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copyright Above the Mark (c) 2012



Art Marble Tiles


Printable Version



What you need:

  • Tumbled marbled tiles, unfinished ( I got mine at Home Depot, a set of 9 for $5.98


  • Golden matte medium

  • Golden matte gel medium 

  • inexpensive 1" brush

  • Wooden brayer

  • Teflon pressing sheet

  • acrylic paint (optional)


  • dampened cheese cloth or rag

  • Color or blank and white photocopies NOT inkjet. Don't make the image too dark or any paper not rubbed off will show.  REVERSE THE IMAGE

  • 1/8" Cork sheet or Fun Foam ( I found self-adhesive foam at Walmart.)


Step 1

Wipe off the tile with a dry towel. Because the tiles are unfinished they are covered with dust.  Paint the top and sides each tile with light coating of matte medium.  I have slightly tinted the medium with a light brown color.  I emphasized the crack and surface imperfections by working the colored matte medium into the cracks.  Wipe the tile with the dampened cheese cloth or rag to remove brush strokes.  Allow the matte medium to dry , approximately 20 to 30 minutes.


Step 2

Spread the matte GEL medium to the image to be transferred. The gel medium is the consistency of cold cream.  If you leave a paper border around the image, you can hold on to the paper while you are spreading the gel medium.  It is thick. AVOID getting gel medium on the back of the paper image.

NOTE:  I forgot to reverse the picture.  I noticed after I spread on the matte gel.  I fixed it before transferring to the tile.



Step 3

Place the tile face down on the image.  It is easer to center the tile if you look down on the picture.  


Step 4

Immediately flip the tile over and flatten the image with a wooden brayer, pressing firmly from the center outward to the edge.

 Let the coaster lie flat to dry for 4 hours or place in the oven for 15 min at 150 degrees, allowing to cool for 15 minutes.

Update: Or use your home iron to press the image onto the tile (covered by a teflon transfer sheet) for 30 seconds.  Then put the tiles in the oven. 

Step 5

Spray the back of the transfer with water  or dampen with a sponge to wet the paper.  Let set for a few minutes until the paper becomes translucent. As the paper comes off, you'll see the mage on the tile.  Let the tile dry and you'll see a white haze of paper fibers not yet removed.  Dampen and gently rub again.  Be more careful at this stage, as it is easier to tear the transfer as the paper is removed.



Update:  If you get a bubble while rubbing off the paper, you can re-iron the tile to stick it down.  Just be sure and cover the tile with your teflon transfer sheet.

Step 6

You can add stamped images and words or hand color the tiles with inks, chalk or matte medium tinted with paint.  Be careful if you use a water soluble inks.

Seal with a coat of matte medium. (Not gel) Let dry for 30 minutes. Add a second coat.

Step 8

Turn your coaster upside down.  Apply cork or fun foam to back of tile.





I took one of my pieces of artwork and 4 different images from different sections.  I love that they all go together but are different.  The tiles are much more muted than the original piece.  I assume this is due to it being a transfer of a photocopy onto a tan marbles tile.  The original artwork was painted on to a white canvas board.




I bought this set of tiles at an expensive boutique for $50.00 last fall.  I just knew I had to find out how to make more.  I can't wait to make these for  presents.  You could use artwork or old family photos.

This is what happens if you don't put enough gel medium on the color copy in step #2.  The image will rub off with the paper.
This set of tiles are a present for my brother and sister in law. 

These are the best of the several sets of tiles I have made.  They all have a medium value, brownish background.  This goes very well with the tile color.  

This set of tiles are a present for my mom and stepfather.  I used black and white laser color copies for the image.  They looked horrible with no color in the background when the paper was first rubbed off.  The polymer from the gel medium looked like plastic sitting on the tile.  I had to put several coats of glazed matte medium on top before I liked the effect.  First I put a pink glaze to match the color of the tile. Second I used a tan glaze to tone down the pink.
This set of tiles my husband made as a present for his parents.  I scanned a photo of petroglyphs from a magazine.  I lightened the picture and resized it fit a  4" by 4" tile.  The background of the picture suited the color of the tiles.  I have uploaded a copy of the petroglyphs in the collage gallery for you to use.

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