It is fun to learn mosaic art. You can make your own garden art once you have made up your mind to try it out. A mosaic ornament can add a tinge of color to your garden. The kind of piece you want to create for your garden depends entirely on your personal choice. This art can be used to make stunning pots, bird baths, water features, or murals that can be cleverly placed to accentuate the beauty of a garden. It is easy and requires cheap and easily available materials. What comes next, are the basic steps that must be followed in a sequential manner to make a beautiful mosaic art piece.
Making a Mosaic Garden Art Piece
- Base object
- Rubber spatula
- Mosaic-making items
- Glass cutter/Tile snips
- Butter knife/Popsicle stick
- Protective glasses
- Grout (weatherproof)
- Grout and tile sealer
- Thin set mortar (weatherproof)
Instructions to Follow
- The first step in making a colorful mosaic garden art is to decide the base object. You can pick from various items that are available at home. An old bird bath, flower pots, terracotta saucers, patio tables, plywood, metal, or plastic objects can be used for it. Just remember that the base object, be it any material, must be sturdy and capable of handling the weight of mosaic pieces.
- Gather a few items for making the mosaic. You can collect scrap glass, colorful tiles, marbles, broken coffee mugs, other chinaware, mirrors, rocks, buttons, etc. It is easy to find a few of these items lying unused in the house.
- Wear protective glasses for safety of your eyes and rubber gloves for your hands. Use a sturdy, flat table to break these items into smaller pieces.
- To get various sizes of mosaic pieces, wrap the item in a towel, place it on the table, and gently tap it using a hammer.
- For obtaining desired shapes use tile snips to cut colorful tiles, and a glass cutter to cut required glass shapes. Segregate mosaic-making pieces and keep them aside.
- After you are done with breaking the stuff, it's time to deal with the base object. If you are using an old gardening item as your base object, you will first need to clean it by removing dirt and algae, if at all it is present. If your base object is an old metal item, scrub it off using a sandpaper to get rid of rust. But if it's a new one, you still need to scrub it so that you get a rough surface capable of adhering to other objects. For wooden base object, sand, and apply a coat of waterproof sealer so that it does not expand and contract due to moisture.
- When you have prepared the base, think of how you want your mosaic art to look. Bring out your creativity and decide the design beforehand. This will avoid unnecessary confusion that may arise, if you have not imagined your final piece of art. It is better to mark the design on the base object using a sketch pen so that you can arrange mosaic pieces accordingly.
- Prepare thin set mortar as per instructions mentioned on the pack. Its paste-like consistency will help the pieces to stick to the base object. Do not prepare the entire mix at one go because it starts getting hard after about 20 minutes. Therefore, prepare as much mortar that you can use within 20 minutes.
- Pick a mosaic piece and apply a small amount of mortar using a butter knife or Popsicle stick. Press this piece on the surface of the base object as per your design. Do not apply excess mortar, or else it will simply ooze out from the sides.
- Similarly, apply all other broken pieces to the base object. If you have tile pieces of different thickness, alter the amount of mortar applied to get all of them at a uniform level. Leave sufficient space between pieces to accommodate grout. When you are done with this activity, leave the unfinished mosaic art undisturbed for a period of 48 hours.
- After 48 hours, mortar will become dry and mosaic pieces will get firmly adhered to the base object. Now, mix grout as per manufacturer's instructions in a container, and start applying it on the object. Spread it evenly using a rubber spatula so that all crevices between mosaic pieces are filled properly. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- Wipe out excess grout using sponge and water. Use a steel wool to scrub off mosaic pieces, in case grout has formed a hard cake over them. Leave the art to dry for another 2 days.
- Applying a sealer to your art work is optional. You can get grout and tile sealer from your local hardware store. Generally, two coats of sealer are enough to protect it from algae and other harmful elements of the environment. Use a paintbrush to apply the first coat of the sealer. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then apply the second coat. When the sealer dries, your art piece is ready to be placed in the garden.
Now that you know the details, go ahead and make your own garden accessories. You can make as many accessories as you want so that you can enhance the look of your garden. Accessories like bird houses, flower pots, patio table, watering cans, bird feeders, garden stones, etc., can be given a new look with this art form. It is easy to buy such accessories from gardening stores, however, the experience of making one all by yourself will be rewarding than anything else. So, what are you waiting for? Just go ahead and make a garden ornament that will lure your guests and people passing by.