How to Make a Tile Wall Plaque

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Small mosaic wall tiles come in sheets with a mesh backing. The tiles are available in various colors and sizes. Larger tiles come in various patterns. Combining small and large tiles to create a striking design enhances your wall decor. Small plaques are ideal for hallways, entryways and bathroom walls, while larger plaques work well above sofas or as a headboard above a bed. Plan your design on graph paper before starting, using colored pencils to draw in your design pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Mosaic tile sheets
  • 1/8-inch tile spacers
  • Plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Safety goggles
  • Primer
  • Adhesive tile matting
  • Fabric scissors
  • Premixed grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Dry rag
  • Acrylic paint
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Picture frame hanger
  • Screwdriver
  • Cut mosaic tiles into patterns with fabric scissors. The mesh backing will hold strips or squares of tiles together. Lay out the tiles on the poster board and arrange in a pleasing design, placing tile spacers between each tile to get an accurate measurement for the design. Once the design is arranged to your liking, draw around the outside edges for a template for the plywood backboard. Slide the tiles off the poster board and cut along the marked lines.

  • Lay the poster board template onto the plywood. Draw around the cardboard to make a pattern. Using a jig saw and wearing the safety glasses, cut on the lines on the plywood. Sand the edges and front of the cut-out plywood and paint both sides and all edges with primer, allowing the plywood to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

  • Lay the plywood piece onto the top of the adhesive tile matting, lining up the top and left sides of the matting and plywood. Draw along the bottom and right side of the plywood. Cut the matting along the lines.

  • Remove the backing from the adhesive matting and apply to the front side of the plywood, pressing firmly to secure. Carefully remove the cover film from the front of the adhesive matting. Do not touch the matting, and once you lay a tile, do not try to reposition it. Lay the tiles onto the mat according to your design, beginning in one corner and working diagonally across the mat. Insert spacers between the tiles as needed, to maintain the same spacing as the mosaic tiles had on their original mesh backing.

  • Remove the tile spacers. Using a grout float, cover the tiles with the premixed grout, pushing it into all spaces between tiles. Remove the excess grout with the side edge of the float. While the grout is still damp, wipe the tiles with a damp sponge to remove grout from tile faces and leaving it in the grooves between the tiles. Rinse the sponge after each wipe.

  • Allow the grout to dry according to manufacturer's directions. Once dry, wipe the haze from the grout off the front of the tiles with a soft, dry rag. Paint the edges of the plywood with acrylic paint, applying two coats if necessary for even coverage. Attach the picture frame hanger to the back of the plywood with a screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Frame a mirror with mosaic tiles for a wall accent.
  • Keep grout and small tiles out of reach of children.
  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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