Sunday, February 2, 2014

Broken China Mosaic DIY

Did you watch the Superbowl?  I am writing this post while my husband watches it. I am not a football fan at all!
Some of you asked how I did the mosaic on my fireplace so I’m going to give you a little broken china mosaic DIY tutorial on it today.  Whenever I break a piece of china I pick up the larger pieces and save them.  I have collected quite a bagful!

Here is one of my blue willow plates that I dropped and it broke.
 This is my method for mosaic using broken bits of china.  The first thing I do is turn the plate upside down

Cover the plate with an old tea towel and hammer it into smaller pieces.  Tap lightly.  Before you do that, notice that some of the pieces aren’t flat and try to tap on those places.  A few hits with a hammer should do it.  Safety glasses are recommended.
 Here is what it looks like now.

 See how there are still be some pieces that aren’t flat?  I sometimes try to break them a bit smaller and break off the rounded pieces. For my mantle I didn’t worry about that because the surface didn’t have to be flat.  If you were doing a table or any surface that needed to be flat you would have to use only the flat pieces.

Some of the pieces will have sharp points.
 You can buy this tool at Lowes or Home Depot and nip off the sharp points.

 To glue the pieces you need an adhesive that is made for tile.
 To apply the glue you need a trowel with a serrated edge on 2 sides  You will find all these supplies in the tile section.
 Spread the adhesive over the surface.  If you are doing a large area spread the glue on in stages.
                                                            It should be about 1/4″ thick.
               Use the serrated edge of the trowel to make these grooves.  This helps the tile stick better.
 Place the pieces by pressing them down with your finger and wiggle it a little bit to make sure it adheres.  Arrange the pieces like a jigsaw, leaving a small space between each piece.

Keep on placing the pieces until the whole surface is covered.  Let it dry for 24 hours.
 Keep on placing the pieces until the whole surface is covered.  Let it dry for 24 hours.
 The next thing you need is the grout.  Mix it according to the directions.  It should be the consistency of very creamy mashed potatoes. For a small project I just mix it in a milk carton.
 If you are doing a large project you will need this grout spreader.  I don’t think that’s what it’s called and I already put it away  so I can’t read the label.
 Since this project was small and the tile was very uneven I used this little plastic paint scraper to spread the grout and to spread the adhesive into the corners.
       Spread the grout.  Mine for this example is a little too thin, but I was in a hurry to get it done to show you.
 Cover all the tile, making sure you get the grout in all the spaces between the pieces.  Don’t be concerned with wiping all the grout off the china right now right now.  There will still be some grout  on the china.  Let it dry for awhile.  It tells you on the package how long. I think it’s 20-30 minutes.

                                              Use a clean moist sponge to wipe off the excess grout.
 Keep wiping with a clean moist sponge until all the china looks clean.  Let the grout completely dry.  If you are going to place anything on this surface or it might get wet, you need to seal it.
I hope this broken china mosaic DIY tutorial has been helpful and my instructions were clear enough!
 I tiled my kitchen backsplash a few years ago and put some of my broken china pieces in place of some of the tiles.

                                                         And here is another look at the fireplace.

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