Mosaic Crafts for Beginners

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Mosaic flower pot

Mosaics have been around for a long time. You've admired them as interesting, one-of-a-kind art pieces. Now that you're ready to learn a new craft, you are looking for mosaic crafts for beginners. It's best to start out with simpler projects and patterns as you gain confidence in your mosaic crafting skills.

Materials and Tools

Mosaic projects do not have to be made from ceramic tiles, alone. They can also be made from broken dishes and cups, florist marbles, stones, shells, sea glass and many other things. You may even want to experiment with using a combination of items. Use a mallet or hammer, with your materials to be broken, in an old pillow case. Additional tools needed are tile nippers, for clipping smaller pieces off of your mosaic materials, and safety glasses, for eye protection. Purchase mastic (tile glue or a durable craft glue) and grouting, which comes in many colors. This is the same grouting used on flooring, counter and backsplash projects in the home. It can be found at any home improvement store.

Free-Form Garden Pot

Free-form mosaic can be just as beautiful as a planned patterned mosaic. The process of this type of project is just to decide which tile goes where as you go. Start your free-form garden pot, by first washing the pot with soapy water. Let it sit in the sun to completely dry for a day. Spray the inside of the pot with a clear polyurethane sealer. This will keep the moisture from the potted plant from entering the porous clay. Place tiles (or other materials) onto the pot with glue. Make sure to leave spaces around each tile, for grouting. Use your tile nippers to clip off pieces of tiles to fit in between other tiles. When all the tiling is complete on the outside of the clay pot, let it sit overnight.

Grout your mosaic garden pot by working the grout into the spaces between the tiles. You may use your fingers (be careful of sharp edges), a trowel or a squeegee (also found in the tile section in home improvement stores). At this point your mosaic will look messy. Let your project sit for about five minutes, letting the grout begin to set. Gently wipe off the excess grout from the tile tops with a soft, dry towel. Let the grout dry overnight before planting in the mosaic garden pot.

Designed Mosaic Tray

A mosaic tray can be used indoors or out. It makes a nice patio tray for iced tea and snacks. Before beginning this project, form a design for your mosaic. But, first visit a craft store and purchase an unfinished wood tray, acrylic paint and a spray polyurethane sealer. When choosing the paint color, consider the color of the tiles and grout color you will use, so that the project will have a cohesive appearance. For this project you will need to use only flat pieces of tile as the tray will be functional as well as decorative, therefore needing a flat surface. Apply several coats of paint to the unfinished wood tray. Make sure you paint any place that will show after the tiles are adhered. Place a piece of paper on the bottom of the tray, where the tiles will go, so that it is protected from the polyurethane spray. A slick surface will make it more difficult for the tiles to adhere. Spray the rest of the tray to seal it and give it a nice finished shine.

Cut another piece of paper the size of the inside of the tray and draw a simple pattern. You can get more intricate when you are more experienced. For ideas, look at children's coloring pages (see Resources). Use freehand drawing or trace a design onto the paper. Place a piece of carbon (or graphite) paper onto your tray bottom, with your drawing on top. Trace over your original design, lift the drawing and it will be transferred to the tray. Cut tiles as explained in the previous project. Glue in the tiles according to the pattern. After the tiles dry overnight, follow the grouting instructions for the garden pot mosaic.

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