Tile Table Top

Months ago I remember bookmarking Kimba’s fantastic tile artwork (shown here) with the idea that I would try something similar down the line.  I took my spin on her idea, and found a few money saving tips along the way!  Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of my process, so check out Kimba’s fab tutorial if you’re a visual learner!

First, I started with a good old Ikea Lack side table, for only $7.99!  It’s a bargain, but certainly looks a little plain.  I picked a color that I thought went well with my decor, and was a little more special than good old white.

$7.99 Lack Table – Ikea

Next it was off to Home Depot for the rest of the supplies.  First, I picked out tile that I thought went well with the color of the table.  I found gorgeous glass tiles, that matched perfectly, came in 12×12 squares, and were only $4.97 a piece.  Not too shabby!

Not the exact tiles I used, but pretty darn close!

Next on my list was the adhesive and grout.  This is where bargain #3 came into play.  I found a pre-mixed adhesive AND grout all rolled in to 1.  Since this was a small project and I knew I didn’t need much to work with, I thought this was the best idea.  For only $8, I snatched it right up.  I chose a white color that would blend well with the color of my table and tiles.

Adhesive and Grout, all rolled in to 1!

Next up, since I was new to the whole tile business I needed all the tools.  Get ready for bargain #4!  Home Depot has this fantastic Tile Installation Kit, all the tools I needed for under $6!  I’ll take it.

The “tools”

The only thing left on my list was a sponge, which is super cheap.  Overall my project cost just over $40, but if I decide to make another one I still have left over adhesive/grout, and all the tools.  Which means I would only have to purchase the table and tiles.  Not bad over all.

Now that I had all the necessary supplies it was time to get busy.

Step 1:  Clean off the surface, and make sure it is completely dry.

Step 2:  Measure out your tile.  Since my table surface was a little smaller than the 4 sheets of tile, I had to trim off some of the edges.  But these glass tiles were incredible easy to work with and I just had to cut through the netting that attached them.

Step 3:  Once you have the correct amount of tiles, it’s time to lay the adhesive.  Since I was working with a relatively small surface area I didn’t have to worry about my adhesive drying, so I spread on enough to cover one sheet of tiles.  I used a paint stir stick to grab some adhesive, and then used the trowel (metal thing with notches) to spread it out evenly.  I went over my patch of adhesive with the notched side to make the lines in the adhesive.

Step 4:  Next, you lay down your tile.  Make sure you press it into the adhesive so everything sticks.  Some of the adhesive came up in between my tiles, you can wipe this off with a wet paper towel, but in my case since my grout was the same as the adhesive, I just left it.

Step 5:  One you have attached the first set of tiles, spread more adhesive and keep applying tiles until you have covered the whole surface area.  Because my surface area was so small I eyeballed everything, but if you are laying tile in a large area, invest in spacers, they will help keep everything evenly spaced and neat looking.

*One thing to look out for is tile hanging over the edge.  Because my table size was a little different than the tiles, I did end up with a little over hang of tile, avoid this if possible, especially with a table, because you don’t want the end tiles to get knocked off. oops!

oops, try not to let your tile overhang the edge

Step 6: Next, follow the directions on your adhesive about drying time.  I let mine dry overnight just to be sure!

Step 7:  Now its time to grout.  I again used the paint stir stick to glop on a large amount of grout onto my tiles and then used the float (the rubber tool) to squish the grout in between all the cracks.  Try to spread it out evenly across your whole surface.  Don’t worry about the grout on top of the tile, that will get cleaned up later.  Just make sure you get it in between each tile.

Step 8:  Once you have covered the whole surface with grout, allow it to dry.  I gave mine a few hours.

Step 9:  It’s time to clean up the surface.  Take a bucket of clean water and your sponge and start wiping off the surface of the tiles.  I had to use a little extra elbow grease, but was able to wash off the tiles without any of the set grout (in the cracks) coming off.

Here’s what my surface ended up looking like!  I think this would look pretty even as a wall hanging.

finished table top

I then allowed it to dry again over night, just to make sure everything would properly stay in place.

As with any piece of furniture from Ikea, the table comes unassembled.  You get the table top, 4 legs, and 4 double sided screws.

I found it easiest to put the table surface upside-down on the floor, twist the screw a few times into the surface, and then balance the leg on top of the screw.

Flip the table upside-down, and screw in the leg

Next just keep twisting.  The screw will twist into the leg and the table at the same time, and having the gravity from being above the table helped a lot.  Do this with all four legs….and then turn it over!


