Back in 2011, I read a fascinating post on the Planner, Perimeter, Predictor, Paul McCobb blog about the Distinguished Designer series of tiles by Pomona Tile Manufacturing Company, which included tiles by designers George Nelson, Paul McCobb, Saul Bass, Paul Laszlo, Millard Sheets, Dorothy Liebes and Dong Kingman. These tiles were sold from 1957 through 1963.
I immediately hurried to eBay to see if I could find any for myself and was able to score these two Starspray tiles by Paul McCobb, which then sat in a drawer in my kitchen for two years, waiting for me to do something with them.
|Pomona Starspray tiles by Paul McCobb|
When my new apartment was finished, I had two small sections of 1" mosaic tile left over from my bathroom, and I hated to throw them away, so I stuck them in a closet, where they've sat for the past two months.
|Leftover mosaic tile from my apartment construction|
The other day, I decided it was time to put these odds and ends of tile to good use, so I turned them into trivets and refrigerator magnets. Sure, I know...not very exciting. But very much like paper towels, they're something most of us use, even though we generally hide them when we're taking photos of our homes.
I had some self-adhesive round felt pads already. All I needed to buy were some 1/2" neodymium rare earth magnets and some E6000 industrial strength adhesive.
|Waxman heavy duty felt pads|
|Rare earth super magnets|
After a few dabs of glue and a few hours' drying time*, I had a great pair of mid-century trivets and a set of simple kitchen magnets that look right at home in a modern kitchen.
I may eventually have wood frames made for them, but they work nicely for now.
It was such a simple project that it needs no instructions, but I will warn you that there's a reason the rare earth magnets are called "super magnets." I bought the ones that are 1/2" in diameter and 1/16" thick, and even the ones that small are hard to get apart. The best method is to slide them apart, not pull. And keep a fair amount of distance between them on your table, because they will attract each other and jump all over your work surface if you let them. Their extra-strong magnetism is the reason you will want to use industrial strength adhesive too. Otherwise, when you try to pull them off your refrigerator, the decorative tile will pop right off, leaving a bare magnet on the door.
This was one of those "five minutes, tops" projects that I like so much, because I'm a sucker for instant gratification. Maybe it will give you some ideas for projects using leftover tile from your last remodel.
*After drying for less than 2 hours, the tile stayed on the magnet when I pulled it off metal. However, the product instructions recommend 24-72 hours' drying time for maximum adhesion.