DIY Kintsugi Repair

If you do enough work on computers, you may have found yourself literally going for the undo button in real life. Unfortunately, Ctrl+Z doesn’t do anything for your favorite mug that you dropped on the kitchen floor. So you basically have two choices: Throw it out (very sad if it’s irreplaceable), or try to repair it. Super glue can sometimes fix the damage, but other times, there are missing or pulverized pieces, and there’s no way the repair is going to make it look like the break never happened. Instead of trying to hide the repair, what if you highlighted it? That’s what the art of kintsugi does, featuring cracks filled with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The outcome can be quite beautiful in its own right, and you can easily create the look yourself with a DIY kintsugi kit.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

I’ve been curious about the technique for a long time, so when Claudia from the shop Mora Approved offered to send a kintsugi repair kit my way, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. She also sent me a second kit to give away, so if you’d like to win a kit of your own, read on!
I got very philosophical when thinking about the art of kintsugi, because the idea of finding beauty in broken or imperfect things, and celebrating the history of an object, could be applied to so many things in life. Like relationships. You can’t undo a hurtful word or deed, but you can try to repair the damage, and if you do a good job, your relationship might be better for it in the end. At least that’s what we all hope for when we make mistakes.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

So maybe a pretty repaired dish is a good reminder of ways to deal with mistakes in life in general. Or maybe it’s just a pretty dish 🙂

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

Want to win your own kintsugi kit? Leave me a comment here, or follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on this post about what you would use it to to repair, and I’ll choose a winner in a week (enter by Tuesday, May 9, 2017).

DIY Kintsugi Repair

Materials

Kintsugi repair kit
Dish to repair
Disposable surface for mixing glue (like a can or jar lid)
Alcohol wipes, or rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs
Paper bag, or old towel

Tools

Hammer, if you need to break a dish
Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.
Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

Steps

1. I got too impatient to try this kit to wait for a dish to break accidentally, so I took things into my own hands. I put a small ceramic saucer in a paper bag, and hit it with a hammer. I tried to hit it gently, to have as few breaks as possible, but it ended up in several pieces. Not ideal, but neither are a lot of accidental breaks, so I figured it would be a good example piece.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.
2. Figure out how the pieces fit back together, and make a plan for gluing them. If you have several pieces, like I did, you’ll want to work in sections, gluing together a few pieces at a time rather than trying to glue the whole thing together in one go. First concentrate on securing the pieces together, and then worry about the aesthetics.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.
3. Mix small amounts of the epoxy and gold dust, cover one broken edge of a piece, and press the other broken edge against it. Work as quickly as possible, and clean up excess glue with wet wipes, or rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. Once the glue has set you won’t be able to get it off of places where you don’t want it, so clean up quickly! I found it best to let the glue in each section mostly set before moving onto another section and mixing another batch of glue. You can tell whether the glue on your piece is set by checking the hardness of your leftover glue on the dish.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.
4. If you have deeper cracks or missing pieces, you can use the clay epoxy to fill in the gaps. My gaps were small enough that I just filled them with glue, but I found it helpful to build it up gradually in multiple sessions. This was partly because I wanted more minimalist gold veins than I’ve seen with some DIY kintsugi, with no blobs of excess glue, so I was really careful to wipe away errant glue before it set, but when I did so, I often accidentally wiped some out of the cracks. So I added gold glue, wiped away excess, let it set before adding more, and repeated until I was happy.

Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.
5. While the glue is still sticky but not wet, dust with additional gold. Let all glue dry completely.
Broke a dish? Take your inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, and highlight the repair with gold. A DIY kintsugi kit makes it easy.

Thanks to Mora Approved for the kit, and be sure to enter to win your own if you’d like to give it a try!

7 thoughts on “DIY Kintsugi Repair

  1. Kintsugi looks like the perfect technique to repair a china doll figurine I’ve had since I was 12 . My Dad gave it to me for my birthday one year. My Dad had to buy it because my younger brother broke it while they were shopping. He thiftily superglued the head back on. I think a Kintsugi gold line would be perfect to re-work her repair.
    Thanks. I find your blog very inspiring.

  2. We need one of these repair kits! We broke an emotionally important espresso cup several months ago and I’ve been hanging on to the pieces so we can repair it. I haven’t seen a kit locally – it may just be time to order online!

  3. Lorraine Shimley says:

    This is the first time I have seen this or even heard of this and I am fascinated. As I read, my mind shifted to a little ceramic bell that my Dad gave my Mom in which no atter where we lived she always displayed that bell proudly on tne coffee table, till the handle broke and she then slyly used a plant to hide the broken handle. My Dad has since passed away and just realized that the last time I was visiting her, I don’t remember seeing that bell on any of the tables. I am hoping she still has it as I would love to do this for her. Though I would love to win this, I thank you for a wonderful artcle and an introduction to a new art! I will be doing this.

  4. I would use this to repair my flower pots! I am constantly moving my plants back and forth (to wash them in the shower, to water them outside, etc.) and I am not the most graceful and drop my ceramic pots all the time…. (I literally had to buy 3 ceramic orchid pots in one month). This kit would help and I think it would look good on flower pots.

  5. Nicole Wood says:

    I would love to win this kit to bring pieces from multiple broken objects together to make a new extra special bowl! Multiple past favorites can come together 🙂

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