1. Pick a surface:
Indoor – Plywood or MDF board for wall hangings, vases, pots, backsplashes, wooden boxes, an old table, pretty much anything except the kids or dog.
Outdoor – Cement stepping stones or a cement bench, terracotta pots, cement board for wall hangings, or your car if you don’t mind the “eccentric” look. (Avoid anything that will absorb outdoor humidity and warp over time.)
2. Pick a design:
Draw your design onto the surface and be sure to keep it simple…at least a first until you find what works for you. If you’ll be using light colored translucent tiles with an adhesive that dries clear, be careful not to place them directly over the lines you’ve drawn, as the lines will show through the tile.
Consider a background design color that will contrast with the focal point of your design. If you’re making dark red flowers with dark green leaves and then use dark blue tiles for your background, it will all blend together. A lighter background will help the vibrant colors of your design jump out!
3. Pick a method:
Direct method – Glue tiles directly to your surface, one at a time. This method is the most popular & recommended for most projects. Your end result will give you a masterpiece that looks handmade, which is probably what you want. You don’t want to work you heart out only to have something that looks like it was just mass produced in a factory. (For the purpose of these instructions, I will be referring to the direct method.)
Indirect method – Set tiles in place on a sheet of mosaic mount, face down, before flipping over to place on mosaic surface all at once. This method is recommended for a table top that needs to be smooth. The end result will give you a flush surface.
4. Glue those tiles!
Most mosaic adhesives come in a bottle with a narrow squirt-top. You can choose to put a dot of glue on the back of each tile one at a time, dot your surface as you go, or draw a whole line of glue & work you way across it. It’s entirely up to you. If you see too much glue squishing out to the sides of the tiles and filling the spaces between tiles, try using a little less.
ou usually have at least an hour to move tiles around (with some effort, depending on how much time the glue has had to dry). If the glue is really dry, and you just have to reposition a tile, try wedging a flat-head screw driver under one side and giving the end a light tap with a hammer. Keep in mind that the beauty of mosaics is their uniqueness. Don’t shoot for perfection! The less perfect it is, the more you’ll love it in the end! Tiles that don’t lay perfectly flat or in line with each other will play with the light in different ways. This is why the direct method is recommended – your masterpiece will be so much more fun to look at!
5.Time to grout: At least 24-hours after glue has dried.
Grout color is a personal choice. Black grout helps your colors pop, and it’s usually my personal favorite. Lighter shades work well too – it all depends on your project.
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