How can I reuse or recycle … mugs with broken handles?

broken_mug.jpgAs I mentioned before when talking about broken crockery in general, we have a very hard, very cold stone floor in the kitchen. Things tend to smash, or at least break, when we drop them.

In addition to that general broken crockery thing, I thought broken mugs, particularly handle-less mugs, deserved their own post. We’ve got a small collection under the sink, holding random bits and bobs (fuses, screws, bits of chain) that really should be sorted out and put where they belong because we’ll never remember to look there when we need them.

So what else can we do with our stash? We’ve got the handles for two of them but they can’t be glued back on and used for drinks again for safety reasons – and all the mugs are just a bit too small to use for planters (well, for the houseplants we’ve got at the moment at least). Any other ideas?

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19 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … mugs with broken handles?”


  1. Bobbie says:

    Pique Assiette is the art of using broken crockery in mosaics. Many of these mosaics are useful items, such as outdoor benches and birdbaths, and are as beautiful as they are useful. Cup handles are especially useful in this art. Just Google this term and you will see some wonderful stuff.

  2. Bobbie says:

    p.p.s. I should have said Google IMAGE this term. Arrrgghh!

  3. Emily says:

    How about using them as plant pots? At least before the plants grow to big and need re-potting…

  4. Delusion says:

    They are great for using as paint pots for crafts especially if you are using decent amounts of poster paints. You can give the paint a good slosh around inside without it splashing everywhere.

    If the mug is nice or a favourite, how about using it as a pen holder on a desk. Just keep the handle-less side facing away ;)

  5. shan says:

    if the cup part itself is still intact, you can touch up the chipped places with paint and use them in other serving capacities- for soup, ice cream, dipping sauces, etc.

    you could also turn them upside down and use them on shelves for tiering the display of knick-knacks and picture frames.

  6. Linda says:

    I have a friend who uses broken pieces of crockery decoratively in her garden. If you bury the broken part, no one can tell the piece is broken. You might want to break the mugs a bit more so that they drain, then put them in the garden at an angle with a plant growing out of them. If you have toads in the garden, you can partially bury one upside down as a toad house.

  7. Katz says:

    If they are too small for plants – maybe they are just the right size for growing herbs in the kitchen?
    You may be able to use them as candle holders – just pop a small candle in and enjoy!

  8. AliceJ says:

    Since they’re totally inert, you could “recycle” them by breaking them up into bits as small as you can manage and then just mixing them into the soil in your garden. They’ll do no more harm than all the other stones in there, although they may make the soil a little more alkaline than it was.

  9. John says:

    You could rub down the cup where the handles broke off and reuse them as handle-less cups ;)

    Once you’ve removed the sharp edges, you can use them for anything from pen holders, organisers, sugar bowls, etc.

  10. Cally says:

    When they are really smashed they make excellent drainage material for the bottom of plant pots – especially a curved piece put over any large hole to stop it getting clogged with earth but allow water through. It is quite fun to spot old cup pieces when you repot : )

  11. Dan says:

    Holders for pencils or those odd screws and bolts that everyone has

  12. kelsie says:

    well you can just glue it back on dun
    kelsie age 11

    • louisa says:

      It’s not advised to glue handles back onto cups or mugs which will hold a hot liquid for safety reasons – if the glue gives way, you might get severely scalded.

  13. Reese says:

    recycle it maybe???

  14. Jocelyn says:

    I had the same problem with my favorite mug. I loved all your suggestions. I think I will try grinding it down and making it a sugar bowl. :-)

  15. Lizzy says:

    if they’re intact apart from handles, you could use them to put peaches or other easily bruised fruit in for picnics to stop them getting squashed

  16. Olga says:

    Cover the top of wooden poll outside to prevent water damage.

  17. Oh my goodness, I am so glad that you posted this. Recently I had a couple of my friends over and one of the handles broke off of my beautiful Japanese tea set porcelain cups…I have been wondering what in the world can I do with this; now I can turn it into a lovely planter for my bamboo plant. Thank you for the great idea!

  18. HuntingWabbits says:

    You can try your hand at using superglue to get the handle back on, but that’s really just postponing the inevitable. You could sand the white part back down, paint it, and shellac it so it blends in.



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