Introduction: How to Make a Unique Tile Picture for Less Than $3!

Picture of How to Make a Unique Tile Picture for Less Than $3!

Want to make a unique piece of art to decorate your empty walls? Or to make the perfect gift for the grandparents or in-laws?

Here is a simple way to make this modern and minimalistic design using just tiles, tissue paper and a laser printer.

It is time to amaze your friends...

Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

You will need:

1. Nice photo
2. Computer
3. Nine pieces of 10x10cm tiles
4. Five sheets of printer paper
5. Five strips of 10x20cm tissue paper
6. Double sided adhesive
7. Printer
8. Exacto knife
9. Decoupage glue
10. Paintbrush

Step 2: Picking and Editing You Photo

Picture of Picking and Editing You Photo

First you have to pick a nice photo. Make sure you pick a photo in which you will not cut away vital parts (such as eyes) later on.
Chose which part of the photo you want to use and cut out a square. Put the square in a new document.

On this new document you can:

Change image size to 30cmx30cm.
Desaturate the image.
Change brightness and contrast until you get the desired result.
You might want use the paintbrush to get rid of unwanted details in the background.
You might want to reverse the picture, otherwise you will end up (like me) with a mirror image of your original photo.

Step 3: Dividing Your Picture Into Smaller Elements

Picture of Dividing Your Picture Into Smaller Elements

In order to print your paper you will have to take a few extra steps.

Make lines on your edited photo at 10 and 20 cm. This is just to make the next step easier, if you find it hard you can skip this.

Cut out the squares between the lines. Cut 0,5 cm away from the lines! Otherwise you will end up with a distorted face in the end. If you did not make the lines just check the ruler and make the cutting free hand. Each square will measure 9cm in each direction.

Paste the squares into 5 new documents, 2 in each except for the last one which will have just one square.

If needed, rotate the new documents to make them printable.

Step 4: Printing Your Photo on Tissue Paper

Picture of Printing Your Photo on Tissue Paper

Obiously it is hard to put tissue paper into an ordinary laser printer. This is a nice trick to make it work.

Take your strips of 10 x 20cm tissue paper. Put double sided adhesive on upper and lower side.
Attach to middle of printer paper.

Do NOT use common tape as it will melt in your laser printer and make it useless (take my word for granted, I have tried)

Print the 5 documents on the 5 pieces of tissue paper

Step 5: Cutting the Parts

Picture of Cutting the Parts

No need for longer explanation. Cut all nine squares. Try not to cut your fingers as well.

Step 6: Time to Use the Glue!

Picture of Time to Use the Glue!

Put decoupage glue on tiles. Adhere tissue paper.

If you want a softer look, adhere pieces with printed side facing tile. (That is the reason you might want to reverse it earlier). For a more detailed look, adhere printed side out.

When dry, add at least two more layers of decoupage glue on top of tissue paper.

Step 7: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Now you might want to put tiles into a frame or just stick to a piece of board and put on your wall.

Good luck!


AndrewL5 (author)2015-12-02

I have been meaning to do this as a gift for my mother for years. I have tried rasterbating other images, but nothing permanent like this. I really like your application method, and wonder how well the images would work if I tried just heat transferring the printer-toner directly onto the tile from glossy printer paper. It looks as though I have some experimentation to do.

ManifoldSky (author)AndrewL52016-05-17

Use iron-on transfer paper. It is designed to make T-shirt iron ons from standard ink jet printers.

TracyW52 (author)AndrewL52016-04-27

any luck?

AndrewL5 (author)TracyW522016-04-28

It turned out patchy. It was better with regular copy paper. I tried with some cardstock too, because I figured that my little printer wouldn't bond the image to the paper as well. I was right about that, but I couldn't transfer the toner off it particularly well either. I haven't even thought about this for a while, but now my mind's racing again... I might try putting some clear-coat on the tile first so that the toner has something to bond to. Then just hope that the paper releases.

briarmoon7 (author)2016-05-16

Will it work the same way with color?

alvinchino (author)2016-05-15

Great that was awesome

JerryM4 (author)2016-05-15

great, great job you should start a small Business, Have customer send you the photos you send them back the tissue paper with the photos on them. Keep up the great work.


sheplady77 (author)2016-05-15

Nice job!

SergeE (author)2016-05-15

Could this be used to 'transfer' the image unto wood or any other material ?

Datwinksta (author)2016-05-15

Thanks for reminding me of this. I made some of these with color photos for my friends wedding gifts. I have some photos I wanted to do something with for another friends anniversary, and you reminded me of this great idea. Thank you! Your tiles look great.

Evelyn348 (author)2015-12-06

great, specific directions. Can't wait to try it.

Thejesterqueen (author)2015-11-14

I love the finished product! I have some pics of my grand babies that would look great as well. Thank you for this!

