Fitting And Sealing Pebble And Stone Mosaic Tiles

Red, black, honey and white river peggle mosaics
For stone tiles like pebble mosaics, marble and travertine

  1. The stone pieces are glued to a flexible backing so you can glue them in place using tile adhesive like you do with other tiles.
  2. Seal the stone tile after the adhesive has completely dried. This action will prevent the pebbles and stone tiles from absorbing the grout color. Allow the sealer to dry.
  3. Apply grout to the pebble tiles by pushing it into the spaces between the pebbles. Work slowly when doing this to fill in all gaps. When you have finished the entire area will be properly covered with grout.
  4. Allow the grout to set up and dry for around 20 minutes.
  5.  Sponge away the grout from the surface of the stones. The sponge should be damp, not dripping wet and dont push too hard, you dont want to remove the grout from between the stones. Rinse the sponge regularly.
  6. Leave the grout to dry for 24 hours.
  7. Apply sealer to the grout and stones.

Mosaic tiles that feature natural stone

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Becoming an interior design ‘guru’

 (while drinking coffee)

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We are living in an information age. The internet has revolutionised the way in which we live and subsequently the ways in which we learn. With so much information readily available there is nothing to stop us from becoming the leading experts in any field we desire. Whether it be butter-churning or Shetland pony grooming (Unfortunately this is not the platform for such things).

So in the spirit of being information-saturated we have put together 12 DIY steps to help put you on the path to becoming an interior design guru (or at the very least slightly more design-savvy).

1. Take advantage of the information at your fingertips. In essence, read, read, read and read some more. Here are some of our favourite reads but there is tons of literature out there: Elle Decor: http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/ and Home and Design: http://www.homeanddesign.com/

2. Keeping contemporary is key: this is largely about knowing when vintage is modern (and acceptable) and when vintage is old (and unfashionable).

3. Familiarise yourself with the lingo. Find an old notebook and create a Design Dictionary . Fill it with with words like, Armoire, CMT and Eclectic.
Here is a useful site to get you started, http://thedesigntabloid.com/decor-dictionary

4. Get an eye for detail. This may be something you have naturally (lucky) otherwise train yourself. When you are walking outdoors or sitting in a coffee shop, look around you and take in even the most minute details. Ask yourself, what makes a particular environment unique? What makes it classic, quirky or minimalist (this is usually signified by a lack of detail).

5. Practice. Practice, Practice. Re-design your children’s bedrooms or your office space. Play with tones, textures and prints. Be bold or go bare but always be brave.

6. Keep a scrapbook of patterns, prints, colours, textures, ideas and notes. This will help keep your inspired and give you a point of reference.

7. Speak to other people who are into interior design (friends, family, really anyone). Share ideas and exchange information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

8. Remember that there are never bad ideas or bad designs but a general appreciation of your work can be a rough guideline.

9. Go with your gut, and if this doesn’t work out then go with someone else’s (maybe someone from who wears a name-tag and knows the difference between rosy pink and pinky rose).

10. Always look for more resource like this one, http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/1005235/interior-design-experts-reveal-their-favorite-tips, for more tips on how to become design-savvy.

11. Use all the resources you have at hand to make it happened. A great resource is the internet but also speak to those in the interior design field. This includes people who work at retail shops, selling tiles, carpets, paint etc. They are professionals in areas of interior design and can be a great resource.

12. Remember to always stay stylish (or at least try).

*Please note: All of the following can be done while drinking coffee and wielding a fresh bagel.

How To Install Metal And Glass Mosaic Tiles

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This is a step by step process for installing our stainless steel and glass mosaic wall tiles.

Please note that this is a “how to” guide and should only be considered as an informational resource.

Required tools and materials. All tile stores and most big diy hardware stores will have the items available:

  • 5/32 inch or similar V-notch trowel to apply adhesive .
  • A rubber grout float.
  • Sufficient stainless steel or glass mosaic tiles to cover the area.
  • Enough tile adhesive to cover the area you are going to be tiling.
  • Adhesive for standard ceramic porcelain tiles is compatible with our products.
  • Enough un-sanded grout to cover the area you are going to be tiling. Use non-sanded or un-sanded or sandless grout because sanded grout may scratch the finish during installation.
  • A clean sponge or cheesecloth.
  • Two buckets, one for water and one for mixing the adhesive and grout.
  • A tile cutter if there are any cuts to be made around certain obstacles that can’t be properly fitted by simply removing individual tiles from the mosaic mesh sheets.
  • A pair of scisors or craft knife to cut the mesh backing if necessary
  • A flat wood block or plank about 7cm wide and 20cm long and a hammer for making the tiles all level. This prevents any tiles or parts of tiles standing proud of the rest

Step 1: Mix your adhesive as shown on the product package. Apply the adhesive firmly onto the wall with the flat side of the V-notch trowel. Make uniform depth grooves in the adhesive with the V-notched side of the trowel.

Top tip: If you have a large area to do then only do a few square feet at a time so you dont end up with hard adhesive with tiling still to do

Step 2: Lightly apply the mosaic tile sheets onto the adhesive using even pressure. Lay subsequent sheets lining up the tile pieces from one sheet to the next.

