Every day feels sunnier when your outdoor space is sprinkled with bright tiled style. But how can you you turn your backyard into your own colorful oasis on a budget? Here, DIY decorating pro and blogger Kate Striegel shares four easy ideas for turning old dishes, tiles, and the like into pretty mosaic accents.
Eye-Catching Patio Table
“Mosaics are such a classic craft, and they’re so fun and easy to create,” says Striegel. “Tables, trays, and more go from simple to striking when adorned with colorful tiles!” One idea: an artful tabletop. “This mosaic table adds a splash of color and whimsy to the yard.” To do: Collect old plates in three colors (like light red, purple, and blue) or pick up discount craft-store tiles. Use a pencil to trace 4 or 5 stars on the table’s surface. Break dinnerware into 1 or 2 inch pieces, using a tile nipper, or wrap each item in a towel and very carefully pound with a hammer. Arrange tiles in any desired pattern. Then coat the bottom of each tile with mosaic adhesive before returning it to its spot. Let dry. When set, spread premixed grout over the mosaic; let dry 20 minutes. Wipe off the surface with a damp cloth to remove excess grout.
Cheery Posy Cups
Water glasses transform into dazzling vases, thanks to a quick ‘tiled’ design! To do: For each, grab a dollar-store glass. Then snip small squares from sheets of blue craft-store adhesive stencil film (like Oracal Adhesive Stencil Film, $2.49 from Michaels). Peel the backing off the squares and press onto the glass in any desired fashion, creating a mosaic-style design. Optional: Outline squares, as shown, using a silver paint pen. To make the vase waterproof, apply a coat of decoupage paste to the exterior and let dry. Add water and a few fresh-cut blooms to the glass and display.
Cute Candle Cups
A pair of votives kissed with a speckled mosaic pattern enhance patio ambience for pennies. To do: For each, gather small pink tile pieces. Coat the bottom of each tile with adhesive and press on the exterior rim of the glass. Continue all the way around the glass. Repeat, creating a second row of tiles beneath it, as shown. To finish, add ‘dots’ of pink glass paint (like Gallery Glass Paint, $3.99 from Michaels) with a small brush to the bottom portion of the cup. Let dry, then pop a tea light into the cup.
“This cute mosaic platter covered in shells brings charming coastal style to an outdoor seating area,” says Striegel. To do: Collect shells or buy mini craft shells at the craft store. Coat the bottom of shells with mosaic adhesive and arrange on a tray, continuing until the entire tray surface is covered. Let dry. When set, spread premixed grout over mosaic; let dry, then wipe off the surface with a damp cloth.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.