How to Create Your Own Mosaic

Whether or not you consider yourself to be an artist, with just a few tools and some creativity you can put together a beautiful mosaic. This fun project is the perfect way to add some colour and interest to your home or garden. When you make your own mosaic, you are creating your own piece of custom art so it can be whatever you want it to be. Themes, colours, sizes, shapes and placement are all up to you, so get your creative juices flowing!

Before you start putting together a mosaic, you need to choose where you want to make it. Some common surfaces for this type of art include table tops, coasters, back splashes and stools. Almost any smooth, hard surface can be turned into a mosaic. But, you can also create a mosaic on a custom-cut board and then display it wherever you want.

What You’ll Need

Some of the supplies you will need can be found around the house, and others you may have to purchase for this project. You will need:

•    Tiles
•    Hammer
•    Tile Cutter
•    Tile Adhesive
•    Grout
•    Grout Float
•    Large Cloth
•    Damp Rag
•    Sealant
•    Gloves and Safety Glasses

Of course, you will also need a clean, smooth and dry surface to build your mosaic on.

Create a Design

The first thing you need to do is create a design. Your design can be very basic or more intricate, but either way, sketching it out will help you as you begin to adhere tiles. Having a plan will also help you know what kind of tiles you’ll need and how many you should buy.

If you want to go for a more casual, eclectic look, you may not need to create a sketch. It is still a good idea to use colours that go together and that fit a single theme, so that your mosaic will have one overall colour palette.

Choose tiles with colours and textures that will go together. It’s okay to have some variety, but remember that all of your tiles will be next to each other on the finished product, so they need to flow together.

Break or Cut the Tiles

There are two different styles of mosaics: those that use broken tiles and those that use cut tiles. You can go either direction, but the type of mosaic you make may dependent on the type of design you want to create. If your design is detailed and intricate, you may need to cut your tiles. But, if your design is more simple or random, broken tiles will work well.

If you want to cut your tiles with a bench tile saw or manual tile cutter, use a pencil or crayon to mark the tiles before cutting them. As always, wear safety gear while using these tools.

To break the tiles, lay a cloth down on a hard, stable surface, place a tile on top of it and then fold the cloth over the tile, so the tile is cushioned between cloth. This will protect the tile from scratches and will protect you from flying pieces.

Then, use a hammer to gently break the tile. Always wear gloves and safety glasses as you do this. You can break the tile into larger pieces, smaller pieces or a combination of sizes, depending on what you want your mosaic to look like. Sorting tile pieces by colour as you break them will make the layout process easier.

Apply the Tiles

Now that you have your tiles ready, you can lay them out on your mosaic surface. Use your sketch as a guide and replicate your pattern or design. Start laying tiles out along the outlines of your pattern and then fill in the shapes and the rest of the mosaic, cutting tiles where needed to make them fit.

The way you fit tiles together is ultimately up to you. Some mosaics have pieces that are close together and fit with each other, while others are more spread out and the pieces don’t necessarily fit together.

Once your tiles are arranged, use tile adhesive to apply each piece to the mosaic surface. Push each tile securely and firmly in place to make sure it is attached well. Then, wait for the adhesive to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Fill in the Spaces with Grout

When the adhesive is completely dry, use the grout float to fill the spaces between tiles with grout. Use back and forth and diagonal movements to make sure the grout gets between all of the tiles.

As you apply the grout to your mosaic, smooth it out so that it is level with the tiles. The finished product should be relatively smooth and even, so avoid adding too much grout, making the cracks stand out, or too little grout, making the tiles stand out.

If there is any extra grout on the tiles or around the edges of your mosaic, wipe it away with a damp rag before it dries. Let the grout set for 24 hours or as instructed by the manufacturer.

Apply the Sealant

The last step, applying the sealant, is what makes your mosaic usable and protects it against things like weather, everyday use and accidents. There are lots of different kinds of wipe-on sealants on the market and each has its own specific instructions. Apply the sealant as directed and then let your mosaic dry completely.

Once your mosaic is dry, it is ready to use! If it is on a piece of furniture, you can begin using it, otherwise, you can use it as a piece of art to add a design statement and focal point to almost any room.

Keep your mosaic clean and looking beautiful by using a damp cloth to wipe away dust and dirt and use your piece carefully, since it is relatively fragile. If you place your mosaic in the garden, keep the area around it neat and tidy by trimming plants and mowing the lawn so that your masterpiece will be the centre of attention.

Creating a mosaic for your home or garden is an excellent weekend project that lets you get creative and make a custom piece of art to add interest to any space. To browse our extensive range of tools and equipment that you could find useful for this project, please visit our website.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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