Category Archives: mosaic tile

sunny day 

A test to see if I can post online with my cell. It could happen. 🌞

shadows

Advertisements

giant glass explosion …

The antique cupboard is loaded to the brim (4 full shelves full) of vintage glass objects waiting and wanting.

My goal was three glass on glass windows by month’s end.

Using up some of my vintage glass.

Kind of like a puzzle ... only there isn't really a right way to do it.

Glass on Glass Project

Glass on Glass Art Project Disclaimer: Try not to cut yourself, always wear safety glasses and pick a different project to do with the kids.

all rights reserved copyright © mara lee – please do not copy, distribute, duplicate or create derivative works using my original designs and photography. thank you very much!

DIY Mosaic Tile Light Switch Covers

Custom Switch Plate Cover
Creating a mosaic tile switch plate cover @ tilegypsy.com

DIY Light Switch Covers:

  • 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.
  • Now I 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.
  • Now glue the color fast beads around the edges of the light switch cover and let it dry for for a minimum of 24 hours before grouting.
  • Before grouting … cover delicate items (jewels etc) with painter’s tape before grouting.
  • After the light switch cover is completely dry … mix sanded grout (color of choice) with liquid grout additive, instead of water, for more flexibility.
  • Grout on fill the cracks. Grout off.
  • Let dry for 24 hours the seal grout not delicates.
  • Again … let it dry overnight and install.
  • Depending on the height of the pieces surrounding the light switch holes … you may need to purchase longer screws for ease in use.
Custom switchplate covers sold.
Custom Mosaic Tile Switch Plate Covers • SOLD. © mara lee

MATERIALS:

  • Switch plate covers of your choice. Plastic, wood or metal
  • Weldbond Adhesive
  • Painters Tape
  • Wheeled Nipper
  • Bits and pieces of ceramic tile, china, jewels etc.
  • Foam Brush
  • Painters Tape
  • Wooden Skewer
  • Paper Towel
  • Sanded Grout, Grout Additive and Grout Sealer
  • Longer Screws, if needed
Mosaic Tile Switchplates
Private Collection.

Through the Looking Glass

The vintage window was a gift from my sister friend, Tilly Evan Jones … it sat around for a couple of years waiting and wanting. Finally glued a bunch of my vintage glass collection to it.

All you need is a sturdy window (or frame) with good glass, wheeled glass nippers, small hammer, hand towel, safety glasses, random glass objects and e6000 adhesive.  This project must be glued in a well ventilated area … without the kids and pets.

glass-window-project

Break glass dishes under a dish towel with a small hammer and gentle hand or use wheeled glass nippers to break up glass objects.

FYI … There are glass plates that will shatter into a BAZILLION PIECES without warning so … don’t be … going to use the word stupid – because it really is … ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES when cutting glass or tile and do a different project with the kids.

glass-on-glass window © mara lee

Inspired by Amy

Amy asked me to re-create a switchplate cover that had sold. I had most of the materials, with the exception of the light purple bead border. Oh darn, bonus trip to the craft store. There goes any profit that may have been associated with this project. 😉

lightswitch coverLearned that light gray light switch covers are way better than white ones. 🙂 They blend.

switchplate cover Used pink iridescent stained glass tile,purple glass hearts,iridescent purple glass gems,silver tapestry tile and a string of silver ball chain. Finished with charcoal grout and sealed.

switchplate-coversCopies of artwork certainly look more organized than flying by the seat of your pants.

light switch cover art Already had the glue out so I created a couple more light switch covers, with my cherished and now retired silver tapestry.

Went with my first thought which ended up being nickels. Why nickels? Couldn’t tell you and who am I to argue?  It worked. “Now You Have Two Nickels to Rub Together.”

light switch coverGot bored with the pink iridescent tile so I grabbed the first thing I walked up to and ended up with red glass hearts,silver and blue iridescent tiles and gems. Both of these fabulous little works of wall art have been listed at the shop for sale.

light switch covers

In honor of the difficulties of shipping and receiving from Italy … which I sadly will never try again.

ciao bella

mosaic tile gazing balls

Garden Gazing BallsVal, 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 balls
balls in half moon bay © mara lee

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.

garden-mosaic
go outside. let it dry. © mara lee

all rights reserved copyright © mara lee. please do not copy, distribute, duplicate or create derivative works using my original designs and photography. thank you very much!

