Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feeling Blue (and White)

 I've been working on another project for the last week or so. For a while, I've been unhappy with the look of my gallery roombox, which sits on my worktop. I really threw the box together, and some of the shortcuts I took looked really bad. It was also in constant disarray. Usually, it had more paintings waiting to be hung than actually on the walls. It was definitely time for a change.

Since the gallery roombox idea hadn't worked out, I decided to try something completely different in the same box. I decided to make it into an old-fashioned dairy,with tiled walls and stone floors, such as you might find on an old English estate! I'm taking a few liberties with the design, but hopefully it will capture the feel. 

I'm not going to show the room yet. Suffice it to say that I have a long way to go. I'm still working on tiling the walls, and I'm undecided about the best way to get the look I want for the floor. In the mean time, I thought I'd show how I'm making the tiles...
First, I found images of old tiles I liked online.I re-sized them to be 1/2" square (the border tiles are 1/4" by 1/2") and fiddled with the colors until the tiles were approximately the same shades of blue and white. After that, I printed the tiles on watercolour paper. This particular pad of paper had a little too much tooth for my miniature paintings, but the heavy texture creates a realistic ripple effect in the tiles.

Next, I needed to create an easy system for "glazing" my tiles. I glued plastic 'pony' beads to a sturdy old piece of cardboard. I spaced the beads approximately 1" apart. Once the glue had dried, I placed tiny pieces of poster putty (aka blu-tack) on each bead. You can see the green putty on the bead in the background.
After that, it was a simple matter to cut the tiles apart one by one and stick them on beads. I used a drop of gloss medium to 'glaze' each tile, and let them dry for a few hours.When they were dry, I glued the tiles to another sheet of watercolour paper, using a square to keep the rows relatively straight.


  1. Hi Eliza, you've made some beautiful tiles! The nice blue color looks like the Delfts blue, famous porcelain from Delft, Holland. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.
    Greetings, Ilona

  2. Dear Eliza,
    Thanks for sharing this item.
    Hugs Dorien

  3. I like these tiles and their colors.
    Kiss Fbay

  4. Hello Eliza,
    Great idea. The tiles are lvoely and I can't wait to see more pictures.

  5. Thanks for the show! Great idea!

  6. Very clever! They look so much like 1:1 tiles.

  7. Hi Eliza! How ingenious to support the cut tiles the way that you did and then gloss them individually!!!!! I never would have thought of that.
    I have made tiles and glossed the entire sheet and then cut them out. I didn't get the kind of corners that I wanted and the paper edge shows. I like your way a whole lot better and next time when I make tiles I am for sure going to try it YOUR way! Thank you for sharing this.


  8. This worked beautifully! Thank you! I'm delighted with my new tiles --