Tips For Repairing Broken Terra Cotta, Clay, Or Concrete Garden Art Items

Helpful Tips To Ensure More Successful Repairs

I received an email the other day from garden art friend Louisa G. who was kind enough to share some very helpful ideas pertaining to repairing broken garden art items (or anything else you might have around the house that needs to be stuck back together, for that matter).

Whether you are using a “super” type glue, epoxy glue, or even concrete or hypertufa to try and reattach a piece or pieces that got broken off a favorite decorative item, these tips just might help make your repair come out even better than you’d hoped for.

Tips for more successful garden art repairs I think you’ll agree that often the challenge in doing a repair is trying to hold together the part(s) that need to be glued back on. Many times we cannot use fast-acting glues, and wait times for other type glues or adhesive’s (or ‘tufa or concrete’s) hardening/cure times may be 15 minutes on up to hours.

This is often the biggest challenge … how to keep the pieces stuck together AND how to achieve the most “invisible” repair possible.

I will agree it is frustrating to make a repair, only to find out the piece shifted ever so slightly, and though yes … you’ve been successful at sticking the item back together, it is now obvious that indeed there was damage that had occurred to it!

So … here’s Louisa’s great tips:

Here’s some easy ways I’ve found to keep odd-shaped pieces together while waiting for repairs to cure:

Obtain some NON DRYING modeling clay (something like Sculpey or other art clays that won’t dry out in a short time) and mold release to go with it. Sometimes (not always) mineral oil can be used. You would want to test this prior to going forward.

BEFORE GLUING: Put the repairs in position (you may need a helper to hold the pieces in place) and mold the clay – be generous – around your area of repair such that you can remove it easily. This may require more than one or two sections that will later be smooshed together.

Remove the clay and clean off any residue, then glue the repair as needed.

LIGHTLY apply the mold release agent and then place the prepared modeling clay around the repair – blend and smoosh separate sections of the modeling clay together GENTLY so that you don’t dislodge the repaired pieces. Wait for it to cure.

Other options:
–Spring clamps or C-clamps with toweling or other padding
–Rubber bands
–Bungee cords
–Binder clips (for smaller items)

There you have it!

Thanks Louisa for taking the time to share these tips with everyone!

To read my informative article about different methods to glue or wire broken pots back together, please go to Terra Cotta Repair Methods.


  1. Pone Leak Repair says:

    Thanks for your work, I believe that this information can make our work easy and effective for a long time, keep posting.

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