You'd want to start off with a good table. I found this at Ikea. It's got a special coating that resists liquid, which is ideal for my project, as there will be a lot of glue and expoxy involved. Using a regular table may warp with the moisture.
Then, I started figuring out how to lay out the tiles. First, I needed to find what tiles I will be using, so that I can plan accordingly with the size/dimensions, and see how many "Pixels" I will have to work with on the table. I found this site
And it seemed as though the color selection and size would work very well for the project.
So now I knew what I had to work with, but had no idea how much of each color to get, or which colors to order,
I then started coming up with the design. I found the actual sprites (that's what they call them) on a site
called The shyguy kingdom. They have a huge selection of sprites on there. It's wonderful.
But what do I do with that info? Well, I found a program called Bead it for the ipad.
That helped quite a bit and gave me the layout for the characters. It also told me exactly how many of each
color I would need to create the characters. I also used this site to help with the background layout
So now I knew where each individual pixel goes. I decided to put it all in photoshop and create the layout, so that
I would know exactly how it will look, how many tiles to order, and to serve as a guide to where to layout each tile.
When I made it in photoshop, I was sure to make it to scale. I knew EXACTLY how many tiles would fit on the table.
(over 9,000 tiles for our table!!)
I factored in a little gap between each tile. I knew this would be necessary, as I would be pouring a two part
clearcoat epoxy over it and by placing the tiles right up against each other would cause problems.
I then ordered the tiles and once they arrived my wife and I started laying out the tiles (thank you so much
for the help honey!!!)
We used a ruler to guide the tiles. Without it, the table would have been a mess. We used elmer's glue
to secure the tiles. Notice that we marked off on the paper each row that was completed, to keep track of
where we were. This part, by far, takes the longest. As you can imagine. This took us about two weeks or
so, only working on it when we felt like it, and normally for about 3 to 4 hours per sitting.
Once that was complete, we put clear packing tape around the edges of the table. Be very careful
to get a good seal all the way around the table. The last thing you want is for the epoxy to drip down off the table.
I used cardboard to provide extra support to the tape, but I don't think it was really necessary. (better
safe than sorry, though!)
Then you start in with the two part clearcoat epoxy. This stuff is wonderful. I can't say enough good
things about it. It's what bar owners use if they want to embed bottle caps and stuff on their bars, but
still want a good smooth flat glass-like surface on the bar. I used a gallon and a half on this project.
It was more than I thought I would end up needing. (My first order was for just a gallon, and it was not
enough). Make sure to MIX IT WELL. and soak it in hot water before mixing for about 30 minutes. We
also cranked up the heat in the house to help the viscosity of the product. The hotter it is, the easier it is
to work with, and the less bubbles you get. But there is a reduction in the reaction time by heating it.
We were worried that it would smell terrible, but it really wasn't bad, so we were able to do it in the home.
Let it dry over night. Make sure nothing disturbs it whatsoever. Keep dust, pet hair, everything away from it while it's drying. Once dried, it will be like a glass finish. It's wonderful.
Once dried, FULLY dried, then you can sand the edges.
The end result is a VERY strong covering, with a glass finish. I expect this to last pretty much forever.
And you now have happy kids.