Have you shied away from artsy type projects thinking you just didn’t possess the creativity needed? Well, forget that thinking! Follow these simple steps and you can create a beautiful mosaic piece that will be the envy of all your friends. If you already are a creative type you can use your skills to ramp up the design aspects and really make something special. So let’s get started.
First, choose something you would like to decorate. I chose a very old, beat up dining table. It’s fairly large at a 45″x65″ oval, so if you don’t have a lot of time I recommend you start with something smaller. It could be a small table top,a flat picture or mirror frame or a wooden box. Just look around your house and see if you can find something that would be enhanced by mosaic tiles. Try to stick with something that has a flat surface. Round objects will be more difficult to work with.
A short disclaimer before I go any further. This is how I transformed my table. It might not be the proper way or even the best way, but it worked for me. So I believe it will work for you too.
I love the look of handmade Mexican tiles. The patterns and colors are vibrant, varied and will make your project uniquely beautiful. I purchased broken Mexican tiles through Ebay. For my project I needed 50 pounds of tiles. I ordered 40 pounds of patterned tiles and ten pounds of solid colors. So you can scale that up or down depending on the size of your object. Next you will need a good glue for porous surfaces. I used a large bottle of Sobo glue and it seemed to work fine. The grout I chose was an epoxy resin. It was more expensive than traditional grout but it is stain resistant. Since I was doing our dining table and spills happen this seemed the best option. If the object you will be tiling won’t be subjected to possible food stains or foot traffic feel free to go the traditional route. One negative about the grout I used is that it sets up very quickly, so that it took two of us working feverishly to finish before it was unworkable.
Oh happy days! My tiles arrived and I can begin the sorting process. Some were smashed to pieces and others only had minor chips in the corners. Most were broken into about 6 shards. Also some of the tiles needed to be cleaned. Some had been taped together. I’m not sure why they did this when they were going to sell them as broken anyway, but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. I sorted the tiles into color groups, separating the solid colors from the patterned. My plan was to guard against having all of the green in one area and blue in another. I wanted them all mixed together. I kept some of the intact tiles whole in an effort to lighten my labor. I planned where I wanted to place those. The remainder of tiles I sorted through, breaking some into smaller pieces with a hammer. They weren’t exactly surgical strikes. Then I had to tap any jagged edges carefully with my hammer to smooth them out. I decided to do a simple flower design on the two rounded ends of my table, so I planned that out ahead of time as well.
That was a good few days work. Check back with me in a couple of days to see how we finish our table.