Mosaic Tile Class and Where to Find Supplies • Traveling with Purpose : Traveling with Purpose

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Not long ago I took a class to learn how to make a mosaic tile table. I had so much fun, and now I have a lovely piece of furniture that I can use inside or outside. Check out my tips on finding mosaic tiles and other supplies and resources for finding classes or creating your own mosaic tile DIY project.

Do you ever look for classes when you’re traveling? It’s a fun way to connect with the locals and learn something new. I prefer to be a hands-on learner. I can manage with written instructions and am probably less effective listening, but do much better if I can actually follow along and physically do the task at hand or at least watch someone else do it, so I can ask questions.

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Southwest Gardener Tile Mosaic Table Class

The Perfect Gift

I’ve been thinking about doing some mosaic tile work on a few items that I have around the house, but haven’t worked with mosaic tiles since I was in 5th-grade art class.  Needless to say, that was a long time ago and I didn’t have a clue how to do it anymore. I could have bought a book or watched a video but felt more comfortable learning from a live person, so I found a class at our local Phoenix gardening shop, and added it to my Amazon wish list.  To see if there are any mosaic classes offered near you just do a quick search online with something like “mosaic classes near me” or “mosaic classes in (your city name)”.

Mosaic tile table waiting to attach tiles to the table
Design is almost there

By the way, I love the fact that you can add things to their wish list that aren’t even sold on Amazon. My kids are always asking me what I want for special occasions, so they can find ideas there. So…my sweet son decided to pay for a class for me for Christmas. In October my schedule was finally free and I was able to reserve the class that I wanted. It was an all-day class to make a mosaic tile side table and I truly loved it!

Mosaic Tile Table Class

The class took place outside in the courtyard near the store.  It was a lovely day, perfect for being outdoors. Our teacher, Dave Jarvinen, was very helpful and encouraging! I love how the finished product looks. The images below will take you through the basic steps of the class. There are just a couple of things that I wish I had known earlier.

Where Can You Find Gorgeous Mosaic Tiles?

The store where I took the class provided all the supplies that we needed and we had an excellent selection of colors, but if you’re looking for 4×4 ceramic tiles on your own, you may be able to find them at your local tile store or one of the big home improvement stores.

You will likely find an even wider selection online at either Amazon or Etsy. Check out these examples that I found below. In many cases, they include the shipping cost in their pricing. You’ll want to be sure to check each listing to find out how they handle it if any tiles break in shipping.

You can even find mosaic tile pieces already broken up like these on Amazon to save you the time of doing that.

Another option is these beautiful glass tiles from Amazon that are 0.4 x 0.4 x 0.16inches.

You may even find a place where you can buy or learn how to make your own custom tiles, like these unique mosaic tiles at Santa Theresa Tile Works in Tucson.

Mosaic Table Class Instructor - Dave
Our teacher

I don’t remember being told that we needed to bring our own design for the tabletop. I assumed that we would be given a few different designs to choose from.  Maybe I missed it somewhere in signing up, but I wasn’t prepared at all with any thought of what to do.  Now I’m actually glad that they let us do what we wanted, but I wish I would have known so I could have done some thinking about it beforehand.  As it was, I used a piece of tile as a ruler and a paper cup to draw circles and it came out pretty well for my first try.  Tell me what you think.

Mosaic Table Class - just getting started
Working out the design
Classmate's Mosaic Table
Another student’s table

Learning About Shaping Tile

Dave did a great job of showing us what we needed to do to shape, cut and nip the tiles, and helped us figure out all the details, but he forgot to (or I didn’t hear him) tell us about the tool for smoothing the edges of the tile after it had been nipped. Unfortunately, since I didn’t realize that I could smooth the edges until my table was ready to be grouted, the tiles are all kind of irregular.

Southwest Gardener Mosaic Table Class
Class is in session

Near the end of the class, I saw a couple of classmates meticulously sanding down the edges of each tile for a perfectly smooth finish. The good news is that I’m not the only one that didn’t sand the edges. Also, I’m not a perfectionist so I’m o.k. with the “rustic” way it turned out. It actually saved me time and I’ll know what to do on my next project.

My table after attaching the mosaic tiles
Waiting for grout

Mosaic Tile Tool Kit

As I mentioned, all the tools and supplies were provided by the store, but if you’re looking to do this all at home, here are some great options for mosaic tool kits.

This mosaic tool kit below even comes with gloves and a handy carrying case.

Attaching tiles to the table
Attaching the tile pieces to the table
3 Different Mosaic Tile Tables at the Class
Three other mosaic tile tables

I love the upside of taking a creative class with others too. It was so inspiring to see the color palettes and table designs that the other women created. I think it’s so great that a group of people can receive the same instructions and materials and create totally different results. Just a reminder that God made us all unique in how we think and work. Awesome!

Grouting the Tile

Adding grout to the mosaic tile table
Dave grouted all the mosaic tables so we didn’t have to get too messy.
My mosaic tile table with brown grout
Filling in all the gaps

Finished Mosaic Tile Projects

Mosaic table grouted with brown grout
Another table after grouting

Dave also offered to email us a list of products that we need to buy for our own mosaic project, so I feel well prepared to take this on at home. The class was so worthwhile! I learned a new skill AND have a new side table for my patio!

My mosaic tile table grouted, cleaned and ready to go
My finished mosaic tile table

So, if you live in Phoenix or are planning to visit, check online to see if there are any mosaic classes available and try to schedule a class when you’re there. There are many options beyond just tile work; sometimes there’s gardening, jewelry, or other arts and crafts. Sadly, Southwest Gardener gardner closed but other places like Mesa Arts Center . Or take a look at what our instructor, Dave has to offer at The Mosaic Guys. It’s well worth the trip.

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Where to Find Out More About Creating Mosaics

Personally, I love a hands-on class so it’s easy to ask questions and knock out the project in one day. If you don’t have time for a class or can’t find one nearby, then there are a few other options for ways to learn about these fun crafts with mosaic tiles.

Do a quick search on YouTube and you’ll likely find dozens of videos with tips and tricks on how to do it. You can also buy a book that gives step-by-step instructions as well as supply lists and more. Here’s one that shows you how to do 25 different projects for your garden or patio.

As I mentioned before, you can do a Google search for “mosaic classes near me” to see what comes up in your local area. You may find classes at community colleges, Parks and Recreation departments, universities, art museums, craft stores, or local crafters like this one.

Check Out This Other Creative Map Table DIY

Ikea Hack - Map Table with flowers on table

Have you ever taken a hands-on class like this? If so, did you like it? What other classes have you taken like this?

Are you looking for more things to do in Arizona? Check these out.

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