The HeART of Handmade Gifts II

It takes more time to come up with a mosaic tile design than it does to glue it down.

Problem is the materials (go through your junk drawers and jewelry boxes) change as you go along … some pieces make the cut … others will not. This is not the time to get discouraged.

If I’m on a roll and the pieces are falling into place … it takes me about an hour to glue a single light switch cover.

If I’m not on a roll … I’ve already started gluing something else.

Gluing at Alice's - all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
Gluing at Alice’s – all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

The gypsy quote is a pendant that I’ve had since high school … and it went from there.

all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
Deep with Dreams – all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

added a little iridescent tile and a purple glass heart …

Gypsy Soul - all rights reserved Mara Lee
Deep with Dreams – all rights reserved Mara Lee

Going to glue ball and chain to the outer edge, after the grout dries.

Maybe you should too.

All you need is …

  • Heavy plastic light switch cover 69¢
  • Family Mementoes, Vintage China and Treasures that are lurking in drawers, cupboards and closets
  • Buy some fun #tiles and glass shapes
  • Weldbond or E6000 Adhesive
  • Tile Nipper and Safety Glasses

The HeArt of Handmade Gifts

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. – Pierre Corneille

Start with a sturdy picture frame, any size, with a glass insert. This one is from Ikea.

Clean the glass and then glue the glass into the frame.  Let it dry.

Then … Carefully smear  Weldbond adhesive on the back of your bits and pieces.

You have some working time to move them around.

*You can use E6000 adhesive in a well ventilated area ... just don't get it on your fingers. E6000 is not recommended when working with children.

glass on glass

SMEAR being the operative word … and it should dry clear in a day or two.

Sometimes not … if you don’t smear.

Puddles of Weldbond  usually won’t dry clear. Kapeesh?

Let it dry for a day or two.

You can grout the piece, if you want to.

Since this one sits in the window … I prefer not to.

glass-mosaic

Because then it looks like this …

glass-on-glass

and the beat goes on … peace!

You Can Take It With You

Took a few mosaic tile minutes today and found a really cool blog called  My Boho Life & their funky 9 foot Mosaic Tile Backsplash.  

I find myself dreaming about having a mosaic tiled backsplash one day:)

Then I ran across this Lowe’s mosaic tile video. Short, sweet and easy to follow …

but …

Did you know that if you measure the backsplash area and cut a piece of 1/2″ concrete backer board into workable sections, you can arrange unique mosaic tile designs, glue the pieces, grout and seal the entire project on a FLAT surface. Wouldn’t recommend a 9 foot section but 3 foot will work.

Then all you have to do is attach the finished pieces, to the backsplash area, using the holes that you’ve pre-drilled and kept free from grout.

Easier on your back plus you can remove it and take it with you, if you choose.

Happy Gluing!

It’s Comforting To Know … Something’s Never Change

This may be a duplicate post but the question keeps coming up so I thought I’d cover it one more time.

FYI … You could just buy the book and all of your mosaic tile questions would be answered:)

  • Q: How much time do you have to set the pieces into the concrete before it dries?
  • A: It’s not concrete that is surrounding the pieces (for indoor projects) … It’s grout.

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Basic instruction for indoor mosaic tile construction:

  • Cut pieces to size … Always wear safety glasses when cutting!
  • Glue pieces to the prepared surface using Weldbond or Mastic
  • Let the glued pieces dry for at least 24 hours
  • Prepare grout according to instructions
  • Grout the piece
  • Clean off the excess grout
  • Dispose of unused grout properly … meaning not down the drain
  • Let dry … Polish the grout haze as needed
  • Seal dried piece with grout sealer

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

Cheers!

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.

MOSAIC TILE BOWLING BALL SUPPLIES 

  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

MOSAIC TILE GAZING BALL PROJECT

  • 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.

Materials:

Pretty cute … if I say so myself.

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

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

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

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
  • SAFETY GLASSES

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

Mosaic Tile Tools

Now all you need is a base and some materials.