The Best Glue for Glass

All gung-ho to start this project and didn’t have any e6000 adhesive … tried to use clear Liquid Nails and Lexel … NOPE

all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

Had to get in the car and track some down … checked Home Depot and Lowe’s but they don’t carry it … finally found it at Ace Hardware for a price.

Michael’s stocks e6000 but the tubes are small and expensive.

Check out the Etsy sellers that carry it … it’s a better deal and you help small biz owners.


The pieces fell into place quite nicely.

Just lovely, don’t you think?


On to the next thing …

Salvaging Memories

broken artWhen someone shows up with broken remains of a precious family heirloom, it’s always the same tearful look.

Peggy broke a very unique clay candle holder that her mother (who had since passed) had given her as a gift.

Seems that a chandelier had fallen on it. Maybe she should have called Angie’s List ;)

Here’s what we came up with …

Using the very cool wrought iron, double shelf table that Peggy brought, we cut a piece of concrete backer board for the bottom shelf. That way you can see the finished piece through the glass top and keep it safe from any further damage.

We arranged all of the clay children (as they were on the original piece) in the center and glued the rest of the broken pieces around them. Added a gold veined glass tile for the border and let it dry overnight.

Used a charcoal grout to finish it off, after the mastic dried.

Tears of joy all around!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Recycled Art
Memories are made of these.

Glass on Glass Vintage Window Project #2

Dragged this 10 panel vintage (yet very sturdy) window back from Orange, California. It measures 5′ x 2′ …  sturdy being the operative word … especially when you’re creating a large glass on glass mosaic for yourself.

*Cleaned it once, twice and a third time. Newspaper and Windex make quick work on vintage window glass.

I shouldn’t have to tell you but I will … when working with glass on glass mosaics … work in a really well ventilated area, wear shoes, safety glasses, have a First Aid Kit nearby and it’s not the project to do with the kids.

This window was probably hung the wide way over an old store front somewhere.

This window was from an old brick & mortar in Orange, Ca. 

First pass … the pieces magically fit into exactly the right spot … sans adhesive.

You don't find inspiration. It finds you.
You don’t find inspiration. It finds you. – Mara Lee

Wish I would have had the courage to glue it down, while I was laying it out.  Seriously … was my first thought … “glue it down now.” and I didn’t listenChicken!

With that said …

Final image once I  get this behemoth glued down.

Perfect first pass and not a single piece glued.
Perfect first pass and not a single piece glued.

Until then … remember all of those things that you said you we’re gonna do?

You should go do them.

The Perfect Gift

perfect gift Often wonder why people make such a big deal out of gift giving.

By the time you quit complaining, you could have made something.

Even if you’re not the handmade type, this may inspire you to change your mind.

Absolutely loved Crunchy Betty and her 40 Hot Homemade Gift Ideas for the Man in your Life … relax … you may be here awhile.

Then there is the TIPJUNKIE with Handmade Gift Ideas ... even though it’s the Christmas list…adapt.

and …

I can think of a hundred ways to adapt the “Older Than Dirt” jar for Valentine’s Day!

It’s the thought that counts and I’m pretty sure that means your thoughts.

Think about it:)


Doin’ the Green Thing

funny old people
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Always love emails that are worth sharing …


Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this “green thing” back in the early days.

The clerk responded, “That’s why we have problems today”. “Your generation didn’t care enough to save our environment for the future generations.”

She was right —  our generation didn’t have the “green thing’ back then.

We returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so you could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building.

We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right, we didn’t have the “green thing.”

We washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind.

The wind dried our clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes.

But that young lady is right.  We didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

We had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. The TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old  newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap

We didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.

We exercised by working hard so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen.

We replaced the razor blades, in a razor, instead of throwing away the whole razor, just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

People took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a  24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an  entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

Please forward this onto another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from the younger generation.

Remember: Don’t make old people mad!

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to tick us off.

Putting the Pieces Back Together

Matilda’s Birdland

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Scheduled to be completed this week.

We’ll see how it goes.


