Making tiles for the first time? Follow these simple steps:
- Knead polymer clay with water until it’s completely smooth with no lumps.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the clay on a hard, working surface until it’s 0.25 inches thick.
- Cut equal-sized pieces of your preferred shape with a knife.
- Decorate the tiles by pressing items into the clay or etching a design with a bent paper clip.
- Bake the tiles in an oven or kiln. Let them cool.
- Coat the tiles with glossy tile sealer. Leave to dry and wipe with a dry cloth.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your walls or just want to hone a new craft, learning to make DIY tiles is a useful skill to have. You can save money on re-doing your home and create designs that are completely unique to your style. Follow our tips on how to make tiles from scratch today with this easy step-by-step guide!
DIY wall tiles: how to make ceramic tiles
Ceramic tiles are durable, easy to fit, easy to clean, and easy to maintain – perfect for bathroom walls and kitchen floors. If you’re looking to DIY tile a floor or want to try ceramic DIY bathroom tiles on your walls, follow these instructions:
What you’ll need:
- Polymer clay
- Metal bowl
- Paper clips
- Pebbles/glass beads
- Paint tray
- Wool-bristled brush
- Measuring ruler
- Rolling pin
- Glossy, tile-sealer
- Dry cloth
What you'll do:
- Wet the polymer clay with water and start kneading. Knead until it’s completely smooth with no lumps.
- Using the rolling pin, roll out the clay on a hard, working surface until it’s 0.25 inches thick. Cut your preferred tile shapes out with a knife – ensuring they’re equal-sized pieces. A squared shape is the easiest and most common but if you’re unsure about the uniformity of the pieces use a ruler to measure each end. If you want to create curved tiles, you can use a sharp object such as a metal bowl pressed upon the rolled-out clay.
- Since the clay is still soft at this stage, you can decorate your ‘do it yourself tile’ by pressing items into the clay – such as pebbles or bead – or using a paper clip bent straight to etch a design.
- Bake your tiles in an oven or kiln at the temperature instructed in the polymer clay packaging. Bake until the upper surface develops a distinct crust.
- Let the baked tiles cool, dusting off any debris formed due to the crusting.
- Pour the glossy tile sealer solution into a paint tray and coat the tiles. Use a wool-bristled brush and light strokes.
- Allow the first coating to dry and wipe the tile with a dry cloth. Apply more coats of the sealer if more gloss is needed.
How to paint a tile
One of the funnest parts of learning how to make a tile at home is decorating it. One of the easiest ways is to paint your newly created tile - and here's how:
- Start by wiping off any debris or loose bits of clay from your tiles. If they look a little bumpy, you can gently sand them.
- Apply a thin coat of primer. This should be formulated for ceramic surfaces.
- Leave it to dry thoroughly.
- Use water or oil based acrylic paint to create your designs. Apply a urethane finish to seal the paint.
- If you're painting over existing paint then you need to sand them to remove the gloss first. Once that's done, you can follow these same steps for painting a new tile.
Need some inspiration when painting tiles? Try these techniques:
- Add alcohol to your tile before adding drops of acrylic paint to create a watercolour look.
- Create a mural by laying all of your tiles out flat and creating a large image across them.
- Use masking tape or stencils to create intricate patterns, painting over the entire tile before peeling back the tape.
- Spray paint can be used for a quick, even finish when working with block colours.
Now that you know how to make tiles, it’s time to start planning your designs! Take a look at these kitchen and bathroom tile ideas for more inspiration.