Sunday, January 16, 2011

Custom Made Glass Tile Backsplash

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:
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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. 

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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.
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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. 
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The tiles are somewhat transparent still, but will be put against white tile adhesive.
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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.
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After all the tiles are hung according to plan:
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And the smaller section between the corner and the refrigerator:
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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.
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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.
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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

32 comments:

  1. Very nice.
    New follower on GFC. I found you on I Heart Naptime.

    Going to check out your FB page
    Thanks, stop by & visit.
    www.musings-by-michele.com

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  2. Wow! That looks phenomenal. You're hard work paid off!

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  3. Great look. I couldn't imagine them at first, but the finished product is terrific! I enjoyed my visit!
    Angela

    http://amcinnisartworks.blogspot.com

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  4. What a spectacular idea. I have used this product in jewelry application before but never something to this scale. I have been looking for some inspiration for my back splash in the kitchen and I think I just found it! Nice job!

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  5. Those are really pretty. I love glass tiles too but not the price tag!

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  6. wow that's impressive! nice work!

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  7. Nicole, I LOVE the way your backsplash turned out! So pretty!

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  8. WOW! I am impressed. You did an amazing job with the glass tile! Thank you for linking up to "Amaze Me Monday" blog party. I hope you come back next Monday!

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  9. That's incredible! What a fantasticly frugal idea! I wish I had seen this tutorial before I tackled our backsplash. You've given me some great ideas for future bathroom and laundry room projects. Great job!

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  10. Well, good for you coming up with a way to get what you wanted in tile without breaking the bank! We've one several tiling projects around here...so know what it costs and entails for work.

    It looks great.

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  11. should read "done" several tiling projects ..not "one"

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  12. This is an awesome post, I would really love it if you linked this up to Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage, the link will be up all Week! Take care, Mary :O)

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  13. wow!!!! newest follower! would love for you to follow back at http://ponytailsandcowlicks.blogspot.com/

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  14. Your are so creative! Thank you for linking up to "Amaze Me Monday" blog party! I'm featuring you this week! Please stop by and pick up a button :D

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  15. Nicole - I love this!!! I posted your project on my blog, inspiringcreativeness.blogspot. (That way, I can find it easier/quicker, when I want to try it!!) Please stop by and grab my button!!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

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  16. Hi Nicole! I picked this as the Craft of the Week! Go to our button page and grab the appropriate button, if you’d like!

    http://allthingzrelated.blogspot.com/p/our-buttons.html

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  17. This is a fantastic project, and I LOVE the way it looks! Thank you for all the added helpful tips.

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  18. I love alcohol ink but I never would have thought to do this. It's really an awesome idea. Very creative. And it looks stunning.

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  19. Is is creative, innovative and extremely beautiful!

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  20. That is so amazing! I will be featuring you tomorrow at Creations by Kara. :)

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  21. I am absolutely blown away by the response to these tiles. I was giddy during the process of this project, and I'm even more giddy now that I see such an overwhelming response here and on the other blogs that are featuring it! I can't express how good it makes me feel! Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

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  22. LOVE IT!
    we have been looking into redoing the backsplash in our kitchen and I too wanted glass tiles but could not afford it...yay!!!!

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  24. Hi Nicole, great idea,I was wondering after 6 or 7 months if the tiles showed any color change or if any other problems showed up?
    I really like what you did and want to do something similar.
    Thanks again for the inspiration.

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  25. Because the tile is clear, you have to be more careful with it when installing clear glass tile, due to the fact certain wall colors or surface defects might end up being visible through the colored tile backing.

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  26. I saw this site, always going in a very nice theme.such matters is very difficult to find many great subject now is really nice, but I really liked your site.
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  27. just want to say one word and that is ''awesome''!!!!!!!!!!!
    glass backsplash tile

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  28. Your sideboard and vignette are beautiful! I would frame that embroidery....How gorgeous!
    glass backsplash tile

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  29. It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I'm happy that you shared
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  30. Thanks for sharing this with us! It was very useful! I was wondering if you had any suggestions regarding glass backsplash tile?

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  31. That is awesome! I never thought to stain tile! I'm going to have to do this on a project some time!

    We did our own custom backsplash on the cheap side, using a star cut into black marble as our embellishment over the stove. Check it out at: http://thisinsanehouse.blogspot.com/2013/09/kitchen-backsplash-on-budget.html

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  32. Oh my goodness, it looks so so good! I absolutely love it! You make it look SO easy Glass Tiles in Bangalore | Handmade Tiles in Bangalore

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