Mosaic Tile Gazing Balls

Garden Gazing BallsMy friend Val, a cherished tile gypsy, was sharing her recent gluing frenzy with bowling balls.  It immediately brought back fond memories of battling a 15 pound bowling ball while trying to glue things to it.

Truth be told … the hardest part of mosaic tiling a bowling ball is … finding the bowling ball.

Now that she’s got me going … anyone have an old bowling ball that they want to get rid of ? :)

Mosaic tiled bowling balls or … mosaic tiled gazing balls … are pretty easy to create by preparing the surface properly and using the right adhesive.


  1. Bowling Ball
  2. Flat Mosaic Tile Materials … Ceramic Tile, stained glass, vintage china, mirror and glass gems
  3. Weatherproof/Waterproof Adhesive … Best choices – GE II Silicone • E6000 • Clear Liquid Nails
  4. Sandpaper medium grade is fine
  5. Sanded grout – FYI … darker shades won’t show the wear that lighter shades of grout will
  6. Grout Additive (Used to mix grout instead of using water. Makes the grout more flexible and can help prevent cracking)
  7. Grout or Masonry clear sealant


  • Clean the bowling ball. Let it dry.
  • Seal the finger holes, if you don’t want to use them. Again, a MacGyver thing.
  • Rough up the ball using the sandpaper … or you can cover the ball with tile mesh before gluing … ask me.
  • Always wear safety glasses when cutting tile or glass.
  • Organize mosaic tile materials by choosing pieces that are close to the same thickness, for uniformity.
  • Using a wheeled tile nipper, mosaic tile cutter or glass cutter … cut the tile, glass or china pieces before you start gluing.
  • Prop the bowling bowl on a large weighted coffee can … or something comparable.
  • Grab your adhesive and start gluing. (FYI…Adhesives for this project are TOXIC. Best to do this in a very well ventilated area or outside.)
  • A little patience is needed. It’s round!
  • If pieces don’t lie flat … cut them smaller.
  • This project takes multiple days. Glue one side of the bowling ball. Let it dry for at least 24 hours. Longer is always better!
  • Glue the other side of the bowling ball and let that dry for at least 24 hours. Again, longer is better.
  • Grout. Read the directions.
  • Remove grout and clean.
  • Cover with a dry cleaning bag (or something comparable) to allow the grout to dry slower and hopefully prevent cracking.
  • Wait at least 24 hours.
  • Uncover and polish.
  • Let it cure for a few more days, polishing everyday.
  • Seal finished piece with grout or masonry clear sealant. Read the directions.
  • Gaze.

FYI … Mosaic Tiled Gazing Balls and handmade mosaic tile garden art should be brought in during colder months and resealed each season.

For more mosaic tile tips, tricks and techniques … check out …

“Making Mosaics with  Found Objects”

Wayward bowling balls can find a home here … anyone? … anyone?

mosaic tile store

The Art of Gluing

mdf heart shapeThe Mosaic Tile Class that was held on February 12th was so much fun!

I couldn’t believe that I had the time to create a mosaic tile project, along with everyone else! Happy day!

Using the rescued wooden heart, from a previous blog post, I gathered china shards and glass pieces.


Pretty cute … if I say so myself.

All that’s left? Deciding on a grout color.

Mosaic Tile Heart green, white or dark grout?
Mosaic Tile Artists
Mosaic Tile Projects from 2/12/11 class. Taken home to grout for Valentines Day gifts.

Making Memories

mdf heartWhile dusting … for a change … I noticed all of the handmade gifts that we still have out in the open.

Some treasures are tough to hide away.

I love the feeling I get when I look at them, remembering the day they were given to me. Warms my heart.

If you haven’t done an art project with the kids lately … you should.  Take an hour and help them create something handmade for someone they love this Valentine’s Day. You still have time!

We’re going to be making Mosaic Tile Valentine Hearts today with wood heart shapes and heart picture frames.

Always excited to see where it goes!

Have a great day.

Mosaic Tile Garden

terracotta pot crafts
Pieces won't lie flat? Cut them smaller.

What are you going to do with all of those terracotta pots that you have laying around?

