I am Courtney Hamby from Hamby Home Décor and I’m excited to have the opportunity to share this simple tutorial with you. You may remember my DIY tile coasters that I shared with you last month and now I’m back with another DIY tile project!
I really love trays and can’t get enough of them! There are so many sizes, materials, textures that you can use for food or to decorate with. I picked up an unfinished wood square tray at a local thrift store for $2 that needed some love but had potential. I had plans to paint and distress it but when I found those awesome blue and white tiles for my coasters it gave me an idea, why not tile the bottom of my thrift store tray so it will match all my blue and white ceramics.
I should preface this and say that I have ZERO tiling or grouting experience but I figured this was a good project to give it a try! If I mess it up, I lose a tray, not a floor or wall. 😉
- Wooden Tray
How to make them:
Step 1: Prep Tray
Paint or stain tray to your desired color. I spray painted my wooden tray with a flat white paint and primer that I had in my collection of paint.
Step 2: Purchase Desired Tiles
While I was ordering the tiles for the coasters online from Fine Crafts & Imports, I noticed these blue and white tiles that made a pattern when used together and thought they would work perfectly for my tray. Fine Crafts & Imports has a great selection of Clay-Made Mexican Talavera tiles, especially for my fellow blue and white lovers!
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of your tray. My tray was 13″x13″ which worked out perfectly for the 4″x4″ tiles. I knew I could order 9 tiles and have just enough room for the grout. You’ll want to do the math and figure out how many tiles and what size tiles work best for the tray you’re using.
Step 3: Arrange and Glue the Tiles
Arrange your tiles on your tray. You can use spacers here if they’re needed but I only had one interior tile so I decided it wasn’t necessary. If you had a larger tray, you may want to consider spacers to keep the tiles evenly spaced. I used Gorilla Glue for this project but you can use any industrial grade glue that you may have around the house. Follow the instructions of the glue used and glue each tile in the desired location. Once they are all glued in place, set something heavy on them and let the tiles set and dry. I used catalogs and a canister of flour and let mine sit and dry overnight.
Step 4: Grout in-between the tiles
I didn’t have any grout on hand so I picked up this small thing of white grout at Home Depot for about $5. Do any prep work necessary for the grout by following the instructions on the grout container (mine required me to add water and stir). Then just spread the grout in all the cracks of the tile. Don’t forget the sides of the tile next to the tray. I didn’t have a “grout float” or any special tool for grouting and didn’t see a reason to purchase one so I just used a paint stirrer and my fingers (which I actually found easier).
Step 5: Smooth and Clean grout
Using my finger I just smoothed the grout lines to make sure the grout wasn’t bumpy. To clean it I used a wash cloth and gently wiped off the grout on the tile. I had to wash my rag frequently and clean off layers about 6 times before I got all of the grout off the tiles. If you accidentally remove some grout where it’s needed, just fill it back in and clean the tile area around it again. Once the tiles were clean and the grout was smooth you just set it aside and let it dry!
That’s all! I actually enjoying tiling and may consider doing more of it in the future! I plan to use this tray for decorative uses only but if I wanted to use it for food I would use a grout sealer first to protect the white grout.
I’m Courtney, from The Hamby Home blog. I am a wife and mother of two fur-babies and marketing coordinator by occupation. I have lived in Alabama my entire life. I have always had a love for DIY and frugal home décor projects and that’s usually what you’ll find me doing during my free time. I am a bargain hunter, trash-to-treasure lover and thrifting enthusiast that’s just trying to create a beautiful home on a small budget.