Top tip: Tap a wood block lightly with the hammer on top of the sheets of tiles to ensure each tile piece is at the same level as the one next to it.

Step 3: Once the adhesive has set sufficiently you need to remove and protective covering on the surface of the tiles. If your tiles are covered in a protective paper wet them a few times and gently peel the paper off. If your tiles are covered in protective plastic, simply peel it off.

Step 4: Gently wipe the excess adhehive off the surface of the tiles with a wet cloth or sponge once the adhesive has set. Check the instructions on the adhesive bag for the time it takes to set.

Step 5: Mix your grout and apply with the rubber grout float forcing grout into the joints until they are full. Always use fine non sanded grout for glass, metal and mirror tiles.

Step 6: Wait 2 hours and then gently wipe off the excess grout from the tile surfaces using the damp cloth or sponge. Don’t use too much pressure as that may wash out the grout from the joints.

Please note: We will not be responsible for any mis-installation, misuse, errors or damaged caused by the direct or indirect use of the content in this article.

DIY Orange Pomander

A pomander? It’s a cross between a pomegranate and a salamander. In some countries maybe. But not this one. In actual fact it is a perfumed orange – from French pomme d’ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball of perfumes. Yay!

They also happen to make wonderful Christmas ornaments, gifts and room fresheners. Organic holiday scent diffusers if you will? You don’t need much to make them and they’re gosh darned simple to create.

You’ll need: Oranges, ribbon, pins and whole cloves.

With the necessaries in hand, proceed to secure the ribbon in place with said pins. Tie a bow on top and proceed to push the cloves into the skin of the orange. Place them sporadically or create a pattern out of the cloves. Tie the ribbon directly on top of the orange or create a loop with the ribbon to allow for it to be hung up on a door handle or on the Christmas tree. The pomanders should produce a scent much like that of the fruit mince used in a mince pie – way to add to a festive atmosphere (and induce mince pie cravings all in one go).

Happy holidays dear readers. May they be filled with much joy and festivity.

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DIY Typographic Pillow

I’ve recently taken to looking at all white surfaces around me as being prospective canvasses. Yes. Everything. White t-shirts, trainers, plates, mugs, candles – you name it. I wanna decorate it. Beginning with this little white scatter cushion I happened upon whilst rummaging through my local linen cupboard.

For this project you’ll need a blank scatter cushion, a permanent laundry marker, some stencils, a pencil and a quote. I chose to use a line from one of my favourite poems – Desiderata. It’s super simple really, plot out the words using your pencil and your stencil. Yeah my poetry rocks. And then! Simply colour the words in with your laundry marker and there you have it! A typographic pillow for your bed, couch or chair. I chose to keep it simple by creating a black and white aesthetic but don’t be afraid to add some colour and additional free-hand designs around the words if you feel they’re too plain.

Yay for comfy crafting!

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DIY Fabric Wreath

It’s holiday time. Carols are ringing, fruit mince is simmering, eyes are glimmering and your wreath needs reviving. Got a few scraps of fabric lying around? A pair of scissors and a wire clothes hanger? Yes? Marvellous!

Let’s make a magical Christmas wreath!

I happened to not have very nice scraps of material lying around, so I purchased myself a few 20cm strips of gold and red fabric from the local fabric shop. Try stick to a holiday appropriate colour scheme – red/pink for Valentines day, brights for Easter, red/blue/white for the Fourth of July, black/orange for Halloween, etc. Also,play around with textured fabrics for a more interesting wreath. I chose a sparkly fabric, a matte fabric, velvet and so on, for mine.

With your strips of fabric at the ready, cut each into smaller strips about 3cm wide and 15-20cm long. Bend your clothes hanger into a circular shape and proceed to tie each strip onto the hanger. Knot the material in the centre and continue until your clothes hanger is no longer visible. Tie the various materials randomly or in a particular order – I placed mine randomly around the wire frame.

Lastly – colour the hook of the hanger to match your wreath’s colour scheme. I used a gold marker to do mine, but paint should work just fine as well.

There you have it! Happy holidays all!

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DIY Nail Art

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You need:
A hammer
A pencil and ruler
Nails
A board (not chipboard – fairly sturdy wood)
Colourful twine/string
An awesome place to hang the final product

Start by marking out the points where each nail needs to go on the board. I chose to create the word ‘art’ but you can pretty much string up any design, word, picture, shape, (whatever floats your boat), (you get the point), that you would like to.
After plotting your design on the board, begin hammering in each nail. It can become a tad noisy after a while but the final product will be worth the headachey-loud-noise. With each nail secured and upright, you can begin the threading process. It’s pretty simple really, tie a knot around a nail on one end of your design and simply twist the twine around the nails to create a woven look. Try keep the thread even so as to keep it looking neat and evenly covered. Try keep it a colour palette of sorts, it’ll make the final product look just that more professional and somewhat less crafty. Once all the nails have had some twine twisted around them tie a final knot to secure the string.

Yay! And that, folks, is how to create a simple (and creative) piece of artwork for your home.