It only takes a few hours to create a single mosaic tile flower pot or … go nuts and mosaic tile a bunch of clay pots to create a mosaic tile totem pole for the garden.

Terracotta and clay objects offer a wide variety of shapes and sizes to create amazing mosaics!


  • Before gluing, clean the pots out with soap and water. Let them dry.
  • Seal the inside and outside of the pot with a water-based polyurethane … or a couple of coats of Weldbond adhesive. Let it dry between coats and make sure the piece is completely dry before tiling. If you don’t seal it it will eventually start falling apart.
  • Use the proper adhesive — waterproof/weatherproof mastic or silicone.
  • Grout with a sanded grout that is mix with a grout additive (instead of water) for flexibility.
  • Seal the grout with grout sealer, once it’s dry.
  • Reseal the outside of the piece with grout sealer, once a year,  especially if the piece is exposed to the elements or water.

Totem Pole
# of pots to use ... 5/6/7 ? Think weight!

Mosaic Tile Totem Pole Instructions

  1. Prepare clay pots with similar size drainage holes.
  2. Glue mosaic tile materials to pots. Let dry.
  3. Grout mosaic tile pots. Let dry.
  4. Seal pots with grout sealer. Let dry.
  5. Glue clay pots together as shown. (May need to insert the pole first)
  6. Glue the stacked pots to the bottom of the saucer to protect the bottom pot.
  7. Insert a piece of re-bar or heavy pole into the holes of the pots. If you haven’t already.
  8. Secure pole with … well … It’s a MacGyver thing.
  9. Stick in garden.
  10. Bring in when cold weather hits.

mosaic tile store

The Trill of the Hunt


It doesn’t take an enormous amount of material, to complete a personal mosaic tile project. 

Just gather some vintage china, a couple of pounds of tile, or glass, and a few odds and ends.

You’ll need  mosaic tile tools, a base to glue the materials to and the proper adhesive for the job.

Approximate number of tiles needed to cover 1 square foot

  • 225 – 3/4″ Tiles
  • 729 – 3/8″ Tiles
  • 400 – 5/8″ Tiles
  • 144 – 1″ Tiles

Approximate Number of Tiles by the Pound

As tile weight varies by style & color … there may be more or less per bag.

1″ inch Sheet Tile

144 tiles per sheet 12″x12″

3/4″ inch tiles

Approx. 225 tiles to cover 1 square foot

1/2 pound bag = approx. 70 tiles

1 pound bag = approx. 140 tiles

3/8″ inch tiles

Approx. 720 tiles to cover 1 square foot

1/2 pound bag = approx. 300 tiles

1 pound bag = approx. 600 tiles

5/8″ inch tiles

Approx. 400 tile to cover 1 square foot

Vintage China · Gems · Bits & Pieces

Quantity of materials will vary depending on the weight

We Hand Cut Vintage China & Stained Glass • $5 per pound

mosaic tile jug
Just Glue It!

Finishing What I Start

My normal mosaic tile process is selecting the base, gathering the materials, gluing them down, waiting 24 hours and grouting.

Mosaic Tile Form
After 9 months ... pretty sure it's dry.

“Perky Woman”

Glued: Summer of 2010
Grouted: February 3, 2011

I think life is what happened while I was making other plans.  Wonder why I waited so long, she’s beautiful.  Available on our Etsy store.

Tile tip … if  you glue the tile pieces really close together … you don’t have to grout.

Very few materials were needed … just a enormous amount of patience gluing the same color over and over and over again :)

Love the feeling of stepping back and just gazing.

mosaic tile woman
Measures approx 23"x18" • Weight 5 lbs.

A Grout of a Different Color

Mosaic Tile and Recycled Art

So how does this whole custom grout color thing work?

All I can say is this … be sure to make more than enough so that you don’t have to go back and try to replicate the color.

I’ve tried using various paints … acrylic and the like … to create a custom grout color but I wasn’t happy with the shiny bubble gum look after the grout dried so I turned to grout pigment and it works great. You can find a few sellers on Etsy that carry it.

Grout pigments are highly concentrated and small amounts should be added incrementally until the desired color intensity is reached.

