So it’s been a while since I last blogged. But great things take great amounts of time. I’ve been obsessing over tiling the backsplash in the kitchen for about a month now. This is what I had:
And while the vinyl quote was quite fitting for my kitchen, it was time for a change.
I was greatly discouraged when I couldn’t find red glass tile that a.) I liked and b.) didn’t cost a fortune ($20+ per square foot!). So I came home and started searching the internet for ideas. Why can’t I just make my own glass tile?
Well, it seems that not much will stick to glass. You can’t simply paint the back of the glass because it will pull off and make a mess. You could buy special paint, but it’s over $200 for a gallon and I don’t need that much for this project. Hmmm, what to do. Then I stumbled on alcohol inks. They are made by Ranger and are called Adirondack Inks. Youtube had a few videos of people inking glass vases and the like, but no tile.
So I took my coupon to Michaels, and bought two packages of inks that had different shades of red in them. Apparently you can buy individual bottles online, but I couldn’t find any like that locally, so I just bought the 3 packs. I used “currant” and “cranberry.”
I went to a local glass cutting place who was generous enough to give me 3 tiles to practice on. I colored a couple of them and glued them to a scrap piece of wallboard and I loved it! Next I drew up a blueprint on graph paper for how I would mix the glass tiles with some tumbled marble tiles. I got boxes of tumbled marble tiles at Lowe’s for $50. I ordered 34 more glass tiles for just over $50.
The tiles are all 3 x 6 subway style tiles, but the tumbled marble are about 3/8 inch thick and the glass are 1/4 inch thick.
I set about inking all of the glass tiles. This task goes pretty quickly because the ink dries in about a minute. I used the ink applicator that is sold separately and just dabbed all over using 5 drops of Currant and 2 drops of Cranberry for each coat per tile.
After about 5 coats, the color was deep enough for me. *Note, there will be some lint that comes off the felt applicator. It is okay, you don’t have to rush to remove all the ink and start over. Seriously, learn from my rash mistake! You can lighten and blend using the alcohol solution they sell, but I didn’t like it as much, but did use it to correct any errors. Oh and wear rubber gloves, because it stains your hands.
The tiles are somewhat transparent still, but will be put against white tile adhesive.
When it’s time to tile, find the center and start placing tiles. I used 1/8 inch spacers, and with the help of my husband got done a lot faster than if I had to do it alone!
The adhesive behind tile is usually spread with a notched trowel. We did that behind the stone tiles, but behind the glass tiles we used smoothed it out so there wasn’t air pockets behind the glass that could be seen. It is very important to lay the glass with the colored side against the adhesive. This way it won’t get worn off over time. I did find the adhesive did pull the ink off if you rubbed it around, so just place and push. Don’t butter the back of the tiles with the adhesive either, big pink smears is all I’m going to say.
After all the tiles are hung according to plan:
And the smaller section between the corner and the refrigerator:
Today was grouting day. The stone is porous and has small holes that we wanted to fill with grout so they don’t get filled with kitchen mess. So we first wiped the fronts with a wet cloth to prevent the faces of the tiles from soaking in too much of the grout and then my hubby went to work pressing grout into the spaces and holes. Instead of the normal rubber float though, he found with such small spaces, good old messy hands worked better. I followed behind and wiped them off and down, smoothing the lines as I went.
And the almost finished project (still need to wipe off the haze, seal the tile tomorrow and put the outlet covers back on)
I’m totally in love. I love the imperfect look to it, and that is surprising with my type A perfectionist tendencies. I also love that it is completely a creation of my own and it executed into reality exactly how I imagined.
Hope you love it as much as I do, if you do follow my page or fan me on Facebook!
I'm joining a few link up parties throughout the week to try to increase my traffic, and because I think these tiles are gorgeous and should be shared throughout the world. These are some of my favorite places, check them out for more crafty inspiration!
Mad in Crafts, A Little Lovely, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table and Dreaming,
Simpsonized Crafts, Making the World Cuter, Between Naps on the Porch, Craftomaniac, Skip to my Lou, Sumos Sweet Stuff, Dittle Dattle, Little Eme, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, All Thingz Related, Todays Creative Blog, Hope Studios, Sugar Bee - Craft Edition, Boogie Board Cottage, My Backyard Eden, Someday Crafts, Creations by Kara, The Trendy Treehouse, Blue Cricket Design, Lil Luna, Sisters Stuff