Summer is a great time to work on mosaic projects. You can sharpen your mosaic art skills inside or outside while creating all kinds of fun and useful pieces. We’ve covered some beginner-friendly projects in the past, like coasters, flowerpots, and other ideas. Hopefully, you’re all ready to continue with some fantastic new projects in the warm weather!
In this blog, we’ll talk a bit more about how to enjoy your handmade mosaic art hobby safely. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know to start how to grout mosaic tile, creating designs, and other tips on working!
Safe starts to your mosaicing journey!
You’ve been reading our blogs, checking out designs, and you’re now ready to start mosaicing. Even if you have a good idea of the type of project you want to undertake, it’s time to gather materials and protective gear.
As the saying goes, safety comes first. Although mosaic art is a relaxing, easy skill to learn, there’s still potential for some sharp edges.
Work in a well-lighted area that can support the weight of your project.
Always wear safety glasses or goggles when you’re cutting or breaking tile pieces. This will keep any stray fragments from your eyes.
Exercise caution with children and any broken edges. There are plenty of smooth, easy-to-handle mosaic pieces that are safe for small mosaic designers.
When mixing mosaic grout, be careful not to inhale any of the powder.
Use rubber or vinyl gloves when you’re grouting mosaic tile. Some people are sensitive to the wet grout.
Mosaic art designs – you can do it!
You know how all those amazing mosaic artists we’ve covered started out? Just like you will – they started sketching out mosaic patterns and ideas.
Begin your first designs by drawing them out at the same size as your project. If you’re going to start with coasters, work within a 4”x4” square, for example. Remember to leave room for the grout between the pieces. Happy with your idea? You’re ready to start outlining it on the actual surface you’ll be covering. Tracing paper is an easy way to do this, once you’ve worked out the details.
Not every type of mosaic art requires exact edges or painstaking care about following the outlines. However, these initial steps with layout will help you have a better sense of the size of tiles and colors you’d like to use.
As we talked about in our earlier blog, you’ll want a few basic tools on hand. In addition to your safety equipment, you’ll likely need a trowel for your grout, tile nippers to create the right size of mosaic tile pieces, and a sponge.
If you’re purchasing one of our DIY mosaic kits, you’ll find that nippers are included. Otherwise, it’s not hard to get started on your creation.
Stick it down!
Once you’ve prepared the design, go ahead and lay down the mosaic tile pieces – but don’t glue them yet! You want to make sure everything will fit easily, and that the surfaces will be flat enough to adhere to your project.
Once you’ve given it a trial run, you’re ready to glue everything into position. As we talked about before, the final destination for your mosaic art will determine the best adhesive to use. Check the label, and choose the appropriate water-resistant, extra-strong, or waterproof brand.
Spread the adhesive smoothly over the surface of your piece, and place your tiles. Now, you just need to wait a little while for the adhesive to cure. Once it’s set, use your sponge to wipe away any extra material that may have floated up to the top.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how long to let your piece cure. This could be up to 72 hours for any mosaic art that’s going to be used outside.
Time for grout!
Grouting mosaic tile is fun on its own! The grout will fill in all the spaces between your tiles, making a nice smooth surface. It’s available in all kinds of colors, but black or off white is usually a good choice for most mosaic designs.
Lay out your piece on a protected flat surface – a layer of newspaper is good for stopping any spillover.
Mix up your grout in a well-ventilated area, using your gloves. Avoid breathing the dust. Once it’s prepared, it’s time to start troweling it on to your custom mosaic. Cover the entire piece with the grout – you want to make sure that it fills in all the nooks and crannies between the tiles. Be sure to do this all in one session.
Once you’ve covered the piece in grout, check the label to see how long it needs to set – usually around 20 minutes will do it. Once it has, use your sponge and warm water to wipe off the surface of the tiles. You’ll start to see your completed mosaic design emerge – pretty exciting!
After everything has dried and set, you may wish to seal your art with a spray-on sealant. This is especially helpful for pieces that will be used outside. Now, you’re ready to share your mosaic design with the world, and prepare for your next project as a true mosaic artist!
Working with mosaic designs can be as playful, detailed, loose, or structured as you’d like. Unlike painting or some other types of art, you can produce a functional object with every creative session. It’s also a fun group project for any age range. How about creating a mosaic tabletop, walkway, or mosaic backsplash with everyone this summer?