Important note! Make sure to mix all of the custom grout color needed to complete a project to ensure color matching. Sanded grout is suggested for gaps larger than 1/8 of an inch.

Grout Pigment Directions:

  • Use one teaspoon of dry colorant for every 8 ounces of grout. Sanded grout is preferred in most of my projects.
  • Dissolve pigment in water (or grout additive) before mixing with dry grout.
  • Mix well, give it a sec

Our Etsy Shoppe

What’s In Store?

mosaic tile and recycled crafts
225 Water Street • Jordan, Minnesota 55352

225 Water Street • Circa 1870

Originally, Lebans Harness Shop for 57 years.

225 Water Street re-opened as a variety store and remained as one, for decades.

Now … this beautiful vintage structure is home to 225 Water Street Creative Arts & CCG Productions, Inc.

We’ve been told by visitors that this vintage building has a magical feel to it … we think so too.  This old building inspires me. …scares me too … sometimes!

I feel very fortunate to have the choice of carving 2 days out of the week to concentrate on my passion for mosaic tile.  Yes … I have a day job … starving artist is a truism.

Of course I want people to come in and buy stuff.  Truth be told … I just want to have an excuse to glue stuff to other stuff and coax others to do the same.

As it says on our front door…

All of our visitors bring us happiness … some by coming and others by going.

For now, we’ll be Open on Friday 10-5 and Saturdays Noon-4ish …

Today is our re-Grand Opening.

Tomorrow … Saturday, January 29th … Open from 10am-5pm.

Palm ReadingTilly Evan Jones will be reading palms … a few spots still available. Contact us at for more info or call 952.492.6442.

Tilly will be back one Saturday a month. Watch for updates … if you subscribe to our blog you’ll get the updates.

If you’re a mosaic tile fanatic or you want to become one … we have really fun mosaic tile materials!


In February, we have two BASIC MOSAIC TILE CLASSES scheduled:

Saturday, February 12th • 1pm-4pm | Valentine “Hearts a Plenty “Project

Saturday, February 26th • 1pm-4pm.  $65 per person


225 Water Street is available for Private Parties and Special Events

We’re putting it out there … we’ll see how it goes!

All we have time for today…have a great day!

Having Fun While We’re Here

If you’re not … you should be.

Going through a bazillion photos … a few favorites.

Oh look … it turned into a little moving billboard;)

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When Life Smashes Things To Bits

You can glue it back together to make something beautiful with the pieces!

CLICK HERE Back in stock!

Iridescent Stained Glass Tiles are authentic stained glass with a lustrous rainbow-like play of color that changes as the angle of view changes.

Use whole or cut with a Wheeled Tile Nipper. Apply a small amount of glue to the back of each piece and it will stick to any clean (dry) surface. Each piece is approx. – .75 in x .75 in x .125 inches

3/4″ Glass squares are hand-cut … which means the stained glass tile pieces are random in nature and are not perfectly squared. (with the exception of the white iridescent tile which has a clean beveled edge)

Cost: $12.00 per pound + shipping / Live in the Twin Cities Metro Area? Contact us to arrange pickup and save on shipping!

FAQ: How much mosaic tile do I need?

Rule of thumb …  it takes 218 uncut –  3/4″ inch glass mosaic tiles to cover 1 square foot. That’s factoring in a grout line that is approximately 1/16″ inch. If you cut the tile, or add bits and pieces to your project,  you won’t need as much tile as you think.

1/2 lb. bag of 3/4″ tiles holds approximately 72 tiles.
1 lb. bag of 3/4″ tiles holds approximately 145 tiles.


In progress…watch for NEW things coming soon!

Found By Chance

Recycled Art
Northern California 2010

According to Wikipedia…

Found Object” usually refers to a small object found by chance which, though usually of little monetary value, captures the imagination of the finder and is therefore kept as a keepsake. Perhaps it is a penny or an unusual stone or even a pretty piece of metal. Often found just “on the ground,” it is kept as a curiosity or even a good luck charm. Found Objects are often associated with a special memory or an important time in a person’s life. The connotations of mystery about where it came from, the feeling that it is a lucky or providential occurrence, and the sense that it is simply a “free gift from the world” or “from nowhere” can add to the sense of wonder or magic surrounding a found object. A “found object” may stand alone or may form the basis for a collection.


