DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: mini mosaic tray

by Grace Bonney

during these chilly winter months, we always like to have a hot beverage close at hand. whether we’re eating at the dining room table, or responding to emails from the couch, or even reading in bed, having a little heat-proof tray we can bring from room to room is a big help. this project is also a great way to try your hand at creating a very basic mosaic. it’s a fun process that requires very few tools and materials to achieve a beautiful and functional result. click here for the full instructions or just click “read more” below.

have fun!
derek & lauren

here’s what you’ll need:

-a shallow display box or tray (we got ours at ikea)
-mosaic tiles
-tacky glue
-grout (we got a 1lb container of ‘non-sanded’ grout and mixed about 1/4 of it)
-putty knife
-paint (optional)

1. decide on an arrangement for your tiles.

2. glue them in place, making sure the gap between them is neither too small (they shouldn’t be touching), nor too big (no more than 1/8”).
3. once the glue is dry, mix up your grout according to the instructions on the container. this usually means adding water to the powder until it reaches the consistency of a thick “non-pourable” milkshake.

4. spread a generous amount of grout over the surface of all the tiles. use the putty knife to force the grout into the gaps between the tiles.
5. scrape as much grout off the surface of the tiles as you can with the putty knife, and allow it to set for about 15 minutes.
6. wipe down the surface of the tiles with a clean, damp cloth. go over the whole thing in a circular motion to pick up residual grout from the tops of the tiles.

7. allow your mosaic to cure for 2 to 3 days before using. during this time, mist the surface occasionally with water to prevent the grout from cracking.
8. paint edge of tray with paint if desired.

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