Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Coasters from used Tiles

Today's post is a D.I.Y project that makes use of old bathroom tiles and old foam place mats. Our guest bathroom has a non functioning shower that we mostly use for storage. Recently, the old white tiles started falling out so our handyman proceeded to yank them all out. He left them in a neat pile (trash) outside, so I helped myself to a few (all!) because I have been wanting to try a mosaic something.  Here's what I eventually tried with a few tiles (at least until I get a tile cutter).

I scrapped out the grout that was stuck to the tiles and sanded down any sharp edges. Then I washed them in warm soapy water and allowed them to air dry.

Next I washed the place mats but still couldn't get the stains out.Thankfully the backs are black and have no stains.These foam place mats were also on their way out and came in very handy for this project, however you could also use cork for a similar effect.

Old place mats
Next, I used the tile to measure and cut out a square piece of the place mat for backing. Not wanting to cover the entire back of the tile or see any of the foam sticking out, I left about 1/4" of space between the backing and tile on all sides.

Once the backing matched the size I was looking for it was time to stick it to the tile. I asked around at the hardware store for a type of glue that would stick plastic to tiles. The gentleman at the store was pretty sure about his recommendation and he was right. Put a good coating on the backing and press onto the tile. I put something really heavy on top of the tile and backing over night trying to avoid any spaces at the edges. The glue takes about 12 hours to dry completely and you will need something very heavy (not books) and flat.

Once the glue has dried you can go ahead and paint or draw on the tile. I used a glass and tile paint as the water based paints could be scratched off. We made many of these and tried covering the tiles with tissue papers and photos or designing with sand or glitter. I also used a water proof sealer (spray) to finish off the tiles and protect them from water damage if used a coasters. On some tiles we used a heat resisting clear drying varnish.

Island Girl

My sister did these :)

If you don't have tiles falling off your shower walls then sample tiles from a tile store will work. Do you have an ideas for painting on tiles? This was the most challenging part of the project as the tiles are already finished and their glossy surface made it very difficult to paint.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Women as Agents of Change

'Women as Agents of Change' is 2011 Commonwealth Day Theme. I was really excited about this theme when I read the press release today. This year's theme has motivated me to take this blog a lot more seriously and I will be getting involved. Hopefully there will be activities planned by the representatives in each island, including St. Lucia, but I think we also have to take matters into our own hands. So check out the links and visit their website of information and inspiration.

Island Girl