Ceramic Tile Craft Ideas

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Jenny Harrington

    About the Author

    Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

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    Ceramic tiles, available from home improvement stores, are an inexpensive addition to your craft repertoire. Available in sizes ranging from 1-inch to more than 12-inch square, they are durable and provide a blank canvas for other projects. Whether you purchase new tiles or need a way to use up leftovers from an old project, tiles have many uses throughout the home.

    Coasters and Trivets

    Use larger tiles for coasters or trivets. Ceramic is heat resistant and works well to keep hot drinks and serving dishes from damaging other surfaces. Apply felt corners onto the bottom of the tiles or cut a square of felt the same size as the bottom of the tile and glue it on. Paint a design on the surface with acrylic paint and seal with a clear gloss enamel. Alternately, paint a coat of decoupage glue onto the tile surface, then smooth a picture onto it. Let dry, then paint a second coat of glue over the surface of the picture.

    Mosaics

    Make a mosaic if you have a group of colorful small tiles or large ones you don't mind breaking. Place tiles inside a layer of folded towels and hit with a hammer to break. Draw your design -- such as a sun or mandala -- with a pencil onto a piece of scrap wood or furniture you want to decorate. Arrange your tile pieces on the design, then glue in place with a strong handyman's glue. Allow to dry.
    Secure the the mosaic with grout. Purchase a tube of tile grout in a dark color so it won't discolor with age. Squeeze the grout between the tiles in the mosaic, then smooth with a damp finger or sponge. Wipe the excess grout from the tiles with a damp sponge and let it cure for 24 hours.

    Art

    Paint designs onto individual tiles and seal with a clear gloss paint. Fasten hooks to the back using epoxy glue and hang them on your wall. Decoupage is another way to dress up tiles. Cut pictures from magazines, seed packets and other ephemera and create a collage. Paint a layer of decoupage glue onto the tiles and smooth the collage on, then seal with a layer of glue on top.
    Rub-on decals made especially for tiles are available at home and craft stores. Lay the letter or picture decals onto the tile, then rub with a wood spatula to transfer the design. Pull off the backing paper and the decal is affixed to the tile. Hang or place larger tiles on a plate stand to display. Use rub-on numbers for your home address and place the tiles in a frame to hang on the front of your house.

    Printmaking

    Use sponges, potato stamps, lace, rubber stamps and other art-making supplies to print directly on blank tiles. Use acrylic paint in contrasting colors, making sure to dry thoroughly between each layer. Start with a background layer that covers the entire tile. Use one hue or several shades of the same hue. Let it dry, then coat one of your stampers with a different color. Stamp once in the center of the tile or around the edges. Let the layer dry and move on to a new color and new pattern. When your design is complete and dry, coat the tile with decoupage glue to seal it.