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for me, that is. You know those plastic placemats from the dollar store? the ones with little holes in them? (I'm sure some of you know how to do this, and I feel a little foolish being so excited, but what the heck). Years ago I spent a small fortune on a brick kit...it used a red powdered mix and a peel and stick grid. You put the grid on the wall, pulled off the backing, then applied the wetted mix. after it dried, you removed the grill.It worked pretty good, looked like brick, but was very pricey, and very, very messy. I wouldn't use it again, but I've been eyeballing these place mat thingies for awhile now, so just now, because I've got the dining-room table cleared off, and there's all that empty space waiting to be used..anyway, I put the place mat on a piece of cardboard, applied some drywall compound, let it dry, then slowly lifted the place mat away. Now I have a whole bunch of little round bumps on the carboard, evenly spaced, nice little rows. It reminds me of an old "pebble" house that used to be near here. The bumps are not quite right, but it's promising :hug: One nice thing about this is you could cut the place mat to fit the wall, and have all the rows lined up. On the other hand, a small piece put on a plate could easily end up looking like macaroon cookies!!

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Well, since my pc was cleaned, it's been messed up so badly I have to find another route to access my pics. Rats :D . That's the last time I send it out to that guy!!! Meantime, I've had the thought of cutting bigger holes in the placemat. It's easy to cut. gonna try that right now. Wouldn't it be great if we could figure some way to use the mats for shingles? :hug:

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I'm back. I cut out some large holes and some smaller ones. I'm waiting for them to dry, and then I'll lift off the place mat. I'm now using kitchen rubber spatulas to apply the compound. I like the handle, and the rubber/platic part has just the right flexibility. I'm quite sure now that this will work, and the great part is that you could cut "brick" patterns in the place mat wash it after use, and then reuse it to get a repeating pattern.Yipeee :hug:

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wowsers Patricia your forging ahead...got the kitchen utensils involved too...love it!!! what use are they in the kitchen...much more useful for mini'ing :hug: cant wait to see :D

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Just took off the place mat..I didn't get rectangular bricks, but I did get some really interesting X's. Have to sleep now, when I wake up, I'll probably have a better idea how to get where I want to be. That always happens with me..I take a problem to bed, forget about it, sleep, and voila! Usually there's an idea I hadn't thought of before. Hummmm :hug:

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I think I've got it. The reason I got X's, I didn't trim the inside of my cuts well enough.I've trimmed off the excess, and applied more compound. Now I'm going to bed. It takes longer for it to dry when the holes are bigger (duh). :hug:

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Making another try...I'm certain this will work, once I get the kinks worked out. I've cut a new piece of the mat, and cut out a brick pattern...about 5 rows. The cutting is picky..it's little snips..snip, snip, snip...so cutting a larger piece would take a fair length of time, but once it's done, then I'll have a reusable tool. Sure wouldn't take long to brick a house this way. The bricks are (I think) a bit larger than scale, but since I'm for effect rather than realism, that doesn't bother me. If I'm correct in my thinking, this mat could also go around corners!! I'm just waiting for the compound to dry, then comes the exciting part..lifting the mat up, and finding bricks underneath...yipeee!! :giggle: It just occurred to me..even if the bricks were too big for some folks, this technique could easily be used for a garden wall. Cover it with roses, and I'm sure the size of the bricks wouldn't be noticable.

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Oh, for sure! This is what I like doing best of all!! Just had another go at it...I decided last night to let the compound dry really well...big mistake. It was difficult to pull up the mat, and some of the mat tore in the process. Since I want a reusable tool, I'll have to be more careful with the timing. This time I'm going to use some scrap wood. I've been using carboard up to now, and that affects the drying process. Becides, when I do get this all worked out, I'll be using it on wood. Another thing about letting it get too dry..some of the bricks broke. But I've gotta say, the ones that remained intact look good to me :giggle: Sure wish I could post pics to share the fun with you.

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Maybe flip the placemat over?

I used a sink drain mat with square holes in it to make 1/2" tiles from paper clay (never thought of drywall mud ... thanks for the tip :giggle: ). Looking closely at the mat, one side is smooth and one textured, and the edge of each square is beveled. I used the mat smooth side wider-square opening on top. Once dry, the tiles just popped out from the bottom of the tile upwards. Because of the bevel, the tiles can be put down wider-edge to wider-edge, no spacing needed as the narrower top of the tiles provided a fairly even space for grout.

\____/ - this is the shape I smooshed paper clay into; the tiles popped out like ice cubes from a tray

____

/_____\ - this is the way I laid the tiles

I've thought about scoring these square tiles lengthwise in half while they're wet, to make bricks. This works better for me than cutting brick shapes out of plastic canvas.

Think there's a pic of the tiles in my gallery.

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I have not thought of cutting brick shapes out of plastic canvas. Due to my indulgence in all things crafty, I have plastic canvas sheets at the house. I just need to figure out the scale and get to cutting out bricks. Now if I could learn to paint and shade better!

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Thanks, everyone for your comments, techniques, hints, etc. It's wonderful to me how ideas can bounce from one person to another, with extra ideas popping up along the way. I have to thank LP Cullen for sharing her technique re using compound and a tile cutout to create siding. That made me get moving on this idea of the mats...it's been in my head for some time, but I've never really tried it out. Thanks, Linda !!! My goal is to find a cheap, physically easy way to get the effect I want, be it for buildings or furniture. Like others on the board, arthritis makes projects difficult, but I'm sure there are some things that can be done to accomodate physical limitations, provided I'm willing to sacrifice a bit, and lower my standards. This hobby is just too beneficial to give up, and it's so much fun when there are like-minded souls to share it with. :popcorn: Now on to the next trial, this time on the wood !!!!

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I have not thought of cutting brick shapes out of plastic canvas. Due to my indulgence in all things crafty, I have plastic canvas sheets at the house. I just need to figure out the scale and get to cutting out bricks. Now if I could learn to paint and shade better!
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Heaven help me, now I'm posting wrong!!! About the plastic canvas...I have some, but it's much stiffer than the plastic plate mats, and I'm thinking it might be difficult to pull it off the compound when it's partly set. The place mats kind of pull off in a rolling motion.

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I just went to go see...WOW!!! those tiles are awesome. Where did you get the sink mat again??? Could you imagine what those tiles would look like using cold porcelain???

Maybe flip the placemat over?

I used a sink drain mat with square holes in it to make 1/2" tiles from paper clay (never thought of drywall mud ... thanks for the tip :popcorn: ). Looking closely at the mat, one side is smooth and one textured, and the edge of each square is beveled. I used the mat smooth side wider-square opening on top. Once dry, the tiles just popped out from the bottom of the tile upwards. Because of the bevel, the tiles can be put down wider-edge to wider-edge, no spacing needed as the narrower top of the tiles provided a fairly even space for grout.

\____/ - this is the shape I smooshed paper clay into; the tiles popped out like ice cubes from a tray

____

/_____\ - this is the way I laid the tiles

I've thought about scoring these square tiles lengthwise in half while they're wet, to make bricks. This works better for me than cutting brick shapes out of plastic canvas.

Think there's a pic of the tiles in my gallery.

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We had a discussion going a while back about making reusable templates for brickwork (one of our members is a US dealer for the Bromley reusable stencils) and cutting the plastic canvas was one of the suggestions. Are those the same plastic mats that Grazhe used to make her doormats?

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