Sunday, September 10, 2006

What's it all a-grout?

Since I haven't done much decorating lately, I thought I'd share a combo craft/decorating project I finally finished at the end of the summer, one that I had been planning for awhile but never got around to for many months. It's all part of my fantasy of becoming a funky mosaic artist. In fact, I've been collecting pieces of glass and tile for a few years now (even moved some broken glass from my old condo. Shhh. Don't tell my husband that).

I've had this unpainted wooden plant stand that I got from Ikea for $3 or so scheduled for my first, practice tile project, but it took me forever to find tiles to fit the space perfectly. Finally, bingo, I got lucky with these cool assorted slate ones from Home Depot (total cost: less than $20), which not only fit on the table top and second level, but also came with matching mini ones that fit on the sides.

So first I painted the plant stand black, then used off white grout (the ready mixed kind)n to stick on the tiles. After that dried I decided it would look better with grey grout, so used grey to do the finishing. Grouting is a mess, because you have to wipe off more than what stays on there, but it's really cool to see the tiles emerge from the mud.

While I had all the tiling supplies out, I also did this tray I've had planned for about a year (are you getting the proscrastination vibe?). I bought these tiles, even though they didn't fit perfectly because I loved the color and thought they had a cool Indian feel. I painted this old tray (which the previous owner of our condo left in a closet) the red from my kitchen wall. Now here's the amazing part: In order to make the narrow tiles in the middle fit, I actually sanded the edges about a 1/4 inch on two of them. This took approximately 3 hours of sanding spread out over 2 weeks. I'm learning that one of the hardest parts of tiling projects is finding tiles to fit your project. This will not be a problem with mosaics. Now that I've got grouting down, I'm ready to break some dishes. Someday I dream of a broken china kitchen backsplash (probably not in this condo, though).