The Goods

Turn a broken plate into a beautiful shadow box with this easy peasy DIY

For when you break your favourite china but don’t want to part with the pieces.

For when you break your favourite china but don’t want to part with the pieces.

If you've got some broken dishes on hand or if you're looking for a new art project, this DIY from Steven Sabados is perfect for your next craft afternoon. It's especially ideal for when you've inherited some antique dinnerware but you may have accidentally broken Grandma's fine china in your last move. And don't worry – we've got tips for if all of your plates are still in tact but you want to make this piece. Here's a super simple way to use a shadowbox to upcycle your broken plates.


  • Shadow box
  • Linen
  • Pencil and string or compass
  • Old china
  • Hot glue
  • Safety goggles, safety gloves and hammer (if you are breaking dishes before crafting)


1. Attach the linen to the inside of your shadow box. This adds a nice background to your display, rather than using a plain white one. Give it a good spray with spray glue, place the linen on and smooth out any bumps. Be sure to fold over and secure it in the back.

2. Find the center of your background. Use your compass to draw a perfect circle. This is the outline for your ceramic artwork and will ensure you have the parameters you need to work within.

3. Once you have your circle drawn out, it's time to start attaching the broken pieces. Start at the outline that you just created and work in towards the center. Use hot glue to attach the pieces because it's strong and dries quickly.

4. Add the back to the shadow box, and you're ready to hang up your new artwork!

Tips for breaking china

Here's what to do if you'd like to make this project, but none of your china is actually broken:

1. Set out a safe space. You can break plates in a box so your china doesn't fly all over the place.

2. Wearing goggles and safety gloves, carefully break your plate in the box with a hammer. Start on the edge by creating a break. Once you have a break, you can start chipping at the rim of the plate to get your nicest pieces.

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