2 Creative & Unusual Uses for Tile

These creative and unusual uses for tile are so much fun to make, and the results can be quite stunning!

unusual uses for tile

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I never thought I’d be shopping for craft supplies at a home improvement store, of all places!

But, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately. I’d seen some really cool ideas for tile art projects, so I decided to pick up a few tiles at Lowe’s and get crafting! It turns out that tiles can be very beautiful, and actually pretty cheap too.

So, whether you just finished a kitchen or bathroom reno, and are looking for DIY leftover tile ideas…or you’re like me, and just wanna go buy some tiles to craft with, I think you’ll enjoy these ideas…

2 Creative & Unusual Uses for Tile

I had two tile art projects I wanted to try… First, I thought I’d try my hand at making coasters out of the common four-inch square ceramic tiles. And secondly, I’d been seeing these amazing glass subway tile creations, and REALLY wanted to try that too.

So, I’ll show you how these fun, unusual uses for tile turned out! And, I’ll tell you what I wish I had known before purchasing ceramic tiles for crafts projects, along with some different ideas for how you can decorate them.

1) Ceramic tile coasters

Right off the bat, let me tell you what I wish I had known prior to buying these cute ceramic tiles: I really should’ve looked at them in person, rather than ordering online for curbside pickup. Because, after I got them home, I realized they had an unsightly barcode along one edge!

ceramic tile craft ideas

At first, I thought, no problem… I’ll just paint the edges to make them look nicer. BUT two coats of white paint, three coats of gold, and two coats of varnish later, I’m thinking maybe I should’ve gone back to look for some tiles that have finished edges! It would’ve saved me a lot of time.

If I had known better, I might’ve just bought these plain ceramic tiles for crafts
that come with the cork backing too, rather than buying a cork sheet (which I got at Dollar Tree, in case you’re interested). Also, a little birdie told me that Home Depot has some better tiles with finished edges, so next time I’ll probably look there.

But, anyway, in spite of the extra steps of painting the tile edges, and cutting the cork backing into 4”x4” squares, these tiles really did turn out fantastic!

I had the idea to create a trio of coasters, with a faith-hope-love theme. Each coaster features a corresponding Bible verse:

ceramic tile coasters

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:18-20 (NIV)

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. […] Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. […] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1, 4, 13 (NIV)

To make the designs, I used my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine + gold Series 51 adhesive vinyl from my favorite vinyl supplier, Expressions Vinyl. EV is great, not only because they have quality vinyl, low prices, and awesome customer service, but they also have a thriving Facebook group (which is where I got the ideas for these tiles!).

ceramic tile coasters with cork backing

HOT TIP: Are you new to craft cutting, wanna get a Silhouette Cameo, or just see what it’s all about? The Silhouette School blog is a great place to learn. Or, if you want/have a Cricut cutting machine, Jennifer Maker has tons of great craft tutorials for Cricut products.

But, maybe you don’t have a cutting machine, and want some easier ceramic tile craft ideas to decorate your coasters? No problem, I’ve got you covered! You could:

  • Paint your tiles! Use acrylic paint however you like, and finish it with a few coats of polyurethane gloss varnish to seal it (‘Cause you know, it does need to be water-resistant, to function well as a coaster).
  • Mod podge them! If you like a layered look, you could totally use mod podge to apply stickers, cut-outs, or whatever paper pieces you want on the tiles. Talk about unusual uses for tile! You could do just about anything with colorful papers and some mod podge.
  • Use pre-cut vinyl stickers! The easiest option of all, would be to buy a pre-cut vinyl sticker, like this handy letter (pictured below) I bought at Hobby Lobby. I didn’t even realize it until recently, but Hobby Lobby does have a lot of cool vinyl stickers, that you can use for various craft projects.

ceramic tile craft ideas with vinyl

2) Glass subway tile art

Now, for my favorite of these two unusual uses for tile… glass subway tile art! This project turned out absolutely gorgeous. The tiles are the 3”x12” glossy ones from Lowe’s, and they are so beautiful, even before you put anything on them!

Again, for these tiles I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the design, using these gorgeous vinyl sheets from Expressions Vinyl (specifically, the ‘Watercolor 2’ adhesive patterned vinyl, and Series 51 adhesive vinyl in ‘bright berry’).

glass subway tiles with vinyl

HOT TIP: If you’re new to vinyl as I am (I’ve only been doing vinyl for two months, y’all!), Expressions Vinyl has a ton of machine settings and tutorial videos you can check out. Also, I found this video about how to layer adhesive vinyl super helpful too.

I have tons of great ideas for these glass subway tiles, like Bible verses and encouraging phrases. But the one I went with here, is “BLESSED: chosen, loved, redeemed”. These words are a great reminder of God’s love for us, in sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins. Certainly, God blesses us in many ways, by providing for our earthly needs, giving us good Christian friends, and so much more. But no blessing is greater than God’s unconditional love and mercy!

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Romans 5:8 (NLT)

glass subway tiles - blessed and faith

HOT TIP: If you want some easy pre-made designs to go on your tiles (or any other project!), Design Bundles is a great place to get some! They have a ton of craft files for cutting, including lots of Christian/Bible verse bundles like this one that would be perfect for coasters! And, the sister site Font Bundles is a great place for inexpensive fonts (nearly all the fonts I used for these projects came from Font Bundles).

Don’t have a cutting machine, and don’t want to go there? I hear you! There’s an excellent alternative way to decorate these glass subway tiles, and it’s so ridiculously easy, it’ll only take you a minute.

And that is, decorate it with 3D stickers! Stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, as well as Amazon, have tons of 3D stickers, including many faith-related ones. I dug these stickers out of my craft stash to show you how cool it looks…

glass subway tiles faith

You could get 3D flowers, bejeweled stickers, and so many other options, to decorate your glass subway tiles. The possibilities are quite endless!

Also, I can’t forget to mention the display stands…you can get 3” wire stands like the one pictured from Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon. They’re the perfect size to display the finished tile.

So, what do you think about these unusual uses for tile? Do you want to run to your nearest home improvement store, to grab some tiles and try these ideas for yourself? Whatever you do, have fun with it, and celebrate God’s great love and all the blessings He’s given you.

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