Fragments that are roughly the same size are best for these projects -- but if you run out, you can combine two or more smaller bits. The free-form style of these designs, like that of the glass, is part of their appeal.
Both the tray and the tabletop call for tiles sold in sheets with paper facings. For the tray, you'll need a sheet of 1-inch square tiles in green or blue. For the table, you'll need 1-by-2-inch white tiles with black accents.
Tools and Materials
- Sheet of 1-inch square tiles in green or blue (if making sea-glass-tiled tray), by Murado Bay, from Complete Tile, 212-255-44501-by-2-inch white tiles with black accents (if making a sea-glass tabletop)
- Large sea-glass shards
- Craft knife
- Mortar, Weldbond adhesive, from Blick Art Materials
- Spackling knife
- Damp sponge
- Craft stick
- Masking tape (tray only)
- Fine white unsanded grout, like Poly-grout Plus, by Miracle, from Bella Tile, 212-475-2909
- Tile sponge
- Grout sealer, by Miracle, from Bella Tile, 212-475-2909
- Optional: Tile cutter
Sea-Glass-Tiled Tray or Tabletop How-To
1. Using a craft knife, cut a sheet of tiles, slicing through the paper facing, to fit the inside of the tray or the surface of the table.
2. For tray: Cut out individual tiles from trimmed sheet to create spaces to fill with sea glass.
For table: Cut out black accent tiles to fill with sea glass.
3. Apply a thin layer of mortar to the surface of the tray or table with a spackling knife.
4. Lay tile sheet, paper side up, on the surface, pressing down firmly. If tiles do not completely cover the surface, use a tile cutter to cut extra pieces to fill in gaps on sides. Let dry for 2 hours.
5. Moisten paper with a damp sponge, and peel off. Using a craft stick, apply mortar to sea glass (and, for tray, to optional added pottery shards) and place in empty spaces. The shards should be flush with the tiles. Let dry overnight.
6. Tape off inside and top edges of the tray with masking tape (not necessary for table). Using a spackling knife, apply fine white unsanded grout over all the tiles, filling in cracks and holes.
7. Gently wipe surface with a damp tile sponge to remove excess grout and smooth grout lines. Rinse sponge and repeat. Continue rinsing and wiping until surface is clean and grout lines are flush with tiles. Regrout where necessary.
8. Let dry 1 to 2 hours. Polish surface with a clean, dry cloth. After grout has set (this may take several days), apply grout sealer, following manufacturer's instructions.