If that’s what you call little objects everywhere…it can become a sickness, if you’re not careful.

In the Pique Assiette style of mosaic tile, we create with found objects all the time. It’s funny how a little figurine, vintage piece of china or a unique bottle cap can inspire an incredible piece of Found Object Art.

Creative inspiration is a fleeting experience. That must be why I’m always flipping through the pages of my favorite found object art books.

Found Object Art by Dorothy Spencer is eye candy for the creative soul. Check it out!

Found Object Artists

Garbage Pickers Unite

Recycling of found objects is taken to the level of art form is this creative book-an homage to the wondrous world of artists who create extraordinary objects from what were once very ordinary things. Inside are hundreds of examples showing trash transformed into fascinating sculpture, collages, furniture, jewelry, and clothing — some items functional, some not.

We hope you’ll subscribe to our blog, to stay tuned for some very exciting updates coming soon!

Just Glue It™

The right tools for the job.

Lighten up ... cutting takes practice.

If one of your resolutions is to bring more creativity into your life, think Pique Assiette Mosaic Tile!

Due to its random nature, anyone can do it!

Really, you’re just gluing stuff to other stuff.  Besides, it can be a very cheap hobby … or not. Depends on how obsessed you become.

Just find a space to call your own and start stocking it with the right tools, materials and adhesives to get started with Making Mosaics with Found Objects.

Start small and you’ll grow from there … believe me.

don't forget the grout

#1 Wheeled Glass Nippers have a set of disc shaped wheels on spring-loaded handles. They should be used to cut glass, mirror, glass tiles, and the like in a manner similar to tile nippers. Replacement wheels are sold separately.

#2 Mosaic Tile Cutter are designed for cutting ceramic tiles, crockery and china. Better tile nippers have tungsten-carbide cutting edges and spring-loaded handles.

#3 Weldbond Adhesive, Mastic and Grout

Always good to have nearby:

  • Small Penny Hammer
  • Wire Cutter
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Self-closing tweezers (a little more expensive than regular tweezers but well worth the investment.) Make sure to keep them glue free!
  • Toothpicks or wooden skewers
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paper Towel

Our Mosaic Tile Studio Package can be found on our website.

Mosaic Tile Tools

Now all you need is a base and some materials.

The List That Never Was

how to mosaic tile
Release date 1/6/11

Back in 2005, I coined myself as an “Artist” … to actual people.  Even though I’ve been creating art for well over 30 years. 

Well, they asked me and I choked out the confession of being the creator of the mosaic tile pieces that they were referring to.

I would have been able to that off my bucket list, if I had had one.

Feel a resolution coming on …

It’s true … if you write it down, or just continue to put it out there,  it shows up.

Even with a bucket list scribbled in my mind, it has always included authoring a book.

Must be why I just started typing … curious punctuation and all.

Luckily, Stackpole Books stumbled upon my mosaic tile passion and they asked me to write a book about it.

Now, I can √ Author off the bucket list that never was.

“Making Mosaics with Found Objects” is available on Amazon with a really good pre-order special.

Hope you’ll check it out.

Happy Gluing!

Recycled T-Shirt Scarves

t shirt scarvesAfter searching most of Southern California for some funky scarves, I guess I’ll just have to make a few of my own!

Found a great video tutorial @ Threadbanger with some really easy T-Shirt scarf ideas.

We have plenty of t-shirts and a sharp scissor! Guess what I’ll be doing this snowy weekend?

Check it out:)

What do you get when you …

… glue a six inch piece of scrap plywood, 4 glass clear hearts, 2 red glass hearts, a vintage china saucer, 17 flat white gems, 10 red & green square glass gems, 10 pennies, a few printed words, a Santa head (that was ripped off its body), a little grout and a wire hanger?

mosaic tile santa
oh ... and Mosaic Tile Tools