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Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 | 3 comments

From Cinder Blocks to Mosaic Tile Planters

From Cinder Blocks to Mosaic Tile Planters

We have big plans this summer to add a mosaic to some plain cinder block steps in our backyard. Before we embark on that project, my kids and I practiced by sprucing up some cinder block planters. I headed to Restore to buy tile. They did not have colorful tile in stock, but in the dishware section, I found several plates, a vase and a platter to smash for the project.

My kids, Miles and Vivien, were more than eager to get started. Vivien chose a green vase, a blue plate, and a white tile for the color scheme. We started by cleaning off the cinder blocks.


Then, Miles smashed the blue plate with a mallet.


The smashing of the plate made a mess. We decided to wear protective goggles and smash the next object inside a paper bag. This worked perfectly, no mess and much safer.


Next up, we arranged and secured the pieces with liquid nails (from Home Depot for a little over $2).



When they were done arranging the pieces, we let it dry outside overnight.


The next day, I caulked. It wasn’t smooth because the plate and vase are not as flat as a typical piece of tile. I used a spoon and sponge to smooth it all out.


I gave the caulk a day to dry before I put it back in its proper place in the garden.


This is just the beginning of a large backyard mosaic project. Stay tuned for the final reveal.


  1. So easy & do nice

  2. I’ve been thinking about this for backyard cement steps as well. FYI, I did a quick google search and many people recommend only using slip resistant bathroom tiles on outdoor stairs if you plan to do the stair surface. I wouldn’t have thought of that! I might just do the stair “face” not the walking surface.

    • I am only doing the face of the steps. Please let us know how your stairs project goes. I am hoping to be finished by the end of the summer.

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