How to Make a Mosaic Garden Bench

The words "tile" and "grout" can be somewhat intimidating when it comes to home improvement projects. Making a mosaic garden bench, however, need not be intimidating. You are creating a much smaller project that uses far less supplies than a bathroom shower. Making a mosaic garden bench is a simple and quick way to give a hum drum bench a face lift. The expense can be minimal, especially if you use leftover tiles from a previous home improvement project or for a more country cottage look, use broken dishes. The following instructions are for a broken dish mosaic garden bench. Simply use damaged dishes you already own or rummage through a local thrift store.

Step 1

Remove the bench top if it is detachable.  If it has padding and a fabric cover, discard everything except for the base plywood.

Step 2

Apply Contact paper to the back of a plate.  Place the plate between the layers of an old bath towel and tap with the rubber mallet.

Step 3

Uncover the plate.  Peel the broken plate pieces from the Contact paper, one piece at a time to keep the design intact.

Step 4

Glue the pieces to the bench top, leaving a gap between the pieces for the grout.  Glue the pieces keeping the plate design together. Use the nippers to further shape individual pieces on the mosaic garden bench top. 

Step 5

Break additional plates and glue the plate pieces randomly around the initial design on your mosaic garden bench.  Continue until the whole mosaic garden bench top is covered. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before continuing. 

Step 6

Apply the grout to the mosaic garden bench top and cover well.  Fill in between the mosaic plate pieces. Allow a few minutes for the grout to set up. 

Step 7

Clean away the grout using a wet, then damp sponge.  Rinse and repeat until the excess grout has been removed and no more grit remains. Allow the grout to dry. 

Step 8

Remove the film from the mosaic garden bench top and polish the tops of the broken plate pieces using a rag. 

Step 9

Replace the mosaic garden bench top on the bench frame. 

Things You Will Need

  • Bench
  • Several dishes (plates work best)
  • Contact paper
  • Household cement
  • Old bath towel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Grout
  • Tile nippers
  • Sponge and water
  • Rag
  • Optional-tools needed to remove bench top


  • If the bench you are using has a frame around the edge, replace the plywood in the frame before you transform it into a mosaic garden bench. This will insure the mosaic top will fit back into the frame.
  • Use this mosaic technique to remix old chairs or tables into beautiful new furnishings.
  • This project is a great way to make an heirloom using old china that has been passed down and is missing pieces.


  • Do not use the towel as a bath towel again. Shards may be lodged in the fibers.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.