Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.
Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.
Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
Cut a piece of mat board to the size you want your finished piece to be. This piece will be the base of your project so make sure it fits into your tray. Remember- measure twice-cut once.
Using the Clay Conditioning Machine on a medium setting, roll out sheets of Chocolate clay. The number of sheets you will need will depend on how big your base is from Step 1. To make one large sheet of clay that will fit on your base- lay the sheets of Chocolate next to each other on a baking sheet. Smooth the seams well with your fingers. You can also use an Acrylic Roller to smooth out any bumps. Weak seams will end up being weak spots on the finished piece. Now, take the mat board from Step 1 and place it on top of your sheet of clay. Use the Super Slicer blade to cut along the edge of the mat-board all the way around. Set the clay that was trimmed away from the mat-board to the side; this will be used later in the project. Gently lift the mat-board away and bake your sheet of clay for 15 minutes.
Condition 1 block each of all of the remaining colors listed above. You can open more packages and condition as needed. Use 1 bar Translucent and add small pea size bits of all of the other colors to the Translucent. Roll the Translucent clay in your hands and then roll it through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the thickest setting. Pick up the sheet of clay and begin tearing, twisting, and pulling it apart; keep going until you have a the clay has nice ribbons of color running through it. Run it through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the thicket setting. If you find that the ribbons of color are too intense you can make them more subtle by folding the sheet of clay in half and rolling it through again. Once you have your sheet of clay the way you like it start cutting your tiles out; be strategic in how you place the cutter so you can get the most out of your sheet of clay. Repeat this process until you have enough tiles to fill up your base sheet and a few extra that you will need later. NOTE: When adding the small bits of color the Translucent clay make some batches with more Tranquility, Spring Lilac, or Gentle Plum; this way you will have a nice assortment of tiles and the finished piece doesn’t end up looking monotone. 5)When making the tiles, the end result will be determined by how much Translucent you use. More Translucent will create depth and a more “glass-like” look. Less Translucent will result in something more akin to slate.
To create your “grout” mixture- Condition 2 blocks of Translucent while adding small bits of Beige and Tan, then sprinkle in some of the brown embossing powder. Condition the clay mixture until it has an even color and the embossing powder is mixed in evenly. Look at your mixture, if you think it might need more Tan, or Beige, or embossing powder add more and condition it in until you have the look you want. There is no exact formula to this; you just want it to look right to you.
Use the Clay Conditioning Machine to roll out the “grout” mixture on a medium setting. Pick up one of your tiles and rub a tiny bit of Bake N’ Bond along one edge. Position the edge of the tile so it is standing on its edge with the Bake n’ Bond on the sheet of “grout.” Trim around the edges. When you get to the angles, position your blade so when you cut it follows the angle on the edge of the tile. You want the grout line to be an extension of that angle. Bake the tiles for 10 minutes and let cool. Note: The width of the grout line is determined by the thickness of the sheet you roll out of the mix. For a narrower grout line roll a thinner sheet and for a thicker grout line roll a thicker sheet.
Pick up a tile that already has one edge with the grout line rub a tiny bit of Bake N’ Bond along the long edge that touches the edge you already have the grout on. Repeat Step 4 by standing the tile on its edge and trimming around the edges. Just like in Step 4 you need to make sure you follow the angles. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. NOTE: If you prefer to combine Steps 5 & 6 and bake the tiles only once instead of baking after Step 5 and then again after Step 5 you can. You just need to be careful since maintaining the sharp angles will help the tiles fit together well. All of the tiles need to have the grout edges in the same position.
Using a ruler and pen make two intersecting lines to mark the center of the base sheet. Pick up one of your tiles, coat the bottom with a thin layer of Bake N’ Bond and position it so all the points of the tile line up with the lines in the center. Bake this tile onto the base sheet for 10 minutes and let cool. NOTE: Baking the first centered tile turns it into an “anchor”. The tiles coated with the Bake N’ Bond tend to slide around a little bit. Having an “anchor” tile will prevent the tiles you add from pushing that first tile off center.
When adding the remaining tiles you need to make sure you do the following: Coat the back of each tile with Bake N’ Bond and position the tiles with the grout lines all going in the same direction. Position the tiles as close together as you can to avoid any gaps between the edge of a tile and the grout line placed up against it.
