Monday, May 10, 2010

Distressed Glass Tile Charms

Since so many people have been asking for more charms I thought I'd share something that I have been making for a while now....

Distressed Glass Tile Charms!

Now I'm sure you've seen the oh so popular clear glass charms that come in an array of images...everything from abstract geometric shapes to animals, zodiac signs, movie stars to vintage images. Usually they run anywhere from $ 5.00 - 25.00 a piece!
WELL, you know me...gotta buck the traditional and try something new so instead of plain old glass tiles I went in search of something different to use and found these...

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 001

They are glass tiles intended for bathroom or kitchens ~ approx. 1" tiles on a plastic mesh backing for easy installation and no mistake grout work. The entire sheet runs anywhere from $6.00 - 10.00 each. That's approx 144 tiles for 10.00!!! As soon as I saw them I KNEW they would be perfect for "Distressed" Glass Tile Charms!

You might be asking yourself....Distressed?!?!?!

Just hold'll see what I mean in a bit ;)

Distressed Glass Tile Charms

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 002


Glass Tiles

Rotary Tool (like a dremel)

Diamond Bits (like we used to drill the Sea Glass)


Vintage Image - (Vintage Image Craft)

Glossy Accents or something similar


Jewelry Glue


1. Peel the individual tiles off of the plastic backing sheet.

2. Place the glass tile face down on a washcloth or other soft cloth.

3. The back of the tile which is facing up will more than likely have some of the plastic mesh residue on it as well as the color layer. We will be removing both of these with the rotary tool. Mist the tile with water and while holding the tile with one hand begin running the diamond bit across the back of the tile.

Now, don't worry...this is perfectly safe you may throw the water but it won't shatter the glass or anything.

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 003

Soon you will see the water turn milky - this is the plastic residue coming off. You should also start to see the color layer....

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 004

Continue running the diamond bit across the glass but don't get too close to the edges. I try to stay at least 1/8" away from the edge (you'll see why in a bit).

Keep misting the tile with should begin to see the color coming off (changing the color of your water) and be able to see through the tile as shown...

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 005

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 008

We're almost through...continue to mist the tile with water and run the diamond tip over the back of the tile. Since we're getting close you may want to wipe off the tile every so often to see where you need to still remove the color.

You'll know you are finished with this step when your glass tile looks something like this....

Distressed Glass Tile Charms 009

NOW this is why we left the edges in tact....there is a color "Distressed" frame around the entire edge of the glass tile!!!

AWESOME isn't it???

All in all it takes about 3-5 minutes to get to this point depending on how thick the color and mesh layers are which varies from mfg. to mfg.

Now of course if you don't like the distressed look (ack!) then you could remove the color entirely.

Wednesday I'll share how to finish off your charm to make it look even better than those expensive charms so be sure to check back then!

And don't forget....

Tomorrow we'll tackle Challenge #8 in our BFF albums!


  1. Roni you have no idea how excited you have made me! I have about a thousand of those glass tiles with the colored backing in a variety of sizes that I bought years ago when I taught glass mosaic work. I have been thinking the smaller ones could be somehow incorporated with my polymer clay jewelry, but just hadn't figured out how. This gives me some wonderful ideas. Thank you so much!

  2. This looks amazing. I don't have any of those tiles - but will sure invest in some once I see the rest of this project

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  4. I can't wait to see more & I just have to get me a dremel!

  5. this is a great idea! I'm tempted to run right out and buy some glass tiles, but I guess I should see about the diamond bit first, though... any chance it would work with the small sanding thingamajigs that come with the dremel?? (probably not, hmm??)

  6. I have a bunch of these 1" tiles I bought on ebay for a dollar or two for my mixed media paintings, they sell small sheets listed as samples, but I love this idea. Thanks so much.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!