I love it!

  2. judyform@gmail.com says:

    I have a bottom to a bird bath—also longer than I’d like to admit! What a great idea for how to put it to use! Thanks!

    • seldred2 says:

      We keep these things around for good reason. Sometimes it takes longer than others to figure out why.
      Have a great day…thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. S.B. Peterson says:

    Wow — every once in awhile, at a yard sale or thrift store, I’ll see an abandoned bird-bath bottom. Have always wondered what on earth you could do with it. Now I know, and next time I see one, plan to pick it up, and follow your idea — I think it’s delightful!

  4. Myra says:

    I’m so sorry that the base was broken because the project is truly beautiful. I’ve never seen red red toile dishes, but I love them. I have a large pottery vase that I’ve been wanting to make into a table for my deck. I also have a set of dishes that I am getting rid of, some of which are cracked. This would be a great idea for a table for my deck. I’m definitely saving this idea for future use. I just hope I can make mine look as good as yours.

    • seldred2 says:

      I’m assuming you mean the wood base that I put the broken dishes on. I lightly sanded it before painting it with a multi purpose paint. I did seal the top of the table. I’m not sure I sealed the bottom. Sealing it would be a good idea. I brought the table in for the winter.

  5. Marianne says:

    I love this idea, I have a bottom of a bird bath that has been sitting in my yard for at least 10 years, I probably have everything I need to make a table like this, I can’t wait until the weather warms up so I can ! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Theresia says:

    Lovely project!
    Haha, I wondered why the lack of directions in the Hometalk post for attaching the top. Please post a picture with ‘new’ base. I bet the black base even looks better than the grey base. The color of the original base just didn’t quite jive with me, especially with the black rocker.
    I’m always drawn to the old, odd plates at Goodwill. I may have to look closer!

  7. Andrea Smith says:

    I drive my family bonkers with my saving this, don’t throw away that and don’t even think about throwing that in the trash…lol..but you see, I’m so old, that I lived green before living green was cool..raised with the belief of taking care of our Mother Earth ands she will take care of us, and ‘waste not, want not”…I am a collector of so many things I’m just a collector..lol…I’ve been saving back pieces of broken terracotta planters, yard statues (when my 4 year old G-Son was gifted a full size 9 iron and woodie golf club…I think they were hopeful for another Tiger….uh, no), and I have several plates, coffee mugs and such that have gone “uh-oh” broken…So I’m glad to get these ideas…Thanks for your helpful advice…Love the table too by the way….

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