Do It Yourself: Fun Goldfish Mosaic Tile Coaster Project

Creating a mosaic tile goldfish coaster is a fun project. This craft is easy and you can use the coasters yourself or give them as gifts.

Creating tile mosaics is a great activity for the whole family to do together. A really fun mosaic tile project is making goldfish coasters. Coasters are an inexpensive and easy craft that produces a useful product. They are great to make for yourself or as gifts for friends and family. You can make one coaster or as many as you wish for a set. Following is the list of supplies and instructions for creating a mosaic tile goldfish coaster. All the supplies can be purchased at any arts and crafts store.

1. Base material for the coaster

2. Small glass or ceramic tiles in orange, yellow, and blue

3. Safety glasses

4. Tile nippers

5. Mosaic tile adhesive

6. Disposable gloves

7. Mosaic grout

8. Sponge

Step One. Choose a base for the coaster.

You have several options for the base of the coaster. The only requirement is it must be sturdy enough to support the mosaic tile pieces. The base can be wood, glass, cork or a ceramic tile. The average size for a coaster is about four by four inches. You can use either a round or square base. Most craft stores sell coaster bases for decorating or you can cut your own from wood or cork. Keep in mind the bottom of the coaster should be smooth so it does not scratch furniture. If necessary you can glue a piece of felt to the bottom of the coaster. Make sure the base surface is clean and dry before beginning the project.

Step Two. Choose the mosaic tile pieces.

You can use ceramic or glass tiles to create your goldfish coaster--either will work well. Bags of small glass and ceramic chips for mosaics are available in most craft stores. You may also make your own by breaking large ceramic tiles. Be sure to wear safety glasses and cover the tiles with a cloth before striking with a hammer. Be sure the tiles or chips you use are flat on top so cups and glasses will sit evenly on the coaster.

Step Three. Create a goldfish pattern.

Many online craft sites have free patterns to print out and use. Fish are a popular craft theme so finding a goldfish pattern should be easy. There are many books on creating mosaics that contain patterns or even children's coloring books can be good source. You may also draw your own. Use a fish pattern without too much detail so it can easily be filled in with the mosaic pieces.

Step Four. Transfer the goldfish pattern to your coaster base.

Copy your pattern onto a piece of paper. Reduce (or enlarge) the pattern to fit onto the coaster. If you are using glass just place the pattern under the glass, you will be able to see it through the coaster. For other types of bases place a sheet of transfer paper between your surface and the pattern. Trace over the goldfish using heavy pressure and the pattern will be transferred to your base. If you do not have transfer paper you can color the entire back of your pattern paper with a pencil. Then place the paper with the pencil colored side down on the base and trace over your goldfish. The graphite will transfer the image to the base.

Step Five. Attach the mosaic tiles to the base.

If you are using glass pieces or a glass base use glass glue to attach the mosaic tiles to the base. Any other surface or ceramic mosaic tiles can be attached with the mosaic adhesive. It is helpful to lay out all the pieces you will use on the base to make sure you are happy with the design before gluing them to the base. To make tiles pieces fit into the pattern, especially the rounded edges of the fish, you will need to cut the tiles with the nippers. It is important to wear safety glasses when cutting pieces of tile. Start in the center of the goldfish body with your orange mosaic pieces. Work in a circular motion filling in the pattern. Leave at least 1/8 inch between the pieces for the grout. As you work toward the outside of the fish start adding the yellow pieces. Follow the same plan going from orange to yellow with the fins on your goldfish. You can add one black or dark blue piece for an eye if you wish. Fill in the remainder of the coaster with the blue pieces for the appearance of water. You can go from dark blue at the bottom of the coaster to light blue at the top to give your work more depth.

Step Six. Apply the grout to your coaster.

Mix the mosaic grout with water following the manufacturers instructions on the package. It should be the consistency of fudge to be applied correctly. Put on the disposable gloves and smear the grout all over the coaster. Make sure all the gaps between the mosaic pieces are completely filled with grout. Wait fifteen minutes then wipe the excess grout from the mosaic pieces. Do not wait to long or the grout will harden and not come off the tiles. Let the project dry for 24 hours, then buff to a shine with a soft cloth. You are now ready to use your new goldfish coaster.

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