PaulineG9 (author)2015-10-27

Thanks Yngla. what kind of tile is appropriate? I'm worried about the glue not sticking properly to glazed tiles.

cdninoh (author)2015-09-27

my trick is to use a thin, double sided on the top only. I then cut the sticky part of a posted note off and attach it (sticky side up) to the double sided tape. Obviously you'll need several of them to cover all the tape. Now you have a sticky strip the will release the tissue paper easily.

hovawart (author)2015-09-09

Which kind of tape melted? I want to know!

yngla (author)hovawart2015-09-10

Scotch tape or similar.

hovawart (author)yngla2015-09-10

OK, I'll try first aid paper tape.

diannem46 (author)2010-08-27

The Tissue paper I found was slightly shiny on one side so was able to iron the shiny side (just around the very edges)to the computer stayed there long enough to print....also tried ironing it(tissue)to freezer well to BUT don't use too hot iron wont be able to get it off......The picture I saved off the internet...D

hovawart (author)diannem462015-09-09

Thank you! I realized I had fused the tissue paper to the deli paper completely. I'll try your suggestion.

hovawart (author)hovawart2015-09-10

Still having trouble because the tissue is fusing to the butcher paper. Will try a low heat setting.

diannem46 (author)diannem462010-08-29

Printer.....inkjet...Canon ip1000

diannem46 (author)diannem462010-08-28

Linda Matthews Demonstrates: Printing on Tissue Paper..... ALSO Print on Tissue Paper

diannem46 (author)diannem462010-08-28

I used Spray Adhesive to attach the pics to the tiles....did a coat of spray Clear acrylic paint before sticking the pictures to the tiles and 4 coats before I glued them to the board..(used Sellys Aquadhere to glue the tiles to the board...Must say Thankyou to Yngla for the instructions...I can feel another larger one happening soon...:-)

jmihal (author)2015-02-15

Great job. Looks wonderful.

ganglionater (author)2015-02-09

This looks truly fantastic. I can now add a "sweet factor" to Valentine's Day without using chocolates! Great job!!

jac1789. (author)2015-02-09

Amazing! Thanks for sharing....

BETJON (author)2015-02-07

Can these tiles be used on bathroom walls? Thanks

amorgan23 (author)2015-02-06

This is so cool I'm gonna do this for my girl friend and I'm thinking about tiling one wall in my room with one big picture

fronters (author)2015-01-24

Cool! Its great idea. But I dont use PS. But fortunately there are other programs, such as a poster printer that automatically divides the image into equal parts

thepachecos212 (author)2014-12-07

Where did you get the tiles? This looks amazing!!

mununa (author)2014-12-02

this is so cool! love this!

extr3m3_88 (author)2014-03-05

Awesome instructables :) I just made one :) it took me about 3 hours to complete..

I still need to do finish coating.

masalust (author)2014-02-18

I tested this project using a few ideas from Yngla's steps here and from a person who suggested the lazier print idea. It was a fun project but noticed that if you do not use enough glue the ink rubs off while you are rubbing the paper off. I had to do this project twice to get the right out come I was looking for. BTW I used the self stick tile and it worked great! Thanks for the project Yngla! I wouldn't have ever thought of something so cool.

packerfan12 (author)2009-12-20

 how did you get the tape off without ripping the tissue paper? every time i've tried it ripped

icastro2 (author)packerfan122014-01-30

I've got the same problem over here

BonifaceJ (author)packerfan122010-04-23

Just make your tissue paper bigger, center your print so it's not in the taped area, then cut off the part with tape.  I had a hard time with this too.

spider87 (author)2013-08-05

It's so simple I might make this as a gift for someone! Thanks!

Pavlo6666 (author)2013-02-19

Thanks for sharing. It looks real nice. Professional.

khunter-hardy (author)2013-02-15

Can you do this to a mirror? I can't find how to make a decal for a mirror anywhere! I can hardly even kind mirror decals or mirror stickers anywhere except for mirrors that already come with them. HELP PLEASE! Thanks

imcournal (author)2013-01-21

Do you have a video tutorial of this by any chance?
I'm finding it very difficult to do step 3.

also, what program are you using? I'm using GIMP

yngla (author)imcournal2013-01-21

I was actually lucky enough to have access to Photoshop at the time... Unfortunately I suck at GIMP :(
And no video tutorial, sorry!

3tuxedo (author)2012-11-15

Hey guys, i'm attempting this project, where did you guys get the tiles? I can't find them at Lowes.

annie38 (author)3tuxedo2013-01-18

home depot

loribeck (author)2012-12-09

That is awesome! Do you teach art or are you just creative and crafty?
Nice job, thanks for sharing.

malibini (author)2012-11-17

OMG thats so cool! im definitelly doing this for my new room. Did you use Photoshop for the editing? I might have my dad (who's a computer whiz) do this part for me, if it's on Photoshop.
Thanks so much for this instructible!

joesally (author)2012-03-20

The website that Faxcion put in her comments says forbidden. Is there another addy?

avidreader11 (author)2012-03-17

I think you should consider the space between tiles and cut out the spaces out on the tiles. Otherwise things would look distorted, since your eyes "fill in" the empty spaces.

olywer (author)2011-06-19

im having trouble printing the right size. i scaled it 30x30cm in a normal page but when i drag it to an A4 page it shrunk to 10x10cm. also, did u print it as a JPEG or a PSD file & did u print it through microsoft word? thanks..

db'alexander (author)olywer2012-02-21

Follow the link that Facion posted: it will solve all your printing issues as it does all the tiling for you and makes it any size you want it to.

skarsteen1 (author)2012-02-11

This is so cool! would anyone know if it's possible to decorate tiles that are already attached to the wall? it would be such a cool way to decorate my small bathroom!

About This Instructable




More by yngla:How to make reverse applique using Swedish tracing paperLast minute chocolate almondsNo cut - no measuring origami style 10 x 15cm envelope from an A4 paper
Add instructable to: