How to Mosaic
Mosaic art is one of the most beautiful and varied art forms. You would be amazed at what you can use to create stunning mosaic projects. You can make mosaic craft from broken china, plastic bits, photos and even paper scraps. Pieces and patterns can be haphazard or cut and laid out precisely. Learning how to mosaic is the perfect way to get rid of extra tiles that have been lying around your house for years. You can even make a mosaic craft on the computer, though that is an entirely different project for an entirely different site. Below, find some basic instructions on how to mosaic and tips for giving it that perfect look.
What you'll need for making mosaic art:
pieces to make mosaic
design template or idea
grout and trowel
change of clothing, large sheet to keep things clean
- Depending on how artistic you are, you may want a pattern or design before you start. If you're very creative, take the initiative and design as you go. Flowers, animals and geometric designs are very popular, but you can also take ideas from tapestries, book spines, or carpets.
- Once you have an idea of what you will be doing, you can create your random pieces of mosaic craft material. Break your tiles so they form small pieces, large enough for your mosaic projects (there is really no formula for this, it will depend on your pattern and project surface). A clean safe way of breaking tiles is to place the tile face down in a box and tap with a hammer until you've created the right size tiles, wearing goggles, of course. This can also be done by wrapping the tile in a towel and smashing it with a hammer or against the floor. Separate your broken pieces into different color categories. This will make life easier later on when you are actually making mosaic.
- You can place pieces randomly or according to your pattern. If working with a design, it's a good idea to trace or draw the design onto the surface of your mosaic craft. This will make it easier to lay the tiles and color coordinate it.
- Polymer added cement glue is the best type you can use for making mosaic art because it's strong, waterproof and nicely workable. You can choose to lie out a thin layer of adhesive onto the surface of your mosaic craft, or apply the adhesive to each piece individually. If doing the former, don't cover too large an area at one time, or the adhesive will dry up and be nothing more than bothersome obstruction.
- Place down one piece of tile and lightly tap it into place. Don't press it down forcefully, as this will push glue out between the tiles. Just a gentle tap with the edge of your tool or tile. Place tiles slightly set apart from each other to leave room for the grout to settle.
- For a line or row of tiles, you can apply a thin amount of glue onto the backing surface, and place each tile down next to one another. For larger pieces, you may find it easier to apply the glue to the back of the actual piece. Cover the piece with an even layer of glue.
- When finished laying tiles, apply a layer of grout, preferably sanded grout with a polymer additive for best results. Mix a little bit of grout at a time, adding more water or grout as you go, and remember not to add too much water or you will ruin the composition. Spoon your grout onto the tiles, and spread it around evenly, making sure to gently ease the grout into all the cracks WITHOUT pushing it in with the edge of your boat/tool.
- When the grout is sufficiently applied, wipe off excess grout with a clean sponge or float. After the grout has had time to cure, use a well squeezed out sponge to go over the surface of your mosaic. This will gently remove that remaining haze from the project surface.
Another method can be used when you have materials that look the same on the back and front sides. Pieces are placed onto an adhesive paper. The whole project is then placed into a bed of grout, and flipped over. Once the grout has set, the paper is removed to reveal a smooth and clean finish. Some people prefer this method because the finished product is a smooth flat surface, unlike the previous method, which will give you a jagged or rough surface depending on the materials being used. The down side is that you don't get to see what the project really looks like until it's dried and far too late to make any changes.
Join us next time for some useful tips to make mosaic projects come out like the pros.