So it's finally summer here in Seattle. And we've been spending a lot of time outdoors soaking up some good Ol' vitamin D! When we're not out of the house we spend time in the balcony while A plays with his sand box, baby Z sits in her rocker and I contemplate life and important issues such as why is this black table so ugly?! In one of my over ambitious moods I decided it HAD to mosaic it!
Being the impatient person that I am, I got to it fairly quickly, this is the first time I've attempted mosaic so there were lots of mistakes to make and lots to learn! Here are some tips and a guide so you don't make the same mistakes!
Things you need:
1. Mosaic pieces - I got a bag from the thrift store but those weren't enough to cover the whole table so then I got a box of mixed blue pieces
2. Strong craft glue - I used Craft smart
3. wheeled Cutter - I loveeeee this tool!!
6. Bowl for water
7. Grout your choice of Colors I bought the Premixed one.
8. Sealer - optional
9. Surface to mosaic
Step 1: thoroughly clean your surface with a wet cloth and let it dry. Make sure your surface is nice and dry before you get started, as your glue won't work too well otherwise.
Step 2: start laying down your tiles!
As I had mentioned earlier I got a bag of glass pieces from the thrift store, these were all irregular sizes and shapes. But the box of tiles I got were 1inch squares so with my cutting tool I started snipping these. It was extremely effortless to do. I just snipped away without too much thought! I was first laying down all the pieces, and then picking them up again, putting glue on the back and then sticking them back down. But this was taking agessss and I'm not the most patient person! So instead I put the glue down on in a small section of the table, (about 3 x 3 inch) and then just laid my mosaic pieces down on that. Just make sure you have lots of glue and work fast so the glue doesn't dry out. This method also worked well for me because I wasn't following any particular pattern I was just going by how they visually looked next to each other.
This process of putting down your mosaic pieces takes a lot longer then I would have thought.... I was hoping to have it all laid down in one day! Yes, a little over ambitious I know! But realistically with giving it about and hour to two hours max a day; with distractions and ‘A’ laying down the tiles with me.... I got it done in about 4 days.
Step 3: let it dry! Let your glue dry over night. I used craft glue as it's easy to use, I already had it at home, it dries clear and it's got a strong hold. But glues specifically made for Mosaics are available also. I was happy with what I used. It did lightly rain one night and the table got wet, so I had to re-glue some of the pieces, which had come loose.
Step 4: Grouting! Yet another process I really underestimated! It just looks so simple and easy to do in all the shows on TV....it's really Not! THEY LIE!! Of course they didn't have a 3 year old helper so I'm sure that had something to do with it! I started off by laying down the premixed grout, covered all the tiles and rubbing it into all the gaps. The instructions on the grout said to let it sit for half an hour and then wipe it down with a sponge and water. Which I did, but between me and ‘A’ turning it into a game of pouring water onto the table with the sponge, I think we kind off over did it. Because once it dried the entire thing had lots of cracks. So I let it dry over night and then the next day once ‘A’ was asleep I re-grouted it. Technically I should have first removed the first layer but it seemed like that would take too much time. The second layer seems to be working perfectly!
Step 5: sealer- after letting it set for a few days I applied a surface sealer which was a very easy process of applying it with a sponge brush. Not a very necessary step, but since I live in Seattle and usually it rains a lot and the table is outdoors I thought it was a good idea, but of course since having done that it hasn’t rained at all! So, I haven’t really been able to test it.
But I loveeeee how my table turned out! Here are a few tips so you don’t make the same mistakes I did!
1. Don’t be shy with the glue. Make sure to use enough so that each piece sticks.
2. Wear gloves.
3. When applying the grout rub it in all the little cracks. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer on top of each tile; it’ll just be more work for you later.
4. i smoothened out my edges with an old credit card which worked perfectly!
5.Don’t use to much water when wiping it off.
6. Use a soft cloth for cleaning when there’s a very light greyish residue remaining.
Hope this helps with your mosaic project, if you have any questions leave me a comment and ill get back to you asap!
You can find some of the products i used here: