With Valentines and Mothers Day approaching this short blog steps you through how to make a mosaic heart.
The craft of making mosaics dates back thousands of years, with the Roman examples of the art being the first that many people think of. Over the years the techniques and materials used have evolved, however the basic principles of the craft remain consistent - arranging smaller pieces of material to form a larger image or pattern on a surface.
The approach described here is based on the technique developed by us at Crafty You Crafty Me. With many modern kits using PVA glue and therefore requiring plastic packaging for the glue and plastic spreaders we were keen to develop a more eco friendly and sustainable option. The idea of our 'Sticky Blanks' (TM) was born - working with our UK supplier we use a wooden base to form the desired mosaic shape and adhere a glue sheet to be peeled off for use. Reducing the plastic use, simplifying the mosaic making process and reducing mess.
Step 1: Select your tiles.
We prefer to use glass tiles, as well as being more environmentally friendly than using plastic tiles for example, they also provide a quality finish and reflect the light making your mosaic sparkle. Your local craft shop will have many tile options to choose from including glass, plastic and ceramic - more experienced crafters may use broken household materials.
Step 2: Arranging your tiles.
With your tiles selected choose the shape you want to make and the surface for your mosaic. In this example we are using a wooden heart shape backing. There are limitless options from wooden shapes for decorations through to making a mosaic table - the important aspect is ensuring the mosaic will adhere to surface. Next lay out your tiles in the desired arrangement on your surface, this will enable you to hone your design whilst ensuring you have enough tiles to cover the surface.
Step 3: Sticking your tiles down.
If using 'Sticky Blanks' remove the protective sheet to expose the sticky surface and place your tiles in the desired pattern, the surface is forgiving to allow some movement of the tiles as you perfect your design. Alternatively you could individually glue down each mosaic tile/stone, ensure you wait for the glue to dry before grouting.
Step 4: Grouting.
There are a wide selection of grouts available providing a range of finishes and textures. We use non-toxic grout in our designs, this makes them great for using with children and also removes the need for PPE- although there's always the chance of spillage so we wouldn't suggest wearing your best clothes. Mix the grout powder with a little water to form a toothpaste like substance and then use a spreader to grout over your mosaic. Our kits provide wooden grout spreaders, supporting our eco conscious mindset and aim to minimise plastic use.
Step 5: Cleaning.
Once grouting is complete it is likely that your mosaic will have excess grout over the tiles. Use a damp sponge or cloth to remove this excess grout, although be careful not to displace any tiles or make your mosaic wet. For this we provide environmentally friendly natural sponges, if you are not using a kit then you may have an old sponge or rag around the house for this step.
Step 6: Clearing the hole.
Our mosaic hearts are designed to hang as beautiful decorations. When grouting the pre drilled hole may become blocked, therefore we provide a small matchstick (not shown in the picture above) to clear the hole before the grout dries.
Step 7: Drying.
Leave your mosaic to dry for 24 hours. If you are using an alternative grout then follow the manufactures instructions.
Step 8: Polishing.
Once dry your mosaic should be polished, this will remove any grout residue from the glass tiles providing a sparkling finish for your mosaic. Use the damp natural sponge for this.
Step 9: Hang and enjoy.
Use the ribbon provided, or any alternative thread or ribbon if you are not using a kit, to hang your heart decoration in your home. Alternatively these make wonderful handmade gifts for friends and family.