These easy kintsugi tile coasters, made with inexpensive tiles and gold leaf paint, are a fun DIY craft project. They make a beautiful and unique gift too!
Hello Kenarry Readers! It’s Jess from Jessica Welling Interiors. I’ve been in a project frenzy over the past few weeks, and I finally got around to trying out kintsugi.
What is kintsugi, you ask? Also known as “wabi sabi,” it’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery and ceramics with gold (gold leaf). The gold is visible around the cracks, and it makes for a unique and beautiful finished product. Very stylish too!
I wanted to try this because I need some gorgeous accessories to finish off a couple of different client living rooms where I’m using gold as one of the finishes.
These tile coaster sets make great gifts too! I just gave some to my daughter’s teacher for teacher appreciation week. They would also be great for Mother’s Day, Christmas, or whatever.
Today I’m going to show you how to make kintsugi coasters out of tiles. This is a great first kintsugi project. Since the tiles are flat, it’s not difficult to get all the pieces put back together. I tried some pottery pieces too, and that’s a different story!
How to Make Kintsugi Tile coasters
Okay, let’s get started!
What you need:
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- tiles (approx. 4″ x 4″) squares, circles, or hexagons work well
- E6000 craft adhesive with precision tips
- gold leaf paint
- self-adhesive cork sheets
- wax paper or plastic garbage bag
- paint brush
1. Break your tiles.
Find a hard surface outside (I used my back patio) and use a hammer to break the tiles. After each one, gather up the pieces and move them to your work surface. It will be tricky to figure out how all the pieces go back together if you skip this step!
If you want each coaster in your set to have a unique look, try hitting the hammer at a different place on each tile. Do one in the middle, one in a corner, etc. to create different breaks.
2. Put the tiles back together.
Lay out your tile pieces so that they form complete tiles. It’s okay if there are tiny shards missing, but try to get all the big pieces. I recommend doing this on waxed paper. I used a plastic garbage bag, and it worked okay, but the glue stuck to it.
3. Paint gold leaf on the broken edges.
Using a small artist’s brush, paint gold leaf paint on the broken edges. It’s important to shake the bottle each time you’re going to paint. I forgot to do this once, and ended up with some ugly red pigment instead of gold! If this does happen to you, you can always paint over it later.
I found that it works well to get some paint on the brush and stroke downward to get a bead of gold paint on the top edge of the breaks.
4. Let it Dry
Let the paint dry for at least an hour. Two or three hours is even better.
5. Glue the pieces back together.
The E6000 is great because it comes with multiple precision tips. So when one gets gummed up, and it will, you can just replace it. You’ll most likely need to use a fresh tip each time you come back to the project.
Using the precision tip, run a bead of glue along the broken edges of one piece at a time, sticking them together as you go. Lay them flat to dry. This is where the waxed paper comes in handy because the glue won’t stick to it.
6. Let the glue Dry overnight.
It definitely needs to dry all night to allow the glue to bond everything together.
7. Touch up any areas that need it.
This is your chance to clean up any mess-ups or areas that didn’t get enough paint. Be sure to let it dry completely before moving on to the next step!
8. Attach cork to the back sides.
Sheets of self-adhesive cork worked well for these hexagonal tiles. I traced the tile on the back of a cork sheet and cut it out, slightly smaller than the original.
And you’re done!
Voila! Kintsugi tile coasters. See, I told you it was easy! Yes, your fingers are probably a bit sticky, but otherwise, it wasn’t bad. Right?
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