Here’s a look at my finished table, in the daylight up close:

And here’s it’s permanent home….for now!

 I love how the candle’s reflect the tiles on the wall.  I think the simple, and cheap, change made a huge difference with this table!  I’m pretty pleased with the outcome!

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!  Thanks for hosting Girls!**

Coasting right on through…

Something I discovered, only last year, was an elite little product called Mod Podge, and we’ve been having a casual love affair ever since.  I have not dared to branch out terribly far on my decoupage adventure, but I continue to see Mod Podge and I having a lasting relationship, which means bigger and better projects are surely on the horizon.

With Christmas ending I thought a great recycled use for all that wrapping paper would be some festive coasters.  Even if it means that I have to put them away until next year…but something as simple as this would be great for having around the house or giving as small gifts, perhaps a host gift for a holiday party you attend next year.  Never hurts to make in advance and then store for the next year!

All the supplies you need are tile coasters (16 cents a pop at home depot, beat that!), mod podge, decorative paper (I chose to recycle wrapping paper left over from the holidays, but you can use anything such as paper napkins, fabric, stickers, scraps of paper, etc.  Whatever you think looks visually appealing) a pencil, sponge brush, and some scissors.  I also like to keep a handy dandy art roller close at hand, but that is completely optional.

All the goods
My handy dandy art roller, I have found that it helps to remove wrinkles and bubbles

Step 1:  Decide what part of the paper looks most visually appealing, place the tile on top and trace around it with your pencil.  If any pencil gets transferred to the side of your tile, fret not, it easily wipes off.  The paper does not have to be the exact size of the tile, you can add small elements and have blank tile exposed, I chose to cover the whole surface.

Trace around the tile with a pencil

 Step 2:  Cut out the shape that you traced, line up with the tile and trim the edges so that the paper doesn’t over hang the sides.

Cut out squares of paper

Step 3:  Spread a very thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile

Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tile

Step 4:  Carefully lay the paper down on the tile, make sure the edges match up, even out any wrinkles or bubbles.  This is where I use my trusty art roller, I feel like it really helps to even out the paper and avoid wrinkles or bubbles.  Be aware that the thinner the paper you use (ie: paper napkins) the more wrinkles you are likely to have.  But wrinkles aren’t the end of the world, they give your coasters character!

Lay down the paper over the layer of Mod Podge

Step 5:  The next step is to cover the paper with a generous layer of Mod Podge.  Make sure you get all the corners and edges, this will help seal the paper onto the tile.  Try to make even strokes, big globs of glue are more likely to dry white rather than clear, so try to evenly spread across the whole tile.

Cover in an even, but generous layer of Mod Podge

Step 6:  Your tile will look like it is covered in wet Elmer’s Glue, which is normal (and can actually be used as a substitute if you don’t have a bottle of Mod Podge lying around).  You now have to, impatiently, wait for the Mod Podge to dry.

Wet glue waiting to dry

Step 7:  Once the Mod Podge is sufficiently dry (usually 15-20 minutes) make another layer.  I’m usually happy with 2-3 layers but often times do each layer in alternating brush strokes to avoid streaks (first layer vertical, second layer horizontal).

Waiting for the second layer to dry…

Step 8:  This step is optional.  Once everything is completely dry, I recommend overnight to be on the safe side, I tend to use a spray on sealant.  This helps to preserve the paper and add an extra water proof layer (especially for coasters).  I like and would recommend Plaid, I have had a lot of success with their clear acrylic sealer.

Step 9:  The final step is to add something to the bottom of the tile so that it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you choose to put it on.  I have used furniture pads, felt, and cork.  You can come up with whatever method you like the best.  I enjoy felt because it is the least expensive way to cover the entire bottom, but I also like individual felt circles, which can be placed on the four corners.  Cork is a little more on the expensive side, but you can buy a roll of cork and cut it to individual sizes that will meet your needs.

Here is a peek at my finished products!

And here are a few other coasters I made last year, just to give you an idea of some other options:

Pretty coasters

As you can tell from the background of my photos, I completed this entire project from the comfort of my bed courtesy of my new “lap desk” (thanks mom and dad!).  This is not a route I would recommend, but just goes to show how simple it really is.  Some how in my mind I justified coming home from work nursing a migraine and a sore throat as warrant for an afternoon in bed.  It was bad enough for me to back out of the typical Thursday Grey’s Anatomy night with the girls…

Well I hope you liked my short trip down decoupage lane.  I urge you all to try it…it really is that simple, and rewarding!  Happy Thursday!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: EEEK, gotta get going on the less clutter part, stat!