When my bloggy friend Carri, of Simply Done Wright, made a mosaic tray from colored glass pieces, I knew what I wanted to do with some of my plates. So, I copied her mosaic tray. I think hers is much better...I mean how can you beat the gorgeousness of colored glass? Anyway, I wanted to make mine using my favorite summer colors, bright yellow and navy blue. Here is how I did it.
I want to show you how I turned a boring, plain white tray into a cute summer serving tray.
I started with this white wooden tray. I loved the size of it and the "beadboard" look of the sides.
But it was just too plain and boring. I wanted to add some color to it. So I thought of one of my favorite things to do...make a broken plate mosaic.
I grabbed two colorful plates from my Goodwill plate stash. They were super cheap (50 cents each) because the edges were chipped. I didn't care, I loved the colors. They had bright yellow and navy blue in them. Perfect summer colors.
Here is the fun part. Grab a hammer and break the plates into a bunch of pieces. Of course, put on safety glasses first and cover the plates with something so that the little pieces don't go flying off somewhere (like on your head). I used an old towel to cover them before I shattered them with my hammer. Have fun with it. Let your frustrations out. Maybe have a glass of wine afterwards? Just a suggestion....
Next, I glued the broken plate pieces to the bottom of the white tray leaving a small space between them. I tried to keep the yellow color in the center bordered by the blue color....just like the plate.
I glued down the larger pieces first (above pic) followed by the smaller pieces. I tried to cover as much of the bottom of the tray as possible. The smaller pieces are really useful at filling in gaps and corners.
Here is the messy part. I used sanded ceramic tile grout to fill in the spaces between the plate pieces. I had some light sand colored grout left over from a bathroom remodel so I used that. It comes in a bag and is dry. It literally looks like sand. I placed about 4oz. of dry grout in a small disposable tray and slowly added water to it. I didn't measure how much water I used but just added it until the mixture resembled cake batter.
Once it is mixed to the right consistency, I let it set for a few minutes. I'll explain the sponge in the picture soon.
Using my (gloved) fingers, I spread the wet grout into the spaces between the plate pieces. This is where you will see how important the right consistency of the grout is. If it's too thick, it will not go between the plate pieces easily.
Placing the grout in between the plate pieces is messy. I had grout everywhere. That's where the sponge comes in. I used a slightly damp sponge to wipe the top of the plate pieces clean as I was spreading the grout everywhere. Wiping away some of the grout will also help spread it into the crevices. I continued to mix a small amount of grout and spread it into the gaps between the plate pieces until the bottom of the tray was covered.
Here's what not to do. I did not do the final cleaning quick enough. Some mommy "issues" got in the way and the grout hardened. I could not wipe all of it off of some of the small plate pieces.
I was left with too much grout showing and some of my small plate pieces buried under the hardened grout. So, I call my tray "the broken plate buried in the sand tray". At least is sounds summery, ha!
So, grab a few cheap plates to break and make a mosaic...there are so many decor possibilities. Thank you, Carri, for the idea ;)