How to make frames for ceramic tiles

Written by fred samsa
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How to make frames for ceramic tiles
You can easily build a simple frame for your decorative ceramic tiles. (frame #7 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com)

Ceramic tiles make excellent flooring and countertop options, but handmade ceramic tiles can also make wonderful decorations or works of art, suitable for framing. A hand-painted or glazed ceramic tile is essentially a painting on ceramic, and it deserves to be displayed as such. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of money to frame your ceramic tile artworks. With the right materials and preparation -- and a little care -- you can easily frame your ceramic tiles at home.

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Things you need

  • Thin plywood or luan
  • Safety glasses
  • Mitre saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Hanging wire
  • Wood screws
  • Thin quarter-round
  • Drill with Phillips head bit
  • Matt knife
  • Cardboard shims
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Wire nails

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of thin plywood or luan to make the backing of the frame. Wear safety glasses while operating the mitre saw. Add half the width of the quarter-round to the dimensions of the ceramic tile to determine the dimensions for the plywood backing.

  2. 2

    Cut a length of hanging wire to span the width of the frame. Screw two shallow wood screws into the back of the plywood backing, but do not screw them in all the way. Each screw should be a third of the distance from the top of the frame, and an inch from the side edge of the frame. Twist the hanging wire around each screw several times, and tighten the screw to secure the wire. The hanging wire should not be taut, but it should not be so loose that it appears above the top of the frame when tensioned.

  3. 3

    Cut four strips of quarter-round to fit the front edges of the frame. Cut each piece of quarter-round at a 45-degree angle so that the pieces will fit snugly together at the corners. Cut the quarter-round so that the curved edge will curve toward the face of the tile when installed.

  4. 4

    Cut four strips of thin cardboard shim to outline the edge of the plywood backing. The cardboard shims should be the same thickness as the tile and half the width of the quarter-round. Glue the cardboard shims in place along the perimeter of the plywood backing. Test-fit the tile into the frame: the tile should fit snugly inside the cardboard shims.

  5. 5

    Nail three of the quarter-round pieces in place along the perimeter of the tile. Take care to nail the quarter-round along the outside edge, into the cardboard shim. Slide the tile into place between the cardboard shims and under the overhanging lips of the three installed pieces of quarter-round. Carefully nail the final piece of quarter-round into place.

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