Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Make a Mosiac


As you can see, I don't have a window over my kitchen sink (I do have a large bay window in the table area of the kitchen). When we first moved in I had a huge wreath hanging over the sink. I never really liked it, but didn't know what else would go in such a large space.

One day, I visited a gorgeous home that had a professionally done mosaic style back splash in the kitchen made with pieces of blue and white dishes as tiles and I just fell in love with it. I decided to replicate it on a much smaller scale in DIY fashion.

First, I had to gather the dishes (it took more dishes than you might think). I decided to use one and only one of my beloved Blue Willow plates as the focal point of the mosaic, but I wasn't about to break more than I absolutely had to. The great part was that since I was going to break the plates anyway, I could buy the chipped and broken pieces on clearance. I got a couple of chipped plates on clearance at T.J. Maxx and I also bought a service for four of blue and white dishes at Target. The set was already on clearance, but I noticed that one of the plates was broken inside the box. I asked the checker if she could mark it down even further and pointed out the broken plate. I got the entire set for $6! I found the small blue "outline" tiles on clearance at Home Depot. I think they were being discontinued.

Next, my brother helped me cut a large piece of plywood to fit between the cabinets. I didn't want the mosaic to be permanent. We have no intention of moving, but you never know. Plus it was easier to make the mosaic while the plywood was laying flat and then fit it into place rather than doing it directly on the wall.

I broke the plates with a hammer (be sure and wear safety glasses if you do this). I had to hit them harder than I thought. I thought I could just tap them and they would break, but it actually took a little force. I put the plates in a pillowcase (that wound up cut to ribbons) and broke them on the front porch. Poor Mike thought I had lost my mind (and not for the first time I'm sure) when he came home and found me breaking plates on the porch with a hammer.

Then all I had to do was spread tile mastic on the plywood with a trowel and arrange the tiles like I wanted. I didn't even grout it afterward (although I probably should have). Once it was good and dry I nailed it into place and it's been there ever since. I love it and I think it adds a lot of character to my kitchen. I get lots of compliments on it. By the way, you can click on the picture to view it larger.

If you have a project that you want to try, go for it. If I can do it, so can you! :)

18 comments:

The Southern Housewife said...

You did an AMAZING job!!! I love the blue!!!

Traci said...

Oh....very nice!!! I am wanting to do the top of my buffet which hold my tv and all that gunk that goes w/ a tv.

Susan said...

That was a great idea! You did a beautiful job.

Morgan said...

How cool!!! Thank you for sharing not only the picture, but the how-tos!

Did you have to put the pillowcase full w/ plates onto a board to brake them, or did you just put it right onto the porch floor and hit?

50s Housewife said...

Thank you ladies!

Morgan, I put the plates in the pillowcase one at a time and them put them directly on my porch. My porch is concrete so I wasn't too worried about it. I did have some shards escape the pillowcase that I had to sweep up, but it wasn't too bad. If you have access to a wet saw, you could make nice cuts without all the mess, but I didn't. I always have to do things the hard way. :)

Jen r. said...

I think you did a fabulous job! I love this idea if you don't have a window. I really like the shape as well...you really did an amazing job! Jen

Angie said...

Wow! What a big project... it looks really good.

Proverbs 31 said...

Absolutely goreous!!!! Marie x

Kim said...

That is so pretty! You are very talented! Great job!

Tracey said...

Hi, found your blog through Demestic Fashionista.. I love the 1950's and that is what caught my eye. I've thought about mosaic before, but you've encouraged me to give it a whirl. I have two children.. almost done..last one is a senior, but for many years.."The Tighwad Gazette" was my reference book for being able to live very thrifty so I was able to stay home with my children. I'd like to contiue to follow... have a great day and here in Maine..lots of snow..not much ice...have a blessed day..Tracey

Terri said...

What a wonderful job! That is gorgeous.

Leigh said...

It looks great! DH has been remodleing our kitchen for almost 3 years now, lol!!! We are bigtime DIYers so things tend to take a while since DH only has time to do projects inbetween working and sleeping ,lol :) The kitchen is almost complete except for some molding, painting the ceiling and countertop ( oh and flooring! ugh!). We are thinking about doing mosaic tile for the countertop. I'm glad to see another DIYer has tried mosaic tile and says it's easy :)lol

Marytoo said...

Beautiful!

Mrs. U said...

This is SO pretty!! And you made it yourself? WOW!!!

His,
Mrs. U

Stephanie said...

That is just beautiful! I am very impressed with your creativity. I think that doing dishes could actually be a joy if I had a mosaic like that to look at while doing them!

More than Survival said...

I love it! My husband is a professional ceramic tile installer. I have seen many beautiful tile jobs, but this one is extra special because it came from your heart!!! That is a perfect way to decorate that space!
Heather

Steph said...

Wow! I just love that idea and it looks so awesome!

Karey Ellen said...

That is awesome... Great Job! It really fits the space!

KareyEllen
KareyEllenDesigns.blogspot.com