It only took 35 pieces – of this and that – to create one of my favorite mosaic tile light switch covers. I used a hard plastic double light switch cover, an antique rhinestone brooch, purple iridescent tile, purple beads, black and white Millefori, a clear glass gem, silver tile and silver ball chain.
Glued the brooch and purple iridescent tile border first, then glued the rest and let it dry before gluing the ball chain around the edges.
After the glue dried, I used a charcoal grout to make it pop! Chaz loves it! Me too but …
I’ve come to terms with the fact that this piece and many others – from my private stash – have to be sold since all of my light switches, walls and floors are already covered. Less is more unless you need a groovy new light switch cover.
The mosaic tile mirrors are still wrapped and since there is nowhere to hang them I’m going to pretend that they look exactly as they did when I packed them a year ago. It is, what it is – at least I took photos. 😉
Unfortunately, a mosaic tile pitcher didn’t survive the move but the photos of it did so there’s that.
“How wonderful! How wonderful! All things are perfect, exactly as they are.” ― Buddha
Start with a HARD plastic light switch cover … found at home improvement and hardware stores. If the plastic is bendy … pass.
You can use wood and metal light switch covers too. Makes no never mind. 😉
Coat the light switch cover with Weldbond adhesive and let dry. You don’t have to coat the switch plate but … it really helps things stick better.
Glue color fast beads and/or tile around the light switch opening with Weldbond.
Then glue from the outside in to establish how much room I have left to work with.
Continue to glue the rest of your design and let the glue set up for 30 minutes.
Then glue color fast beads or ball chain around the outside of the light switch cover. Let dry for a minimum of 24 hours before grouting.
Cover delicate items (jewels etc) with painter’s tape.
Confident that the light switch cover is completely dry… mix sanded grout (color of choice) with a liquid grout additive, instead of water, for more flexibility, to an oatmeal consistency.
Put on gloves … Grout On – I know it’s a weird feeling covering it with mud – keep going filling and smoothing all the nooks and crannies – pause – smooth – pause – 😉 and Grout Off with a slightly damp sponge. Rinse and repeat until clean and smooth. Remove tape from delicates and finish gently cleaning and smoothing until shiny and free from grout residue. Let dry overnight. Shine a bit more and gently install.
Switch plate covers of your choice. Plastic, wood or metal
Wheeled Nipper & Sm Hammer
Bits and pieces of ceramic tile, china, jewels etc.
Val was in a gluing frenzy with bowling balls and 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 time consuming but pretty easy to create if you prepare the surface properly and use the right adhesive.
MOSAIC TILE BOWLING BALL ART SUPPLIES – you’ll need …
Bowling Ball or round objects in stone, terracotta or concrete
Flat Tile Materials in ceramic, stained glass, vintage china, mirror and glass gems
Best Adhesives for the job could be …Thin Set or a Weatherproof/Waterproof Adhesives like … GE II Silicone, E6000 or Clear Liquid Nails.
Sandpaper in a medium grade is fine.
Sanded grout – FYI … darker shades of grout won’t show the wear that lighter shades of grout will.
Grout Additive ( to mix grout instead of water. Makes the grout more flexible and can help prevent cracking)
Grout or Masonry clear sealant that can be found at tile and box stores.
MOSAIC TILE GAZING BALL PROJECT
Clean the ball. Let it dry.
Seal the finger holes – use your imagination with what – so they’re level with the curve of the ball.
Rough up the ball a bit with the sandpaper … or you can cover the ball with tile mesh before gluing to make gluing easier.
Time to put on safety glasses for cutting tile or glass.
Prop the bowling bowl on a large weighted coffee can … or something comparable. If you have a heavy duty Lazy Susan … bonus fry.
Organize mosaic tile materials and choose 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. If pieces don’t lie flat, cut them smaller.
Grab your adhesive and start gluing one side of the ball. (FYI…Adhesives for this project are TOXIC and is best glued in a very well ventilated area or outside.)
If pieces don’t lie flat, cut them smaller.
A little patience is needed about now. Relax, it’s round. It’s not going to be done in a day.
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 a minimum of 24 hours. Again, longer drying time is always better.
When completely dry … Grout … READ the directions on the grout bag or box, then … mix the Sanded Grout with grout additive to an oatmeal consistency … again … reading the directions really helps.
Grout one side of the bowling ball and let it set up for a bit before you start removing and smoothing out the grout.
Grout the other side of the ball and let it set up for a bit before you start removing and smoothing out the grout.
Keep smoothing and polishing until your satisfied with your work.
You can cover the ball with a dry cleaning bag (or something comparable) to allow the grout to dry a bit slower to prevent the grout cracking. Hopefully;)
I’d wait at least 36 hours for drying time.
Uncover and polish with a soft cloth.
Let it cure – I did for a few more days and polished it everyday.
When grout is dry seal the grout with grout sealer or masonary sealant. Read the directions.
Let dry for 24 hours. Polish again. Make a wish;)
FYI … Mosaic Tiled Gazing Balls and handmade mosaic tile garden art has to be brought inside in the colder states and it doesn’t hurt to reseal your gazing ball every season, no matter where you live. Cheers.
Decoupage was my first love and after attending a crash glass class using a 2-part epoxy … it got me thinking … why go to all the trouble of working with toxic adhesives when you can do pretty much the same thing using Weldbond.
Always amazed at how the items magically appear … most of the time anyway.
While you can use watered down Elmer’s white glue for Decoupage … you need a stronger adhesive – in this case – to guarantee that the glass and tile with survive grouting.
After painting the trivet and letting it completely dry, I laid out the design so the quote showed through the glass properly and glued the papers directly onto the trivet. Don’t get carried away with the glue. Just brush on enough glue to attach the images. Let it dry and brush on a few more layers of glue, letting it dry each time.
When the papers were dry and perfectly sealed from layers of glue … I glued the tile border first, applying Weldbond to each tile piece and applied the glass by smearing Weldbond onto the back of each glass piece so it wouldn’t puddle and refuse to dry clear.
Once the piece is glued and completely dry, grout it to finish off the piece.
A great non-toxic glass collage and decoupage project, that anyone can do!
Beautiful results with less mess than other epoxy crash glass methods.