Mama Mia, Make-a-Mosaic…a

Put on your crafty pants everyone… it’s about to get messy!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while but kept getting distracted with the rest of the awesomeness in my life.  That, or I forgot.. I’m not sure exactly which.

I learned something about myself in a {not so} recent craft adventure… 

First a little background. I did this same project on a side table that once served as an aquarium stand for one of our past pets {I’ll include final product pictures later}, but did very little documentation so I’ll focus on project #2. 
Z and I were looking for a coffee table for the living room a month or two after we moved in. We didn’t want need anything fancy, just something besides the floor to set our drinks on. We lucked out by finding a great little table on Craig’s List for only $15. The family was moving out to California and basically needed to get rid of everything ASAP. Da dada DAAA, here we come to save the day! When we got there to pick it up they didn’t have change {we had 2 $10 bills} so they ended up giving it to us for $10 flat. YIPEE. It came with 3 cute little white baskets and was a little wobbly but with a few twists to the right screws it was as stable as if it were first assembled. YIPEE AGAIN! When I said we weren’t looking for anything special, well that’s exactly what we got. Very plain, a little banged up and in dire need of a little TLC {No, not that kind}. Enter my imagination and need for craft satisfaction and we have a new personal project! Here’s what you need:

Adhesive and grout (premixed or not)
Grout sealer
White rope 
Tiles of your choice. (You can use smashed up colorful plates or pre cut tiles. Ask around at local tile shops to see if they have broken pieces they are getting rid of. I found some beautiful floor/wall tiles from Home Depot.  

Before you start laying our your tile pieces it helps to do a little drawing on the surface. Something I, of course don’t have a picture of. Use a yard stick to mark the center of the table as well as any other square measurements you may need. When you finish drawing your table should look like a grid. 
This next part takes time… so don’t rush!
Get creative and lay the tiles out how you want them. Don’t be afraid to change bits here and there or even start over from scratch.
The corners of my table were somewhat circular so I decided to use rope pinwheels to keep it smooth. 
I rearranged the table a few times, and finally ended up with this:
Since I used a pre-mixed adhesive/grout combo I could now go straight to work. Following the directions on your materials to secure your tiles. 
A tip as you go… don’t try and keep the tiles clean as you fill in the cracks, it will take you forever and it’s almost impossible. I like to fill a make-shift pastry bag (zip lock bag with a corner cut) with the grout and squeeze it into the cracks. From there use a spreader to smooth out the grout. You may have to go back in and add additional grout to get all the way down in the cracks. There will be a thin layer of grout on the tile. You can start to remove it before it dries with a damp cloth or wait until it is completely dried and chip it away with a dry sponge. Either works, it often depends on the type of tile you are using.
Once the grout is given 24 hours to dry, apply the grout sealant as instructed. 
Bada bing, bada boom you’re done… and voila, the final product:
I love how the white grout makes each individual tile pop. Grout can come in a variety of colors so don’t feel like you have to use white.

The corner pinwheels were a last minute decision that I’m really glad I made, but the original intention for the rope was to create a border around the outside rim of the entire table, which I attached with a simple hot glue gun.

The grout sealant may leave a residue on the tiles but wiping them down with a wet cloth is an easy fix. Just be sure the sealant has dried completely first. Not bad for a $10 once-wobbly table huh?
I used this same technique on a piece of thick plywood and a rusty old aquarium stand, which I sprayed with black matte paint.
I almost hated covering it with anything.
Love my tables!
What do you think???
Until next time…


2 thoughts on “Mama Mia, Make-a-Mosaic…a

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