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DIY: Framed Gravy Boat Succulent Planter

Last Updated on January 11, 2013 by Kristi Linauer

[pinit count=”horizontal” url=”” image_url=”” description=”Framed mosaic tile and gravy boat succulent planter that can hang on the wall” float=”left”]

Succulents are some of the only plants I can keep alive, and I love that they can thrive even with the smallest amount of attention. They’re perfect for adding touches of green in unexpected places.

I had an idea in my mind of creating a succulent planter wall hanging with a coffee cup cut in half with my tile saw, but when I was in Goodwill searching for the perfect cup, I came across this cute little gravy boat, and thought it would be even more perfect! It was only $1.29. I liked the shape better than a coffee cup, and I liked even more the idea that anyone could make this project since no fancy tools like a wet saw are needed.

Tools & Supplies:

  • MDF (thinner MDF is preferable)
  • Jigsaw or circular saw
  • Gravy boat
  • Frame
  • Tiles (I used 3 3″ x 6″ subway tiles)
  • Tile adhesive/grout
  • Grout float and sponge
  • Small rocks, soil and succulents


This project is really simple and pretty straight forward. I started by using my jigsaw to cut down a piece of scrap MDF to 8″ x 10″. I wanted it to fit into a standard frame size.

Next I used a hammer to break up the subway tiles. I didn’t bother to wrap them up in a towel, like I’ve seen most people do. I find I have more control over how the pieces break if I use a hammer and firmly tap the tile with the edge of the hammer head.

Next I arranged the gravy boat and the tile pieces, adhering them with the tile adhesive/grout. I just used my finger to spread adhesive on the back of each tile piece.

I let the adhesive dry for a few hours, and then grouted the tile. After letting it dry overnight, I stuck it in a frame. I actually used the tile adhesive around the lip of the frame to attach the frame to the mosaic piece, and then I filled in the gap where the frame met the tile with more grout.

After everything was dry, I added the pebbles, soil and succulents to the gravy boat.

Simple, right? The hardest part about this project is waiting for the grout to dry. 🙂 I’m not exactly a patient person, so waiting for stuff to dry can be torturous to me. I’ve ruined many a project because of my impatience.

Anyway, I’m kind of tempted to make a few more of these, using different sizes and shapes of gravy boats, to make a grouping for a wall. Now I just need to find a wall to put them on!

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Love this idea! (and the original coffee cup too!) Did you have any problems getting the curved side of the gravy boat to stick to the board? It says you only used the tile adhesive and I just wonder how well that will hold on a curved surface.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      June 19, 2012 at 8:17 am

      I didn’t have any trouble at all. I used quite a bit of the adhesive right behind the gravy boat, and it took several hours longer to dry than the tile pieces, but once it did dry, it was incredibly strong and secure.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    the cape on the corner
    June 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

    wow, that is neat! i love succulents, and this is such a different way to display some.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    aimee {sixteen fourteen}
    June 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

    OK, when I saw this title in my feed I had to check it out, because I could not possibly imagine what this could be! 😉 Great job…and thanks for the advice about succulents being “low maintenance,” since I think I’m wanted in a few states for killing plants.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shannon Fox
    June 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

    That is really sweet! So fresh and original… I see another mega pinned project on your hands 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I LOVE this! Like you, I have a hard time not killing plants, so this is right up my alley!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

    What a terrific project! What sort of hardware do you plan to use to hang this?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      June 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

      Well, it does have some weight to it since it has ceramic tile and a ceramic gravy boat, so I’m hoping to find a very small Ook Hangman French cleat (about three inches) to use to hang this, with it attached to the MDF that the tile is attached to. In other words, not attached to the frame. I’m not even sure if they come that small, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a small one at either Lowe’s or Home Depot.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

        You could also do the Martha Stewart thing and hang it with a ribbon. She hangs big platters that way too.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    DIY: Miniature Succulent Planter Refrigerator Magnets
    June 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

    […] project. Can you tell that I really like succulents? Plus, I had some tiny bits left over from my framed gravy boat succulent planter, and wanted to do something fun with […]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    This is too cute! I love how you combined a traditional, cottage feel with the earthy elements of nature. Plus, you laid each step out clearly so it looks simple to accomplish. Good job! It’s hard to find a DIY blog that I can follow from start to finish and actually get the desired result! Usually, I find myself perusing through my DVR recordings from the HDTV or DIY network so I can at least pause, rewind and replay a step just so I can keep up at home! Luckily, I have the Hopper from Dish, their new whole home HD DVR. It has tons of memory so I don’t have to be choosey about which projects I record. Thank goodness because, between working at Dish and maintaining a steady household, a creative outlet like DIY is the only thing that keeps me sane! Thanks again and I’ll let you know how the project goes!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    i could not stop my self to post the comment 🙂 that i usually dont .
    what a delight to see this.just wonderful and so pretty.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Inspire Me Heather
    October 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Hello Kristi: your gravy boat wall art looks wonderful (I would have never thought to do that!!) and I’ve got this linked to my DIY succulents post too today, for inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa Bundy
    May 23, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I used to be a diy, but was labeled disabled, and quit doing things. I love your ideas, and believe it’s time to get off my duff, and make fun stuff once again. Thanks for giving me some great ideas.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I have been growing Hen & Chicks in our front and backyards for years. This is a great idea–who but you would have thought of this! I love the 3D feel to it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    O.K. Have bought the adhesive grout tile, but am confused about how nice and white your piece is, is that the way it turns out, and do you fill in the grout till it is even with the tile? I just love this and can’t wait to start it. Also do you seal it with anything? I have followed your furniture painting makeovers, and did every piece in my sewing room! and just love it. Thank you for sharing your great and unique item’s you make, with all of us that need some direction, God has gifted you with a wonderful talent

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      March 13, 2014 at 12:42 am

      The grout that I used was white, and I just filled the spaces between the tiles with the white grout. I didn’t seal it with anything after it was dry.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I like this idea. very usefull. Thanks for sharing.


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Seriously… there anything you can’t do? We’ve been seeing all thiscomplicated structure stuff that I would NEVER try and then you throw this darling planter in the mix….I LOVE this project. I have a couple of daughters and a daughter-in-law that would enjoy receiving one of these. I think I can handle this one. Thanks Kristi :0)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MaryAnne Looby
    June 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    This is so stinkin cute! I might just try it. I kill plants, even outside. I now have a lady who comes once a week plucks weeds, waters and feed the tomato plants and herb that are out on the patio. I can look, but have been asked not to touch, LOL. My tomato are Heirlooms from the farm/caterer/restaurant where one of my sons work. They have 14 Acres and it is all organic. They are an organic caterer too! So my tomatoes are from 47 year old seeds and I have to save some for the next season. Can’t wait till they bear fruit. Anyway; I is nighttime and I am rambling. Excited about the cabinets. Going to make my husband real all of your kitchen blog from day one. He has to agree that we can do it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Kristi, el cuadro con suculentas me tiene enamorada, creo que tengo casi todo el material, tengo una duda,
    la cerámica o azulejo, va sobre una base de madera??? alli pega bien ?? el marco va clavado o a presión ???
    ojala me saques de esas dudas. Muy lidos y creativos tus trabajos, felicitaciones!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Such a great way to show off small succulents! I could also see putting the frame in a small easel on top of a buffet or on a wall shelf or cabinet, rather than hang on a wall. This will be a great project to practice working with tile too.
    Great tutorial, thank you Kristi!