Mosaics decorate floors, walls, tabletops and many more surfaces, serving as abstract art inside and outside the home. Gardeners sometimes like to decorate their outdoor spaces with mosaic items. Mosaics are easy to make and very versatile. Each mosaic project requires broken ceramic tiles and plates for creating pictures. Tiles leftover from other projects, and colorful, inexpensive plates from yard sales make the perfect medium when smashed into small pieces with a rubber mallet. Wear protective eye wear and wrap the tiles and plates in a towel before smashing to prevent injury from flying ceramic bits.
Mosaic Stepping Stones
Not only are mosaic stepping stones easy to create, they also make artistically messy projects for both adults and children. After breaking up mosaic pieces, the artist pours cement into stepping-stone molds, which come in many geometric shapes, including circles, squares, hexagons and more. After the cement cures for half the time recommended on the packaging, the artist presses pieces of tile and colored ceramic into the tops of the stones, creating a colorful pattern. After the cement dries completely, each stone requires a coat of outdoor sealant.
Mosaic Retaining Wall
Many gardens contain short brick or concrete retaining walls that separate gardens or yards from each other. Though these walls are attractive when built, some of them become worn or look outdated over time. One way to improve and modernize them is to cover them in a mosaic mural. The artist cleans the dirt and grime from the wall to help the ceramic pieces stick later. Chalk helps the artist outline her design—such as flowers, geometric designs or nature scenes—on the wall, and thin-set outdoor ceramic mortar glues the ceramic pieces into the design. The artist grouts the mosaic, wipes away the excess and applies an outdoor sealant to the dried results.
Gardeners tired of ordinary terra-cotta planters can renew and personalize them with mosaic designs. The project begins by drawing the desired design onto the planter with a piece of chalk. The artist then sticks the appropriate broken pieces to the planter with tile mortar and grouts them with tile grout. Outdoor sealant completes the project. An artist might use whole decorative tiles offset by whirling or abstract designs created by broken pieces. Other designs include patched-up rainbows, flowers, ocean waves and trees.