Kitchen tiles are expensive, so reuse any left after a kitchen makeover. Ceramic kitchen tiles are rigid and have a smooth surface, making them ideal for many craft projects. Small glass tiles sparkle in mosaic projects. Many types of kitchen tiles can be used in craft projects, including those in colors you dislike, where you can hide the original surface.
Coasters and Trivets
Standard 6-inch by 6-inch wall tiles make ideal trivets, while smaller 4 1/4-inch square tiles are a better size for coasters.Choose smooth tiles and cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers or print out favorite images and recipes. Fit image to tile. Coat a clean, dry tile with a thin layer of decoupage medium and let dry. Paint medium on the back of the image and stick to tile. Cover with six layers of decoupage, allowing each to dry before applying the next. Finish with a final layer of polyurethane varnish for extra durability.
Photo Display Frames
Create a collection of custom-made, tile-backed display photos. Use base tiles with a flared edge at the bottom or make small photo tiles from 1-inch square mosaic tiles. Coat a smooth tile in decoupage medium, place the photo on top and allow the medium to dry. Finish the photo plaque with another layer of decoupage medium. Display the photo in the center of frame or glue a hanger to the back. Group tile pictures together to make a display.
Wrap tiles in an old cloth or towel and smash them with a hammer to create mosaic shards. For random, abstract patterns use the shards without any further shaping. Choose different shades of one color for a subtle mosaic or bright tiles that complement each other for color. Fit the shards together as you would fit a jigsaw, concentrating more on the look of adjacent colors than on the shape of individual shards. For more structured shapes trim the tiles with tile nippers. Use grout or mortar to attach mosaic pieces to surface, leaving a 1/4-inch gap between them for grout. When the mortar is dry smooth grout in the gaps and wipe with a damp cloth to remove excess.
Design garden stepping stones or ornamental features, such as planters or flowerpots. Buy quick-setting concrete that is ready to mix with water or stepping-stone concrete. Mix the concrete and pour into the mold pan. You can use the large plastic saucers underneath planters as molds. Press tile shards or whole small tiles into the top of the plaster and allow it to set before removing it. To decorate a terracotta planter, cover the outside of the planter with grout then press tile shards into the surface. You could add a mixture of small pebbles to the tiles. This technique also works on plastic or wooden planters, but make sure the planter is rigid or else tiles will pop off as it flexes due to temperature changes. Apply tile and grout sealer 48 hours after the grout has cured to protect it from the elements.
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