I was in desperate need of a dry place to set down my cell phone in my super tiny bathroom. I looked around for a solution that would fit - even a plant stand would do. But everything was too large or too flimsy. I decided I would have to build something myself (darn : ) and looked around to see what supplies I had. I found that if I put a top on a wooden CD crate, it would be the perfect size. And once I had a base, I could do anything I wanted. And I did.
Note: Mosaics hold up really well to moisture, so they are great for bathrooms and outdoors.
Step 1: The Base
This is the wooden CD crate. I could have used a 6" square piece of scrap lumber for the top, but I had this wooden box frame handy, so it got to be the top. Use whatever you have - it won't show in the end. I show how hey will fit together, but don't join any parts yet. There's a lot to do first.
Note: I wanted my table to be low, but you can stack 2 crates for a taller table. And then you get a shelf, too!
Step 2: Starting the Table Top Mosaic
For the mosaic you need pieces of broken glass, or tiles, or flat marbles - pretty much anything durable and waterproof that you can create a flat surface with. I had an old kiddie mosaic kit that I cannibalized for glass. (I spent almost nothing on this project. ) You'll also need grout and glue.
I sorted out the colors and shapes I wanted for my table and started to see how the edges and corners would fit.
Step 3: Glue
With plain white glue, glue the design into place. I did small sections at a time. If I had glass cutting tools I could have cut pieces to fit, but I had to work out the design like a puzzle. Cover the whole top. Cover the sides if you want. I only did parts of the sides. I was running out of glass, but I liked how it looked anyway.
Allow glue to dry fully.
Step 4: Mix Grout
Add a teaspoon at a time of water to about 1/2 cup of dry grout. Stir well. Adjust the grout and water until the mixture is like gritty toothpaste.
Step 5: Grout
Using a popsicle stick, carefully get the grout between all the bits of glass. It's going to look like a mess. Then take your leftover grout and cover the inside, bottom of the CD crate. This will weight down the base. Mix more grout as needed. Set the crate aside - it's going to take a day or two to dry.
Step 6: The Weighted Bottom
Step 7: Back to the Mosaic
Scrape off as much of the excess grout as possible without "digging down" into the cracks. I used the stick for this. When the grout starts to set (It will thicken and get paler.), use a damp rag to wipe off more of the grout. You can do this a couple of times until your let with just a thin chalkiness of grout on your tiles.
Note: Be careful wiping! Glass edges are sharp.
Then set aside until the grout is fully dry.
Step 8: Clean the Mosaic
Now you can use a rag and water to clean the glass off all the way.
Step 9: The Wood
There are a couple options for finishing the table at this point. If you like the wood look, you can sand, stain and varnish. I decided to paint. My wood just needed a light sanding and then I used craft acrylics for my design. You can paint a solid color or make a pattern.
Step 10: Painting
Check to see where your wood will be attaching and leave those spots bare. I put an X on the surface I'd be gluing so I wouldn't loose track.
Step 11: Glue
Glue the table upside down. Put a thin layer of wood glue wherever your top will touch the base. Clamp if necessary (I didn't need to). Leave overnight before handling.
Note: My table has good balance, but if yours is tippy, you can add more grout or some decorative stones to the bottom to add weight.
Step 12: Varnish or Seal
This is optional. The mosaic top can hold up to just about anything but a hammer. I did put a clear coat on mine.
Note: If you will be using the table in a damp environment or outdoors, you should put a sealer on the wood.
Step 13: Ready to Use!
My little table fits perfectly in the tiny spot I put it in. It also fits great in other parts of my house. I may have to make more : )