As you work your way to the edges you will notice that some of the tiles hang over the edge while some areas need to be filled by a small piece of tile. When you have gotten all of the tiles in place with several of them hanging over the edge bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool enough to be able to handle without burning yourself. While the piece is still warm turn it over and use your Super Slicer blade to trim the overhanging tiles away from the edge. Save the small pieces of tile you cut away since they will be used in the next step.Note: Clay that has been baked but is still warm is much easier to cut, waiting until a piece has completely cooled can make any trimming that needs to be done difficult.
There are areas on the board that need a small piece of tile to fill it in. Those pieces that you trimmed away on Step 8 can be used here. When you put these pieces into place make sure they are positioned so that the grout edges fall into the correct place. After using the pieces left from trimming in Step 8 you may still have some spots that need to be filled. This is where the extra tiles you made come into play. Use these tiles to fill in any remaining open areas.
Bake the piece for 10 minutes and let cool enough to be able to handle it safely. Just like you did in Step 8 turn the piece over and trim away any tiles that are hanging over the edge so they are even with the base sheet. Let cool the rest of the way. Optional: If you see any gaps between the grout and tiles you can take some of the remaining mixture you made for the grout and use it as a spackle to fill in those small gaps. If you choose to do this you will need to bake the piece for another 10 minutes.
Get the Chocolate clay that you had set aside after Step 1. Create a border to go around the edge of the board by extruding a “ribbon” of clay using the die that looks like a small rectangle. Before adding the border paint a thin layer of Bake N’ Bond all of the way around the edge. This will help form a secure bond between the strip of clay and the edge of the tiled piece. Once you have the border on make sure the corners are trimmed neatly and bake for 15 minutes.
Adhere the mosaic tile board to your tray and enjoy!
A clay mosaic tile tray made with premium Sculpey® clay will transform your table's look with vibrant colors and imaginative designs.
What Is a Mosaic Tile Tray?
Functional and stylish, a mosaic tile tray is an easy project that can be completed in a weekend. Mosaics were particularly popular in Ancient Rome and are often used as wall and floor decoration. An image made up of small parts or tiles, a mosaic is traditionally comprised of marble, ceramics, glass or terracotta.
When you want to make a mosaic in the form of a clay tile tray, you've found yourself a project that's fun and approachable. You can take the time to perfect your mosaic art skills and get as creative as you'd like. You'll end up with a beautiful decorative item you can give as a gift or enhance your home's decor.
There are no rules when it comes to making a mosaic tray. They look lovely sitting on your coffee table and are perfect for setting out treats or serving tea to guests. Mosaic work like this is enjoyable, tranquil, and involves hours of hands-on work. Drying time for a clay mosaic tile tray may take a few days, so be sure to account for this as well.
How to Make a Mosaic Tile Tray
Before starting your clay mosaic tile tray, there are a few materials you'll need and some considerations to keep in mind.
1. Make Sure You Have a Protected Work Surface
We recommend working on a clean surface covered with disposable foil, a metal baking sheet, wax paper or the Sculpey Tools™ Oven-Safe Work Mat.
Start with clean hands and knead the clay until smooth and soft. You can also use a pasta machine designated for clay purposes only to condition your Sculpey III® clay. If working with multiple colors, make sure to use baby wipes to clean your hands before switching between colors and wash your hands thoroughly after sessions.
2. Gather the Appropriate Materials
We suggest the following materials for your tray:
3. Ensure Proper Baking Temperature
Preheat your home oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and bake your clay creations for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness according to the directions on your Sculpey® clay package. For best results, bake mosaic tile tray polymer clay on an oven-proof surface, such as the Sculpey Tools™ Oven-Safe Work Mat or aluminum foil.
4. Cut a Piece of Mat Board to the Desired Size
Keep in mind that you'll be cutting a piece of mat board for your mosaic tile creation. It's important to ensure it fits into your tray, as this will be the base of your project.
Order Premium Sculpey III® Polymer Clay Online Today
Sculpey® is excited to help you bring your clay creations to life. Feel free to view step-by-step instructions for this mosaic tile tray or browse other polymer clay projects and get inspired for your next creation!
We offer the best polymer clay on the market in a wide variety of beautiful color palettes. Order premium Sculpey III® clay or browse our clay lines and get started on your mosaic tile tray today.