Thursday, December 16, 2010

Technique Workshop: Ceramic Tiles

Welcome to this month's Technique Workshop. Our archives are filled with dozens of great tutorials written by our talented Design Team and guest artists. Each month, we will revisit one of these posts and put it back in the spotlight.

This month I chose Penny Bennington's wonderful Ceramic Tile Tutorial. Penny decorated plain ceramic tiles using alcohol inks, tissue paper and stamps, and then made them into beautiful books (one of which I'm lucky enough to own).

I've been itching to try the technique since I first read the tutorial back in July. Instead of making books, I opted to make my tiles into hangings. I used two sizes of white tile - some subway tiles left over from our bathroom remodel measuring 6" x 3" and a larger 8" x 8" kitchen tile.

Following Penny's instructions, I colored the plain ceramic tiles with different colored alcohol inks and blending solution.

I stamped several images on tissue paper and spread a thin layer of Glossy Accents on the dry tile with an old brush. I carefully placed the tissue onto the tile and brushed on a further layer of Glossy Accents.

Because it's the holiday season, I figured a little sparkle was in order. On the Seasons Greetings tile (above), I included silver alcohol ink when coloring it initially, then added silver leafing pen around the edge of the tile and finished it with some rhinestones. Here's a close-up view:

I then broke out the Glimmer Mist, sprayed the white tissue paper and allowed it to dry before stamping my images with Stazon.

My thoughts then turned to the Glossy Accents, what if I embedded things into the top layer while it was still wet? I added glass glitter to the edges of the angel tile.

This Simple Things tile has pale pink Glimmer Mist on the tissue, silver alcohol ink around the edges and dew drops embedded in the Glossy Accents along the bottom edge.

I gave the final tile a big shot of sparkle by painting the entire surface of the dried tile with shimmer paint (sorry it doesn't really show up well in the photos).

I could make these tiles all day - they're so much fun! How about using colored tissue paper or decorative napkins? How about embedding beads into the Glossy Accents or sprinkling the wet surface with Pearl-ex? The possibilities are endless. Have fun!


  1. what a brill technique and they look lovely.....great idea Ali

  2. Stunning tiles and I can't wait to have a go; I haven't done this for ages!

  3. Ooh! These are all gorgeous & so inspirational! I must give this a try!
    Alison x

  4. A brilliant technique. The tiles look awesome.

  5. Gorgeous - all of them. I'll definitely be trying this. I love the reindeer one down the bottom. Wow!

  6. Ooh these are sooo gorgeous!! Lovely technique!

  7. Your tiles are wonderful, Ali!!! I love all the sparkle and shimmer you added - such a perfect touch! I'm glad you had a fun time playing with the tiles :-)

  8. The tiles are really fab. I am lucky enough to own one of Penny4thoughts tile piano books and have to say it is positively lush.
    Annette x

  9. Just gorgeous! I just got a bit lost since the instructions jump a bit all over the place for different tiles. Could you PLEASE do a tutorial for the last one (tissue paper stamped with text/deer etc)? Hope you will, thanks anyway for sharing this fantastic inspiration!


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