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Using Corel Draw™ to Make Tile Murals

Written by:  Terry Morris, Terry Morris Productions, October 2002

One trick when making templates for tile murals is that you need a certain amount of image overlap on each tile, this is the only way you can guarantee edge to edge coverage.

In this sample I will make a 9 tile mural using 2" tiles, these methods can be used for any size tile. One of the reasons I am using 2" tiles for this tutorial is that they are cheap to practice with and because of their size any flaws will show up more pronounced. If you can make a mural look good with 2" tiles you can easily do it with larger tiles.

Since most 2" tiles are actually 1.90" a 2-inch print is perfect and provides just enough overlap to achieve edge-to-edge coverage.


  • 1. Turn on snap to grid with a grid division of 16 units per inch (I.E. 1/16" inch grid).
  • 2. Draw out a 2" box.
  • 3. Duplicate the box until you have 9 total
  • 4. place them next to each other as in to make a 6" X 6" box except that you will overlap each box by 1 grid snap (1/16"). This should give you an image like figure #1 below.

Figure #1

  • 5. Now select all of the boxes and select "Combine" under the arrange menu. This assures that Corel sees the boxes as one shape.
  • 6. Import your image to be tiled and size it to at least 6" X 6". If it is not perfectly square some of the image will be cropped. The smallest side must be at least 6".
  • 7. With the image selected, select "Powerclip ­ Place inside container" from the effects menu, then select the grid of boxes to place the image inside. Your image should now be inside the grid with a grid of lines crossing over it as in figure #2.

Figure #2

  • 8. Select the grid of boxes and select "Break Apart" from the arrange menu. You now have 9 separate boxes with images inside.
  • 9. Arrange each of the 9 boxes on the page so that you have a some working space in between each one, I like to move them at least 1/2" apart as shown in figure #3. Note that for larger tiles you can select each box and copy & paste it to it's own page for printing.

Figure #3

  • 10. Print this page, place face up on press, center a tile in each box face down (figure #4), cover with Teflon or paper and with a rubber mat (tile mat) and press, being careful not to move any of the tiles during the process. When done carefully remove the pad, I then let the tiles cool for just a minute before removing them, this helps prevent blurring.

Figure #4

Finished product

The trick to this method is when you overlap the boxes in the manner above, each box will contain that little strip of info between them, this gives you an overlap of 1/16" for each box.

If you wish to do this for larger tiles simply determine how big of a box will give you an overlap of 1/16" and use that size boxes. If you use 6" or larger tiles you may find it better to use an 1/8" overlap instead.

If you want larger numbers of tiles simply make more boxes. You are not limited to square murals either, the above will work just as good for a 5 tile high by 20 tile long mural.

For larger tiles or murals you may find you need to copy each square and paste it in it's own blank page for printing.

This tutorial is is brought to you by:

Terry Morris Productions


Copyright © 2002 Terry Morris Productions. All rights reserved. This article may not be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the author.

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