How To Make Classic Wood Tiles!!

5 Materials
1 Day

You can literally make any tile you want with an easy to do image transfer.
how to make
First you'll need to print out your tiles on regular printer paper using a "laser printer." You can find pictures of tiles on Pinterest or with a Google search. You can also take pictures of tiles and print them out that way. You'll need to reverse all images before printing them out so they transfer correctly. It doesn't matter with most of these tiles, but it's best to get in the habit of doing it.
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You'll also need wood and wood glue. 

I live in Japan, so I can't recommend a wood glue, but any wood glue will work. 

You'll need to sand the surface of the wood you transfer onto very well. It should be INCREDIBLY smooth! Like Teddy Pendergrass smooth! The image will need full contact with the wood to transfer correctly. Any type of wood can be used just as long as the surface is smooth.
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This was the first attempt at an image transfer using wood glue.

First, press the image against the wood to make creases so you'll know exactly where to rub on the glue. It also makes it easier to apply the image.

*Remeber to reverse all images before printing.
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You want to use just enough glue to cover the wood.

Too much glue will ruin the transfer.

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The glue should look like this. The ink from the image will transfer to the glue.

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Gently smooth the image out with a kitchen sponge. The image shouldn't move around on the wood. If it does, you used too much. You also used too much if it is coming out from the sides.
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Let the image dry to the glue for at least 24 hours.

When it is dry, dampen that kitchen sponge and gently rub the paper making it a little wet.
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The paper will start to rub away from the image like this. Take your time using your fingers. The image is transferred, but can still be scratched off if you're too rough.
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That's it! That's how you do it!

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You can stain the wood with a water based stain before transferring your image.

These are what the tiles looked like before a clear protective top coat.

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These tiles have a matte clear top coat on them.

Here are two good links about copyright protection and using famous quotes on crafts you don't intend to sell.
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A light sanding is a great way to distress your image.
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A top coat will protect and waterproof your image. It will also make the color pop.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 40 questions
  • Robin Gregory
    on Apr 26, 2019

    Does it have to be a laser printer or will an inkjet printer work ok too?

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Apr 26, 2019

      Hey Robin! If you're using wood glue, definitely laser printer. We tested inkjet and wood glue and the transfer was bad. You can buy a transfer medium that's specially made for inkjets.

  • Jane Dadds
    on May 1, 2019

    Bryan, you always do such gorgeous work! I congratulate you on your imagination and execution. Love to see your stuff.

  • Cindi
    on May 2, 2019

    Hi... Can these tiles then be used for a backsplash?

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on May 8, 2019

      Hey Cindi, Cynthia, Cyndy and DeAnn!

      These can totally go up as a backsplash. You'll need to use a multi-purpose mortar or adhesive to attach the tiles to the wall. Before you buy a mortar, read the label and make sure the product can bond wood to whatever the surface you're installing to. I suggest putting these up with no gaps. Just butt them right up against each other. This is because wood shrinks and it might cause grout to crack. Remember, grout is only used to fill the void between tiles. If you really want grout lines, use am epoxy grout or caulk. After the tiles are up, paint on a top coat to protect them from water and grease. Moisture shouldn't be a problem in the kitchen, but if you have moisture problems, I don't recommend using these wood tiles as a backsplash.

      I wouldn't put these on a shower wall. I don't think they'd hold up very well.

Join the conversation

2 of 163 comments
  • Sarge
    on May 15, 2019

    Ha! I'm with Gayle...Teddy Pendergrass smooth! That's saying something. I love your projects. You do great work.

  • Vickie
    on May 21, 2019

    This is awesome...can't wait to try!!

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