Every year our students create class projects to be auctioned off at our annual banquet in order to raise money for the school. The projects vary depending on the class and grade level. This year, there seemed to be a slight mix up in project ideas! With less than 2 weeks from the auction, my class had no project. Uh oh! Nothing like leaving these things to the last minute…

Several ideas were brought up for my class, and we settled on a tile project. We would have students decorate tiles, then place the tiles on a piece of furniture. Sounds great! Except we did not have any small table, shelf or other suitable piece of furniture to use! That same afternoon, I decided to stop at the Goodwill near my house on the way home. Low and behold, one of the first pieces of furniture I found was this perfect little side table! Seems like it was meant to be!

Prepping the table:

The first thing that needed to be done was give the table a good coat of paint. That weekend, I painted the legs and sides with white paint. It took a couple coats, but definitely brightened the table up. I left the table top unpainted to make sure the tiles would stick well.

DIY Tile

We went back and forth on what types of tiles would be best for the table and with the table size, decided to use 2” x 2” tiles. We needed about 80 or so tiles and it worked out for every student to do 3 tiles, leaving some tiles white. For the tile decorating, students used a technique that we found here . Can I just say, this was awesome! All we needed was Sharpies, rubbing alcohol, and paintbrushes.

First, students took their tiles and colored them with the Sharpies. Next, they took a paintbrush, and “painted” with the rubbing alcohol. This process was different for each student. Some used paint strokes, others put drops of alcohol on their tile, and some even figured out they could blow the alcohol across the tiles to make cool designs!

After their beautiful tiles had dried, I used a sealer spray to make sure the Sharpies didn’t rub off on anything. It made my entire classroom stink though, so next time I would probably try to do this outside! After allowing the tiles to dry for a day, I started arranging and gluing the tiles onto the table top. Making sure the tiles were spaced evenly took some time. I glued down an entire column and row to start, making it much easier to place the rest of the tiles.

Finishing:

Because of the coloring on the tiles, we did not want to use rough grout to fill in the rows between the tiles. This would have destroyed the kids’ beautiful designs! Instead we used caulk. And when I say “we”, I mean my dear husband. Seriously, I don’t think I could have finished this project on my own. He delicately caulked the tile area of the table and it looked awesome! He also put the last coats of paint around the top of the table with precision.

It looks beautiful! Now hopefully it will make some big bucks at our auction and be treasured in someone’s home!

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