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Topic: How to do mosaic tile on an old box tutorial  (Read 18676 times)
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« on: February 10, 2004 03:46:24 PM »

End result:  

Okay, I decided to do a mosaic box for my friend.  So here is a fairly lengthy tutorial on how to mosaic.  Sorry it's so long, but I wanted to show all the steps, which are basically the same for any size project!  I've done bigger ones--like a mailbox and very tiny ones--like a small suncatcher.

1.  Here is the box--I got it at the thrift store because it has an indent where the metal is, which makes it easy to grout:

2.  Draw picture right on the box (I used a sharpie):

3.  Start cutting tile to fit image.  You need tile cutters for this and ceramic tiles (all available at hardware stores or tile stores or online):

4.  Generally, I cut out the pieces to fit the main image, glue them down with any kind of tacky glue and then do the background last.  

This is fun! It's a bit like a jig saw puzzle figuring out how to fit the pieces together--it's also okay to be a little messy with shapes.  When I've done really perfect ones, they end up looking all wrong.

5.  After letting it dry for an hour, mix your (SANDED!! I find grout "with sand" way easier to use) with water and acrylic paint:

6. Put it on your piece until all the crevices are filled.

7. After waiting 15 minutes, wipe off with special WET sponge (wet, but wrung out) (note: these are cheap enough at the hardware store...do NOT try to use a regular sponge; it doesn't work!):

8.  Keep wiping until it looks like how you want it to be--tiles uncovered, grout in between them!  As it dries, you may have to wipe it a few more times with a wet, but wrung out sponge.   Then let it dry 24 hours.  At the end, you'll probably want to wipe it again with a wet sponge to get off the filmy cover of grout.   I'll probably paint this box and give it to my friend for her birthday.

The whole thing probably took about 3 hours, but I love tiling.  Try it out!   Wink

« Last Edit: February 17, 2004 08:43:11 AM by slick » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2004 03:59:46 PM »

thanks for sharing with us!  Very good directions & Pics
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004 08:36:49 PM »

Thanks so much for sharing that, slick! I was inspired by your Frida mosaic to try one of my own, but didn't know where to begin.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2004 05:41:00 PM »

Excellent tutorial, slick.

I've worked with tile - laying floors and just smashing wall and floor tiles to use in free-form mosaics. I never like the way my mosaics turn out (perhaps because there's no layout, no rhyme or reason to them) and I had no clue you could just change your grout color with acrylic paints... Yes, girl, you rock.

I can't wait to try a REAL mosaic now. Thanks!

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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004 06:45:20 PM »

First of all, your mosaic looks awesome, and the tutorial is definately not too long, the longer the better!!!

k, question. I once did a mosaic on the frame of a mirror, and all the sides are chipping off, so i'm scared to do anything with it. I was told that i needed to put some sort of sealant on it..which wasn't mentioned in your tutorial, so i'm wondering...is this sealant required?? or was i just using the wrong kind of grout.

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004 07:21:43 PM »

k, question. I once did a mosaic on the frame of a mirror, and all the sides are chipping off, so i'm scared to do anything with it. I was told that i needed to put some sort of sealant on it..which wasn't mentioned in your tutorial, so i'm wondering...is this sealant required?? or was i just using the wrong kind of grout.

Hmmm.... I have never had chipping, except for on a mailbox I did for someone that obviously is outdoors.  If I did another project for the outdoors, I would use some kind of sealant to make sure it's waterproof, but other than that, I wouldn't think you would need it....
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2004 07:10:16 PM »

this is realy cool
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2004 04:53:54 PM »

Thanks for the tutorial... good mosaic instructions are so hard to come by. And your box looks very pretty.
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2004 05:16:47 PM »

Your box is so cute!

Thank you so much for the tutorial!  I'm going to do another mosaics project, and I totally needed a good tutorial.

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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2004 03:16:36 PM »

I do a lot of mosaics and I seal everything.  I think it holds the grout together better and gives it a more finished look.  There are lots of sealants you could get, look in the Flooring section of a hardware store next to the grout, but I just use Mod Podge and water.  I take a sponge, get it wet, pour on some mod podge and squish it all over my piece.  then use windex to clean the glue off the glass.

Also, a GIGANTIC THANK YOU to slick for this tutorial.  I never heard of those sponges and i was using TONS of paper towels to clean the grout off and it sucked and i hated grouting, but now that i have the sponge, grouting is a BREEZE!!! Smiley

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