 

Wait For It

I’m in awe of artists that can create everyday.

If I could find that daily inspiration, I’m pretty sure I would too.

Problem is … I can’t force the artist within, I have to coax her, like a lost dog on the street.

For me … there has to be a catalyst and that catalyst has to have friends that want to play nice together.

When they do … Oh, what a feeling 😉 … it has to be better than a runner’s high!

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to run far enough to get inspiration to kick in … it’ll come to me when it’s time and still learning that the joy is in the journey;)

“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.”
― Lemony Snicket

Go Glue Something

Writing the Book

Not bad for a first attempt.
Not bad for a first attempt.

Most of us want to write a book.

I did … I just couldn’t decide what to write a book about.

My prayers were answered, when Stackpole Books asked me to write a book about my art.

Skipping and blowing bubbles … I took on the challenge.

One year, 11,000 words, 500 photos and 16 forced mosaic tile projects later, the book was published.

It’s out there, nothing can stop it, people will review it and with a cover that I didn’t get to choose:(

Started out alright  … a few friends posted some supportive reviews and then Kenneth Bee showed up.

1.0 out of 5 stars FOR AMATEURS!, February 13, 2012

By KENNETH E BEE (SALTSBURG, PA, US) Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Making Mosaics with Found Objects (Paperback) This is not what I expected. The projects were very crude and amateurish and the opposite of creative and inspiring. Not even good for kids’ projects in my opinion. I’m not sure why anyone published this as there are many books on the same subject out there that run circles around this one. Save your money.

Blindsided!  Talk about stark naked in the middle of a grocery store.

Now what?  Constructive criticism is one thing … how do you get passed such a mean review?

band-aid-calm

You don’t … until someone covers up the mean with a warm fuzzy blanket.

5.0 out of 5 stars Don’t judge this book by its cover, October 21, 2013
By Lesley Grace (Australia) This review is from: Making Mosaics with Found Objects (Kindle Edition)
This book’s cover is a little dull but don’t let that put you off. I have so many mosaic books but this is now one of my favourites. The Author comes across as a really warm, modest person, constantly creating and then critiquing her work as she pushes on to perfect her chosen craft. She has a wealth of experience and is happy to share it in a really accessible and self-effacing way. Her message is ‘have a go and don’t worry about making mistakes’.I enjoy making mosaics from bits and pieces from charity shops so this book is particularly appealing to me. She offers some really good practical hints which I haven’t found in other books. I am really happy with my purchase.

Thank you, Lesley!

Carpe Diem

Looking Back

Here are a few mosaic tile light switch covers and incense burners from a year long phase.

Some pieces have sold, while others are sold on simply-sugar.com

Glass on glass tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

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!

Just Needs a Little Light

Simple 8 x 10 white picture frame from Ikea … glued the piece of glass into the frame (with Weldbond) and let it dry overnight.

The little glass fish dish was the catalyst … the rest of the glass pieces magically fell into place.

Doesn’t look like much but ….

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

Glass on Glass Project #3

Shadows only mean that there is light nearby. Go to the light … 

Glass on Glass Project #3

Feeling very accomplished this week. All is good.

as always … work in a well ventilated room when using toxic adhesives and always wear safety glasses when working with glass!

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.

glass-on-glass-window

The pieces fell into place quite nicely.

Just lovely, don’t you think?

glassonglass-vintage-window

On to the next thing …

Salvaging Memories

When 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

A 10 panel vintage window scored while treasure hunting in Orange, California with Alice. The window measures a VERY STURDY 5′ x 2′ and has really cool hinges to use for hanging or not. If I end up keeping this piece, I’m going to have it installed as the front door side window for the cabin.  

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

Amazed that the pieces magically fit together.

You don't find inspiration. It finds you.

Probably should have glued it while I was laying it out.

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

Glitter makes the world a better place.

glass on glass
10 panes © mara lee

Setting Up Shop

If someone had asked me how many mosaic tile supplies there are in my studio, my answer would have been 2 maybe 300 variations of tile and glass.

Well, our Etsy shop just reached our 100th item (whew!) and I haven’t even nicked the surface.

I’m finding that the most difficult thing about posting on Etsy is going through the motions to post an item only to realize that I’m not ready to part with it.

Release.

Relinquish.

Did someone say pieces?
Did someone say pieces?