How to Funk Up an Old Thrift Store Find With Glass Mosaic

6 Materials
3 Hours

I found this dull map design vintage coffee table hiding in a dusty corner of a thrift store but I could see it had potential to become much more!

I thought It looked sturdy and with a nice real wood surround as well as sweet shaped swivel screw legs. I could imagine it colourful bold and stripey!

Full map coffee table with potential!

Firstly I cover the table with plain scrap paper and paste it on so that I can plan and see my design better and something for mosaic tiles adhere to .

Cover table top with paper

Once it’s a blank canvas again I plan the colours and decide on multi colour stripes with vitreous glass 20mm coloured tiles as well as black and white mini 10mm tiles too.

Sticking vitreous glass tiles to table top

I use PVA glue to stick the vitreous glass tiles directly on paper. I work with the tiles in the sizes they are without cutting.

Use PVA glue to stick tiles onto table top

I continue making colourful stripes with a line of black and white small tiles to break up the pattern and balance the colours and design.

Building up striped design

I continue spacing the tiles evenly with a small gap around each tile for the cement grouting later.

Keeping nice straight even rows and gaps

Checking there is enough space to finish the design is an important part of the project being successful. I lay some times down without gluing to make sure it fits evenly and then glue once I’m sure of fit.

Check spacing correctly fits design finish

Now to get on and grout finish the table. I use blue masking tape to protect the wood surround.

Masking tape edges and use ready mix black gr

I work the ready mixed black grout into the crevices back and forth.

Grouting into all crevices

Next job is to clean off excess grout and wipe down. Although messy job it is so satisfying to see your design come to


Cleaning the excess grout off

The blue masking tape come off and then I clear wax the wood to nourish and bring to life

Clear wax the wood to nourish and brighten

At last my table is transformed into a funky colourful practical coffee table that is so gorgeous!!

Funky table makeover with mosaic
Funky mosaiC coffee table
Funky coffee table
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • C Crow
    on Jul 12, 2019

    Beautiful, playful design. Did you seal it? I would worry that somehow water could get to the paper and potentially ruin your gorgeous work.

    • Susan Goode
      on Jul 12, 2019

      The cement grout is pretty robust and suitable for a bathroom so should hold out water tight.

  • Na
    on Jul 12, 2019

    Was the map sealed? When the paper you covered it with disintegrates the tile will fall off and the map can be recovered. There may still be hope for the map.

    • Cherie
      28 minutes ago

      As a cartographer, I really liked the map, but to each their own. I am also an artist and work with mosaics quite a bit. I would have put the tile directly on the map, I am just curious if the paper would weaken the mosaic in any way? I would be worries it would come up, just curious

  • Cris
    3 days ago

    You have WOW talent❣ I appreciate from my heart your sharing with us.

    I would love to make some art like this with my children but I'm thinking for a nook size dining table with high usage and toddlers. Do you think glass tile would be durable with my family's kind of use? I welcome your opinion, please :)

    • Cherie
      31 minutes ago

      They also make hard plastic tiles. I'm not sure if they are more durable in the long run but less likely to cut little fingers.

      It would be awesome to allow your children to each have a section. What a great idea! Have fun and post it when you are done so we can see what they came up with!

Join the conversation

4 of 20 comments
  • Nancy Lopez
    on Jul 11, 2019

    What are the odds of the tiles fitting so perfectly on that table? Beautiful job!

  • Moon510
    on Jul 11, 2019

    So the map came with the table but it got covered  -- i thought map would be enhanced somehow to shine through. But yes, the tiles fit perfectly!

    • Susan Goode
      on Jul 11, 2019

      It had a map of Cornwall which was of the period (1950’s) and was not my taste and pretty dull!

      now the mosaic table is set to last another 50 or so years!

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