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Make Your Very Own Step Ladder Shelving Bookcase

DIY Ladder Book Shelf

Instead of buying a flimsy, boring, regular bookcase why not make your own interesting, sturdy, fun one…. using a step ladder.
What you will need:What You Will Need To Make A Ladder BookCase

  •  Wooden step ladder, I used a new 3 step one but you can use one that has seen a bit of diy action, gives it character
  • Random left over pieces of wood lying about the shed
  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Jig saw
  • Sander

Open the ladder fully and measure the size for a shelf to fit snugly under the first rung and lowest rear support. These 2 should be the same height so you will get a level shelf. If they are not the same height don’t worry, you can always use cabinet shelf supports, these are cheap and easy to work with.
Then measure the space to put a shelf on top of the middle step. On top so that the bottom book shelf is the biggest it can be for those large books.
Use the sander to tidy up your edging and maybe also to clean up the surface of the wood. You can even paint or varnish it if you want but I left mine as is.
Make another smaller shelf to put on the top step, you can put a lamp up there, or even a small bus.

A Ladder Bookcase Looks Great In A Boys Room
Cost: 20 for the ladder because I didn’t have a spare old one lying about
I used screws, glue and pieces of wood left over from previous diy projects so I didn’t have to buy anything else
Time taken: 3 hours

DIY Embellished Chair

You’d think that colourful chairs like this one would only exist somewhere over the rainbow – yeah, they’re just that awesome to sit in. And to look at, for that matter. Remember the rocking chair I whitewashed a while back? Yeah, that old thing. It started out as a boring old pine rocker, okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little but you know what I mean. And then I gave it a facelift, et voila we have a wonderful white chair. But it needed an extra somethin’ somethin’. An whenever something needs an extra somethin’ somethin’ I always seem to gravitate to rainbows. Personal taste that. They’re just so damn happy. Anyhow, sidenote that. So you wanna know how to give a chair an extra bit of pop? Grab a stack of ribbons and knot them onto the top rail. Space them between the spindles to create a flowy style. And don’t just hang one or two. Drape excessively or evenly, not minimally (if that’s even a thing). And pick ribbons according to a colour scheme of sorts. Colour schemes are incredibly useful when decorating or creating. Click here for a little colour inspo. This little ribbon trick works well as a temporary decor idea for entertaining. Have a long table and many a chair in need of some party colours and pizaaz? Here’s your answer.

Happy colour rocking.

colourful chair

Make Your Own Mosaic Tile Splashback

Seriously if I can do it then anyone can. It is my first mosaic tiling job and… well see for yourself.

Cloakroom basin splashback before and after photos:

splashback MT0006 before  

I made a photo diary of the job so you can see just how simple it is:

Tools and materials I used are:
Tape measure
craft knife
glass mosaic tiles
hacksaw
file
aluminium edging strip
sharp screwdriver
coarse sanding paper
paint scraper
fork
tile adhesive
plank
sponge
tile grout
beer

Measure the outer perimeter and cut the edging strips to size, Mine are 3 sides with the basin at the bottom edge. The top corners are done by cutting 45 degree angles which I marked out using a square card board folded in half to make a triangle. Use a file to finish off the cut edges. I used 8mm edging because the tiles are 8mm thick

Cut the mosaic tile sheets to the correct size. I used glass mosaic tiles. The specs are:
MT0006 Hong Kong autumn mix glass mosaic tiles
8mm thick. 4mm to 8mm are good for wall mosaic tiles
The chip (tile piece) size is 48mm x 15mm. You need to be sure of this size to avoid having to cut a lot of tile pieces
There are 108 tile pieces glued onto a sheet. It is easily cut between the tile pieces using scissors or a craft knife
A sheet is 30cm x 30cm.
I used 2 sheets and made a rectangle 40mm wide x 45mm high to go behind a 40mm wide basin

Roughen up the wall surface to give the adhesive a better grip. I used a sharp screwdriver and coarse sanding paper. Try not to go out of the area to be tiled, then you wont need to touch-up with paint afterwards

Apply tile adhesive with a ploughed field effect. I used a paint scraping tool to apply the paste and a kitchen fork to make grooves. You could use the proper tool which is cheap from your local hardware store. The grooves aid in laying the tiles evenly

Wear your favorite super hero shirt to get you in the right frame of mind

Place the tile sheets into position with the edging strip tucked in behind. Press gently just so the tiles don’t fall off. Don’t push hard yet, we will get to that part soon.

Use tile spacers between the separate sheets to keep a uniform grid pattern. I used 2mm ones

Ok now you can press the tiles onto the wall. Use a short plank to get them all even. This is what I’ve been keeping that piece of wood for in the shed all these years

Apply fine texture grout with a firm sponge. For anyone that doesn’t know, grout is the filler between the tile spaces. You can get various colours of grout,  I chose white. In fact I used a premixed white 2 in 1 cement grout product. It is practical if you have a small area to tile

Job Done!

my wife is very happy with it too…. big points for me!!!

Total cost: £21.40

Time taken: 3 hours. This is not including adhesive and grout drying time