Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Marvelous Mosaics!

Over the last few days, I have been working on two small mosaic letters - an A, and an E (for my sister and I). I love making mosaics! Somehow, sticking little pieces of coloured glass onto something to create art is completely relaxing - and doesn't take too much energy!

I recently bought a lot of pretty glass square mosaic tiles from Mandala Art, and I used these tiles for this project. I am really proud of what I have done, and I took pictures every step of the way - so here is how I made my latest two mosaics!

Step 1 

To start with, I got some wooden letters from the craft store, and used a pencil to plot out my ideas onto the wood. I decided that I wanted to do some flowers - with a green background on the A, and a rainbow background on the E. (I also planned to do some hearts as well - but I scrapped this idea partway through, as I didn't want the design to be too busy).

Step 2

For the flowers, I knew that I would need to cut some of the square glass tiles into circles and petal shapes (a square with two opposite corners trimmed off) using a glass cutting tool - so I started with this first. I lay the cut glass pieces out on my wooden letters so that I could get an idea of what the finished design would look like. 

I also cut some extra petal shapes in green to make leaves =).

Step 3

I started to glue the flowers (and some stems and leaves) onto the wooden letters, using a clear-drying multi-purpose Modge Podge sealer/glue/gloss that I got from the craft store. 

Step 4

After gluing the flowers, stems and leaves onto my letters, my next task was to fill in the background area. I cut some of my tiles into rough shapes, and used these to fill in the background area - cutting special bits to fill in the spaces, and leaving a small amount of space between the tiles for the grout. 

Step 5 

After covering the letters with tiles, I had to wait for the glue to be completely set before the grouting process could begin! I have to admit - I'd worried that grouting would be messy and difficult - but it actually turned out to be a lot neater and easier than I'd thought it would be! 

I mixed a small amount of grout powder in a paper cup - adding water gradually (sort of like making icing/frosting with icing sugar and water) until it got to a smooth and toothpaste-like consistency. Then, I spooned some grout onto my letters and used a mini-squeegee to work the grout into all the gaps between the tiles.

The result was white letters! I then had to wait until the grout was 'slightly dry' (which was a bit of a relative instruction) before removing the excess grout from the tiles. I had a cup of tea, then wiped the excess grout off with some damp paper towel (as it proved far easier than using the suggested damp sponge). I then left the grout to harden for 24 hours.

Step 6 

The next step was to polish the tiles with a soft cloth (damp paper towel worked better, again), and to finish off the edges of my letters. I chose to paint the sides of the letters white - to match the grout - using an acrylic paint. 

Step 7 

The last thing left to do (after the white paint was dry) was to add a clear acrylic gloss coat to the sides of my letters (and clean the fingerprints off the tiles from where I had been holding them).

When the gloss was dry, my creations were complete!


I will definitely be making more mosaic art in the future!

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