Nothing spruces up a room like a good art piece. For me, mosaics always do the trick. Be it a mosaic table top or a mosaic-tiled flower pot, mosaics add a lot of life and vibrancy wherever they may be placed.

From guest blogger Marina Chernyak

A mosaic is created by inlaying small pieces of colored materials, whether of the same size and shape or not, in order to form a picture of a pattern on a surface. Often times, it is made with the use of colored tiles, broken pieces of glass and stones.

However, mosaics can also be created in many other ways, such as with the use of pieces of paper. It can also be a painting style, where in one draws and paints on these shapes on. In addition to these techniques, eggshell mosaics are popular arts and crafts projects for kids.

With the advent of modern technology, too, computers can also generate mosaic-style images using a set of your own pictures. Whatever form of mosaic one chooses, the end result is still the same: it adds a WOW factor to your space.

recycled mosaic art DIY Recycled Mosaic Art

Creating your own mosaics can be a fun and relaxing way of spending a lazy afternoon, and believe it or not, it’s quite easy to do.

Plus it’s a great way of recycling old stuff in your home. Talk about turning trash into treasure!

The chosen material is chipped or broken ceramic plates; the best options are  when these materials are colored or hand-painted. Old floor tiles are also good options. You can also buy some, like this package of 1000 Tiny Mosaic Glass Tiles DIY Recycled Mosaic Art An added bonus to using these materials is that breaking these into smaller pieces is a great stress reliever.

To be safe, I put them inside an old pillowcase before breaking them with a hammer. The only drawback with this type of material is that you often end up with unevenly shaped pieces, which is not necessarily a problem unless you prefer using a uniformed tile. You can also try using a tile cutter, but I prefer the uniqueness of the hammer method.

Other materials you will need for a project like this would be the following:

  • A project “base” or something to stick the pieces on. For example, an old terra cotta pot or empty wine bottle. It could also be your old table top, a mirror, a wooden box or even the lid of an empty ice cream can.
  • Tile or cement glue such as Duco Cement Multi-Purpose Household Glu DIY Recycled Mosaic Art An alternative for this is a glue gun. Although the glue gun does not harden as much as the tile or cement glue does, it is quite effective and in case you make a mistake, it’s easy to remove.
  • Mosaic sealant, although if you’re doing a glass table top or a mirror that does not need waterproofing, you can forgo this.
  • Tile grout like Weldbond Tile Grout Sealer DIY Recycled Mosaic Art to fill up the spaces between the colored tiles (stones, plates, or whatever it is you use)
  • A tile squeegee DIY Recycled Mosaic Art to spread the grout. Don’t use your fingers as this can lead to a lot of cuts and injuries!
  • A sponge or paint brush to clean up the final project and cover with sealant.

How to go about it:

1. Prepare the tiles you will use (be it the broken plates, cut-up pieces of paper, etc.). It would be best if your tile pieces were flat and of the same thickness. This ensures that your final design will be even and have a flat surface.

2. Sketch out your pattern on your base. If you are using an old table top, you may need to prep this This will help guide you in placing the tiles.

3. Glue on the tiles on the appropriate spots of your design. Make sure you leave a little space in between each tile for the grout. This is what will make your design stand out.

4. Prepare the grout by following instructions in the package. Using the squeegee, spread over the entire design making sure to fill up the spaces between the tiles. Scrape of the excess and wipe the design down with a cloth or towel. Be careful when doing this as the tiles may move since the grout and glue may not have set yet.

5. Leave to dry for several hours before wiping down with a damp sponge to remove excess grout. If need be, cover with sealant.

Of course the easiest way is to go out and purchase a mosaic tiling kit DIY Recycled Mosaic Art, just choose your design and everything is all set. However, doing this from scratch adds a more rewarding feel to the project.

These projects can also be a good family activity, given of course that the tiles you decide to use are suitable to your child’s age. This can be a fun way for them to learn colors, patterns and more importantly, patience and perseverance!

Marina Chernyak is the co-owner of 1001Shops LLC, a one stop shop of unique imported products like Limoges boxes, antique Walking canes and many more.

Image: Recycled Bangles Mosaic Art Bird Sculpture Nek Chand India – Ant Smith