(Just a reminder – this project was done using the Tim Holtz Paper Mosaic Kit. For complete basic instructions visit his blog and watch the video for Distress Paper Mosaic Kit .)
I realize one of my character traits is both a positive and a negative, especially in my crafting. I do tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and while I’m very happy to say I’ve gotten quite a few wonderful comments on my attention to detail and the high quality of my work from buyers in my Etsy shop, the down side is when “random” is called for I’m in for a fight between me, myself and I. So, when applying your tiles, relax, try not to over think the positioning and let it just flow. (I’m laughing my a** off as I write this because I cannot seem to take my own advice). You could probably go through and measure the spacing between my tiles just about anywhere on this project and they would all be the same. IT’S OKAY IF THEY’RE NOT. It’s just me and my anal issues that mine appear that way.
Okay, now that I’ve confessed to a (large) character flaw, let’s continue on.
I’ve gotten the tiles glued on to one drawer front. I know they look a bit flat now but the “glaze” step will change all that. You might notice in this picture that I’ve only applied grout to the top edge and not the sides and middle two yet. Another character flaw confession – I’m erratic, too. I might work on tiling for a while, get bored, so then I switch to grouting. Then the grout can be drying while I continue on with the tile work – back and forth – works for me anyways.
So here two drawers are tiled and one has the glaze applied, quite a difference huh? The glaze is easy to work with, too. Once your tiles are glued on and dry then pick a tile and trace a line of glaze next to the inside edge all around that tile and then fill in the center until you’ve got a nice dome of glaze built up. This is where that dental pick comes in handy again. Using a fine point of something (dental pick, tooth pick, craft punch, etc.) drag the glaze to the very edge of the tile without dropping off the outside edge onto the grout. It sounds tricky but it’s not, it’s even easier after you do one or two. And don’t worry about the glaze flowing off the edge on it’s own, it’s just the right consistency to hang on the edge until dry where it turns into a glossy, glassy raised finish just like real China plate.
Can you tell better in this picture the tiles that are glazed and the ones that aren’t? The three tiles directly below the knob and to the left and right were just glazed. You can see the glaze is a bit milky and yellow at first but as it dries it clears completely. A warning here – never shake the glaze, all you will get is a bunch of air bubbles in your “glass” finish. Speaking of air bubbles, sometimes just tipping the bottle down to apply the glaze will cause an air bubble. For the cleanest application method I found that each time I use the glaze I will tip it over as I would to apply but before I do I squeeze out a drop of glaze but wipe that first drop off on a damp paper towel. If you’re going to get an air bubble this is the most likely point and by wiping off that first drop you should have pure glaze with no air now when you dispense it on the tile. If you get an air bubble in the glaze on your tile try working it out with a needle.
I’ve included a closeup here so you can see the glaze effect better now that it’s dried. See how well it stays on the tile and it really looks like a real piece of porcelain or ceramic tile doesn’t it? I also tried to get a shot of one of the small “fill in” pieces I mentioned in Part 1. Sometimes the gaps between tiles are a little too big to just leave, and actually, there are supposed to be gaps in the tiles like this, it makes it all look that much more realistic. So just pop in a small tile, but don’t forget to glaze it when you get to that step. This close up also shows the “grit” in the grout. With this kit you can get such a realistic look of tile mosaic without the heavy weight and thickness ( not to mention all the other tools, etc. you’d need) of real tile mosaic.
So here we go, the grand finale of pictures:
On the back, I decided to use a couple of fairly large pieces. I hadn’t tried doing that before but on this piece, it felt right. I’m glad I did, it looks good, like I had some large pieces of these pretty plates that I wanted to show off more of the overall patterning on. It was a bit more of a challenge applying the glaze on them, but I just went slow and steady to avoid air bubbles.
So as I’ve mentioned previously in both parts of this project’s posts, there’s detailed instructions on using Tim’s product at Distress Paper Mosaic Kit, I just wanted to share a few “helpful hints” that I’ve learned playing with this cool alternative to traditional mosaic work – AND – also encourage others to try alternative IDEAS for applying this mosaic product to items a bit bigger than cards and tags. Don’t be afraid to challenge a products possibilities and your own imagination with something other than the “standard” application these products start out with. Your imagination is your greatest tool – don’t forget to use it! Below, I have added some pics of a couple of other projects I’ve made with this paper mosaic product to give you just a few more ideas:
This is a 9-drawer chest by Kaisercraft that’s 6½” tall x 5¾” wide x 2½” deep – so pretty small. That’s another great thing about this method, you can work with really tiny pieces of paper (you’d never get this small with real tile). Those tear drop and diamond shapes were done using common paper punches.
I just love how this turned out, it’s so fun with all those bright colors and shiny glass finish. And, I used up a pile of my paper scraps from other projects.
This next one I did a “How To” post on in August of 2016. I just wanted to add a couple of pictures of it here as another example of this paper mosaic technique.
This one started as a doll vanity from Pottery Barn – talk about upcycling! It is covered in really tiny tiles and this baby took quite a while to finish but WOW I was so happy I gave it a try.
Well, another project completed and now listed on my Etsy shop Old Raven. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Now, craft on.