DIY ideas: 20 ways to use old & leftover tiles

DIY ideas: 20 ways to use old & leftover tiles

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again... Tiles are versatile, and that’s one of the reasons we love them! They’re so versatile, in fact, that we’ve pulled together a list of all the things you can do with old and leftover tiles.

So, if you’ve got spare tiles from a recent project or need help covering up old tiles, read on for our 20 favourite DIY ideas using tiles.

1. Painting old tiles

Not a fan of the tiles in your bathroom? Fear not. Sprucing up old or outdated tiles is easier than you think with a lick of paint.

When it comes to painting tiles, be sure to use a paint that’s waterproof and self-undercoating for best results. You can choose any colour, but we’d recommend white, grey or black for a timeless look. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try your hand at geometric patterns using masking tape to guide you; gold and copper metallic paints are our favourites for this.

Before you get started, check for any tile or grout damage that needs repairing and remember to ensure your tiles are clean and dry.

Image credit: @tlee79 on Instagram

2. Tile coasters & placemats

For the crafty folk among us, laying a table to match your interior is the ultimate task. You can make good use of leftover tiles by creating your very own tile coasters and placemats.

We love the idea of using marble hex tiles as coasters; simply glue a patch of velvet to the underside of the tile to avoid scratching surfaces. When it comes to setting the table, Toni from The Lovely Drawer has a wonderful guide on how to use our hexagon porcelain mosaic as placemats. They look amazing!

Image credit: @thelovelydrawer on Instagram

3. Tile table top

Don’t lose hope with old pieces of furniture – upcycle them instead. This is often a cheaper option to buying new, and a lot of fun too. With just a small box of tiles and a bit of paint, you can take matters into your own hands and revive tired, old furniture.

We love patchwork tiles such as our Ted Baker GeoTile or Laura Ashley Mr Jones for creating a feature out of old dining room tables and bedside cabinets. For an outside project, use leftover tiles to upgrade a garden table top making it durable and weatherproof throughout the year. Sarah from The Extraordinary Chaos shows us how easy it is to do.

Image credit: @Extraordinary Chaos

4. Mosaic plant pots

When a terracotta pot just won’t do, it’s time to get creative with your plants and tiles.

Grab a hammer and (carefully) smash your chosen tiles into mosaic size pieces ready for sticking to your plant pot – any good tile adhesive will do the job. Go for a moroccan inspired design or keep it more abstract, the choice is yours. Finish with a grout to match and… voila! Your mosaic plant pot is ready to go.

Image credit: @hoochie_mama_ceramics on Instagram

5. Tile stickers

Love the look of patchwork tiles, but not sure how to achieve this look without replacing tiles? We’ve got two words for you: Tile stickers.

Available in range of different colours and patterns, you can quickly transform a room with adhesive-backed decals that are easy to apply and, in most cases, waterproof. Great news for kitchen and bathroom renovations!

Image credit: @spencer.monk on Instagram

6. Tiled plant stand

Another upcycling favourite of ours inspired by the wonderful Rachel from The Ordinary Lovely. She took a simple footstool and created a super stylish plant stand featuring our V&A Souk tiles. Complemented by a pastel green colour – you could go for something more dramatic such as black or midnight blue – this upcycled piece of furniture using tiles is the ultimate pedal stool for your plants and accessories.

Image credit: @The Ordinary Lovely 

7. Tiled vase

Before you ditch your current ceramic vase in favour of a new plant holder, stop and consider a little DIY revamping. Current trends of sumptuous surfaces and subtle textured patterns are making waves in the interior world and this tile hack is the perfect way to achieve this look.

Taking a sheet of our hexagon stone mosaic and roll it around your vase using strong glue to secure it. Finish with a bit of grout and intrigue your guests with this beautifully understated piece.

Image credit: @alwaysrooney on Instagram

8. Decorative tiled tray

Decorative pieces such as sideboard trays and serving boards are a popular finishing touch in the home. Get creative and make yours the ultimate centerpiece using leftover tiles – the eagle-eyed amongst your friends will notice it matches the rest of your interior too.

They’re simple to make and great for displaying crockery or serving treats to guests. We love Jen from Love Chic Living’s decorative marble tray using one of HD printed tiles. 

Image credit: @Love Chic Living

9. Mosaic tile magnets

Ever thought of matching your fridge magnets to your floor tiles or kitchen splashback? We have, and it’s so simple to do.

Take a sheet of round or hexagon mosaic tiles, cut them up into singular pieces and glue magnets to the back using super glue. The result? Stylish fridge magnets to pin all your bits and bobs securely to the fridge.

