Yesterday I promised to share a few simple mosaic projects with you, so here's another idea to give your home a lift this fall. And if you are hoping family and friends will drop by for seasonal gatherings, what better way to welcome them than with a new and creative address sign? And of course you can make it much bigger and grander if you so desire! Or even use this technique to mosaic your address on a large pot placed in view of the street, love that idea!
In general numbers and letters present a challenge in any basic mosaic, but I came up with an idea that will make you look like an experienced mosaic artist. What is the secret? Shhhhhh. Buy some plastic address numbers from the hardware store, glue them onto your base, and glue your mosaic pieces on top. The result, crisp and clear letters which stand slightly higher than the rest of the mosaic, and without much fuss!
- broken dishes or tiles
- plastic address numbers (or letters to make a family name plaque)
- glue to adhere numbers to base— silicone or any heavy duty glue
- tile adhesive or silicone (depending on the base material)
- base for mosaic, either wood, metal, or even a ceramic tile
- hanging hardware if necessary
- varnish (if you'll be using a wood base outdoors, it's recommended to seal it before applying mosaic)
- grout, color as desired
- tile nippers (optional)
- protective eye-wear (mandatory!)
- a hammer, and an old towel you don't care about
- a damp cloth
- Plan your design, namely how big you'd like the sign to be, where and how you will hang it, and what materials you'll use for the project. As you can see from my design, a combination of solids and patterned ceramics works nicely. Draw the basic outlines of your design onto the base with permanent marker.
- Glue numbers in place and drill holes in base, or affix hanging hardware to back before starting the project (If you do it later, the drilling and hammering will likely dislodge your mosaic!)
- If you'll be doing a mosaic that has a border of tiles, either all the way around or just placed at the corners, (that would have been a nice addition to my sign) affix those in place first.
- Using a hammer, and wearing protective eye-wear, break your dishes or tiles into small pieces. To prevent pieces from flying everywhere, place item between an old towel. (The towel will get cut.)
- If you need pieces that will be a specific size, you can opt to use a tile nipper (in photo above) though that can be difficult with thick ceramics, and the tool isn't necessarily worth the added expense if you are just starting out.
- Start affixing pieces to base, covering the numbers first and then working out. I generally work by applying adhesive to the piece of ceramic and then pressing that onto the base, but see what works for you.
- Fill in spaces as much as possible, but don't go crazy, the grout will fill any holes that remain.
- Set aside to dry overnight.
- Mix the grout color of your choice (pick something that will blend with the colors you've chosen) and consider this carefully, as the grout can either make your project lovely or be a huge disappointment. If you are doing a large project it might be wise to do a test first! Also one can color white grout with acrylic paint, but I'm not sure how color fast this would be if used outdoors.
- Spread grout over entire surface, and after grout has set, 15-20 minutes remove grout from tiled areas with a damp cloth. Be careful not to cut yourself as I have done many times! You may need to use a toothpick to remove grout from tiny corners of ceramic to expose the entire design.
- Set aside to dry and hang!
Hope you liked this post and later this week I hope to be posting photos of the amazing New York State home of a very creative Jewish mom I visited recently who just loves mosaic! Take care.