Folding Table Mosaic

Mosaic folding table top

My first attempt! This is a pine folding TV table which I use in my garden in summer. I thought it would be a good guinea pig for my first ever go at mosaicking.

During the years I ran the Cues Gift Shop at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield I acquired a mass of broken and damaged stuff I’d “do something with” on that one mystical day in the future. Along with my Dad’s inherited hoarding theory of “don’t throw it out, it might come in useful one day”  I’ve got quite a nifty little stockroom of potential bits ready to make something wonderful from(!) Apologies to my husband…

Ha ha! The time had come for one of these items to be dusted off and used in a useful way. I had saved some tile plaques we used to sell which had chipped/smashed and always knew I could put them to good use.  I smashed them a bit more, well a lot actually, and got some nice pieces I could put into little matching piles of colours and patterns (just like Mum does with her jigsaws!) A quick note on smashing – first of all remember to protect your eyes with goggles as bits can unexpectedly fly everywhere; for this project I didn’t have any “proper” tools so just put the tiles between towels and smashed with a hammer. It is a bit of a hit & miss method however, and I do recommend getting a good pair of mosaic nippers. I bought the Leponitt Glass Mosaic Cutter and think they’re fab, much easier to control where you want the cut to go and far less likely to chip something by it breaking in the wrong way! I’ve since worked through quite a bit of crockery with these preparing for my next garden table project using another Cues Shop reject!

I honestly can’t remember what method of sticking the tesserae to the table I used, but remember I did make the error of using general DIY tile grouting which isn’t as fine, easy or advisable to use as proper mosaicking grout. The colour was a bit obvious too but hey you learn as you go along! The other problem though with this grout I didn’t envisage is that it dries really hard, and quite quickly, so when it’s been left to dry before cleaning off properly it is NOT a nice job!!

Anyway, despite not having enough of the nice broken tile plaques I’d saved so had to scour the garage to find something else (used various kitchen/bathroom tiles in the end – not great as all different thicknesses and a bit plain and boring) I finished it and am quite pleased with the result really.

I made this in April 2013 and am happy to say that I will still be using it this summer of 2018. Although some of the grouting has cracked a little it’s still all stuck on ok so feel I didn’t do too bad 🙂


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