We’ve got white, black or marble you can choose from, and these mosaic tile magnets work great for notice boards in home offices too or keeping track of household chores for the little ones.

Image credit: @themerrythought on Instagram

10. Tiled wall hooks

We can’t get enough of our marble hexagon mosaics, so here’s another great DIY project you can get stuck in to.

Grab some small wooden blocks and strong adhesive glue, and stick them to the back of your mosaic tiles. Next, use a drill and some bolts to fix each of your hooks to the wall in any layout you like. You can even paint the wooden blocks metallic for stylish twist – we’re loving copper or brass at the moment!

Image credit: @overthebigmoon

11. Tiled bookcase

These days bookcases aren’t just for books. Many households use them to display decorative pieces or family mementos, so they need to be looking their best. Here’s how you can jazz up your bookcase using leftover tiles.

Inspired by our favourite TV Interior Designer, Julia Kendell, we’re all for creating colourful patterns on your bookcase using ceramic tiles. A surprising twist for anyone who lifts a book off the shelf.

12. Mosaic tiled bathroom mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall… how can I use my tiles once and for all?

With a stylish tiled mirror, of course!

We love this look with square mosaics in pastel shades of blue and purple. Laid out in a block pattern, this is a modern twist on the more abstract mosaic look. All you need is high quality tile adhesive, white grout and a bit of patience. Soon your reflection won’t be the only thing worth looking at.

Image credit: @Centsationalstyle

13. Homemade tile cheeseboard

You love cheese and we love tiles. Put them together and what do you get? The best cheeseboard around!

You can go really simple with this and just add some protection under your tile – felt or sticky pads will do the job. Or, go all out with a pair of handles to secure your journey from the kitchen to the table. Our favourite tiles for a DIY cheeseboard are our HD Marble Geneva or rectangle glass tiles.

Image credit:@thenest

14. Tiled window frame

If your home is lacking a few desired period features, you can use leftover tiles to fake them instead. Inspired by the beautifully tiled architecture of Portugal and Spain, it’s a unique way to add a touch of summer in Europe to your window.

Working with stone look mosaics, create a feature of your window frame using spare tiles and imagine you’re in the Algarve everytime you pass it.

Image credit: @wagneriana_ on Instagram

15. Tiled tree stumps

For this you’ll need some tree stumps as well as tiles, so if you’ve got both, you’re winning.

It’s the ultimate upcycling project, creating something useful out of nothing – we think they look great, too. Simply grab your stump, sand it down to ensure there’s no wobbles and get down to business tiling your design on the top. Keep it simple or try something more abstract, the choice is yours. 

 Image credit: @lauriearchambault on Instagram

16. Mosaic garden path

Up the garden path without a clue what to do? Leave boring paving slabs and gravel behind, and take influence from eye-catching Moroccan architecture with a mosaic garden path. Use one colour or opt for a choice of shades and sizes of tiles to create a design you love.

It’s probably the most tricky of all our DIY ideas, but the results will be worth it when you’re done.

Image credit: @evergladesearthfirst

17. Calligraphy tile wedding favours

If you’re a dab hand at calligraphy or know someone who is, then get creative with tile place names for special events and weddings.

Our favourite look is using mini metro tiles in white with metallic ink to write the names. If you’re not confident with ink then gold or silver marker pens make a great alternative for writing on tiles.

Image credit: @oakandbrush on Instagram

18. Make art with your tiles

For the ultimate creative with an abundance of leftover tiles, you might just want to scrap the rules and experiment with a truly unique piece of art. For centuries, mosaic tiles have been used to make colourful and intricate patterns on walls and floors, so why not have a go yourself?

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can turn things up a notch with mosaic portraits of your family, pets, celebrities or even yourself.

19. Making jewellery with tiles

For many, wearing jewellery is a reflection of your style and personality, so why not create something truly unique to you. Leftover tiles are the perfect material for creating funky, bold jewellery that really makes a statement.

We love taking smaller tile samples and glueing them to cut-out shapes of copper sheet metal or chunky pieces of wood for a look that’s ultra chic. This style gives you free rein to create tiled jewellery in the shapes and sizes you love.

Image credit: @themerrythought

20. Tile paint palette for mixing

Whether it’s a job or just a hobby, an artist needs an array of tools in their work. But who says you have to spend a fortune on all the equipment? We certainly don’t.

Using leftover tiles for your paint palette is not only resourceful, but super practical too. You can have a bunch of different ones for mixing separate paint colours and they’re incredibly easy to clean too. The best bit? If they are leftover tiles, then they won’t cost you a penny!

Image credit: @thebluebottletree

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