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Butterfly Platter

Posted by Administrator on 2/27/2015 to Mosaic Projects
    Materials Needed
  • 4 - 24 Tile bags of Indigo
  • 4- 24 Tile bags of Turquoise
  • 1 - 24 Tile bags of Black
  • 1 - 24 Tile bags of Tangerine
  • 1 - 8 oz. jar of Black Premixed Grout
  • 4 oz. bottle Mosaic Mercantile Mosaic Tile Adhesive
  • Applicator Set (sponge, spatula, craft sticks, etc)
  • 9 x 12 wooden tray with handles
  • tile nipper
  • clear contact paper
  • sandpaper
  • paper towels
  • bowl for water
  • paintbrush
  • black enamel paint

Step 1 - Designing
Begin by sketching a butterfly on a white piece of paper. You can use our design (click here to download an Adobe Acrobat PDF of our Butterfly), or try one of your own. Place a square of contact paper, sticky side up, over the drawing.

Step 2 - Nipping
Put on a pair of latex gloves, and gather together the Black and Tangerine tiles. Carefully nip them into the precise little shapes that will match your drawing. Place them smooth-side up onto the contact paper. Place a border of background tiles around the butterfly so it will match its background when placed on tray. See illustrations for details.

Sand wooden tray lightly and wipe off sawdust with a damp paper towel.

Step 3 - Lining up/Gluing
Line Indigo tiles along the sides of the tray, spacing each tile an even distance from one another. Dab a little glue on each of the four corners of each tile, and carefully place tile on tray.

Line the Turquoise tiles alongside the Indigo tiles, creating a rectangle within a rectangle. Dab a little glue on each of the four corners of each tile, and carefully place tile on tray.

Mosaic Maestro Tip: Take time to study the metallic patterns on the tiles, and place them in the direction that seems to 'flow' in the best way. And remember: an even, narrow interstitial space is the most pleasing to the eye!

While the adhesive is still wet, tiles can be shifted with a craft stick until you are satisfied with the positioning. The adhesive will begin to dry within 5 to 7 minutes. Do not attempt to reposition the tile after the adhesive begins to set.

The adhesive dries clear and can be peeled off, so don't worry if you get a little on the visible side of the tile. Make sure to keep your hands clean and free of adhesive while applying tile. Wash hands as needed.

Step 4 - Positioning
Now it's time to place the butterfly. Spread an even layer of glue over the bottom of the contact paper, being careful not to push off any of the tiles on the other side. Carefully place on tray next to the Indigo tiles. Gently pat into place. Continue placing Indigo and Turquoise tiles in rows until the center is filled. Allow the tiles to dry for at least 12 hours - we recommend overnight.

Step 5 - Grouting
Fill a container with water and have handy plenty of paper towels. Run strips of masking tape along the inner sides of the tray to keep off the grout.

Using the red plastic Grout Spreader Tool, scoop out grout and spread it over the tiles and into the 'crevices' between the tiles.

Mosaic Maestro Tip: Be gentle - you don't want to loosen tiles. If a tile should become loose, apply more adhesive to the tile and reapply to the base. Continue grouting around the repaired tile, making sure not to dislodge it again.

Work the grout into the crevices until it becomes smooth and level with the tile surface. The best way to do this is by spreading the grout in one direction and then spreading it in the opposite direction. Don't allow grout to build up in the crevices along the sides of the tray. When you have finished applying grout, wait about 15 minutes for it to harden slightly.

Dampen the yellow Grout Sponge with cool water and squeeze it. The sponge should be damp, but not soaking wet. Gently wipe the dampened sponge across the tile surface, removing excess grout from all surfaces. Wash out the sponge periodically while cleaning the tiles, as it really soaks up the grout.

Allow to dry overnight. Gently loosen any remaining excess grout from tile with a wooden craft stick. Gently polish tiles with a paper towel or cloth. For extra shiny tiles, polish with a small amount of vegetable or olive oil.


Step 6 - Painting
Wait a day, until the grout has completely dried, then run tape along the edges of the mosaicked bottom of the tray. Paint the inside edges and outside of the tray with black enamel paint. Follow directions on the paint can.

Carefully pull off masking tape, and your Mosaic Serving Tray is ready to use!.

Congratulations - you now have a dandy platter for your Thanksgiving table!

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