Mosaic Tile Window Box Planter
May 7, 2012
Hey there, hope you had a great weekend! We did some organizing and gardening and had a big birthday party for both the kids at the local park – it was a lot of fun and also relaxing too! I can feel summer coming with the warmer weather and everything in bloom, and we’re loving spending more time outdoors in the sunshine, aren’t you?
Last week I mentioned I came up with a few creative ideas for container gardening for a Home Depot workshop, the first was the wood shim planter, the second was this mosaic tile window planter box seen below. I’ve got a third project to share with you later this month, but before I do, here’s an example of how you can use mosaic tile to dress up an ordinary redwood planter.
Any small scale mosaic tile you find will do and there are so many available to choose from. This project can be done without the use of a tile cutting saw if you stick to the mesh grid square mosaics like the one seen above instead of an offset or brick pattern tile. I chose white because the planter was destined to be part of a raffle at the Home Depot presentation and because basic white would be at home in any backyard.
If you’ve never tiled anything before, this is a good place to start! It’s a small enough project for you to get your feet wet with a tiling, and you’ll be so excited you did it! To recreate your own mosaic tile planter, here are the basic supplies: wood planter box, thin set mortar, mosaic tile of choice, grout, stain or outdoor latex paint (optional), polyurethane (if staining), sponge brush, large sponge, grout float or spackle/putty knife, and painter’s tape.
Since I was working with white tile I wanted to make is stand out with a dark contrast so I stained the top and bottom wood trim which wouldn’t get covered in tile in ‘English Chestnut’ by Minwax, which removed the reddish tones and deepened the wood to a darker espresso stained finish.
Use a sponge brush to apply one (or two) coats to achieve the color you’re looking for. You could also paint the trim too, but be sure to prime first with a stain blocking primer.
To adhere the tile to the wood, you need a thin set mortar, I chose the one below since it came in a smaller box, but you can use any that will work with the tile you’ve chosen, be sure to read the label.
Apply the mortar to the sides of your window box, I used a wide putty knife to apply it.
Next, trim your mosaic tile to fit and set it in the mortar. Be sure to check your tile measurements first since tile varies in size to make sure your tile will fit the length and width of the planter box. It’s okay to have small gaps above or off to the side since you can fill that with grout later.
Here’s a view from the side, you can see there is a small gap above the mosaic tile and also along the sides, but that gets filled with grout later so no worries!
Allow the mortar to dry for 24 hours, then mix your grout as directed and use a grout float or other tool (I used a putty knife!) to fill with grout in between the tiles. Taping off your stained or painted trim helps, since grouting can get a little sloppy.
With a sponge, gently wipe away any excess grout from the surface of the tile, and allow to dry for another 24 hours. That’s it!
If you’ve stained your trim, you can give it a coat of polyurethane to protect it. After your efforts, you’ll have a beautifully tiled planter box!
With this same process, you can choose any tile in any color you like, or even choose paint instead of stain for the trim – here are two more ideas I created with Photoshop – one with green glass tile and the other with painted trim and blue glass tile. The possibilities are endless!
This project makes a great gift, but if you create one for yourself, it will certainly be a beautiful focal point and conversation piece in your yard!
The ‘Look What I Planted’ Link Party starts tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. PST, link up all your garden ideas, see you then!