D.I.Y. Not?

Make Your Broken Plates and Bowls Even Prettier Than They Were Before

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than losing your favorite ceramic pitcher to a dishwashing disaster. But those pieces don’t have to be destined for the recycling! There’s hope for them in the form of kintsugi, a Japanese style of pottery repair that seals everything back together with a combination of resin and gold powder to not only make it whole again but also to leave it even prettier than it was before (if—note!—not necessarily food-safe). The other good news? It’s pretty easy to do a D.I.Y. version at home. Let’s get cracking!

What you’ll need:

  • A broken piece of pottery—ideally something in two or three large pieces, with clean breaks
  • Tube of five-minute epoxy (like Gorilla brand)
  • Small pot of powdered gold (available at craft stores)
  • Disposable plastic cup
  • Toothpicks
  • Newspaper or wax paper to protect your work surface

1. You’re in a ventilated area already, right? If not, get there! Then lay down your newspaper and all of your supplies (you’ll need to work quickly, so be prepared).

2. Now, get golden. Squeeze a large dollop of epoxy into your plastic container, making sure not to get it on your skin directly. Shake in a few pinches of gold powder and stir, stir, stir with a toothpick until they’re all combined and you’ve got…gold glue!

3. Working quickly before your epoxy dries, use a toothpick to spread the metallic epoxy along one side of the broken ceramic you’re mending. You want a thin, even layer but with enough glue to really seal things together. Then, press the glued edge to its coordinating unglued edge firmly and hold the pieces together for a minute or two to let the glue start to set. Some epoxy will seep out the edges, which is not only fine—it’s kind of the point!

4. Repeat with any additional shards, making sure not to jostle the pottery too much as you do. Let everything dry according to the glue manufacturer’s instructions—usually at least overnight. The food safe-ness and care instructions of your repaired item will also depend on your epoxy brand’s guidelines, so read up.

5. Sit back and enjoy your magical power to make broken things better than new. Then try not to seem too excited the next time a guest breaks a plate.