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Thu, Nov 20, 2014

Brighten up your Backyard with a Mosaic Birdbath

Mosaic Birdbath’s are a very popular project because you get to create a lovely piece of artwork for your garden, and hopefully attract some beautiful wildlife as well. In this project I’ve used one of my favourite patterns to create a unique and colourful birdbath. The instructions will provide you with all the information you need to create one for yourself. 


mosaic birdbath project


Materials & Supplies:

  • Terracotta Birdbath
  • Materials - A selection of materials that are suitable to be used outside.
  • Wheeled glass nippers for cutting stained glass, square ceramic tiles and mini venetian tiles
  • Primer / sealant
  • Waterproof Cement based adhesive 
  • Grout
  • Exterior Terracotta Paint (for painting the exposed areas of the birdbath)
  • Putty knife (optional)
  • Latex glove
  • Safety glasses
  • Disposable or plastic bowl, sponge, something to stir the adhesive & grout with


1. Preparing base

Terracotta is a great base to mosaic on because of its weather resistance. To prepare the birdbath make sure that it has been thoroughly cleaned and coat it with a 3-4 coats of primer or sealer to help the adhesive take hold. Sealing the terracotta will also stop the adhesive and grout drying out due to the porosity of the terracotta.

2. Drawing the Design

The design is simply a mass of interconnecting and singular circles. As the surface of the birdbath isn’t flat I drew some circles onto a piece of paper, cut them out and then traced around them directly onto the birdbath.

3. The Tesserae (tiles)

I used a combination of tesserae on the circles, basically any tesserae that was colourful. This included cut iridised glass pebbles, Iridised glass gems, square ceramic tiles, mini venetian tiles, millefiori and a variety of coloured stained glass chips. So raid your collection of materials to see what you can come up with.  


mosaic birdbath


4. Laying the Tesserae (Tiles)

The direct method was used to lay the mosaic tiles. When using the direct method apply the adhesive in sections so it doesn’t dry out while you work.

The adhesive I’ve used is a waterproof cement based adhesive as the mosaic is going to be exposed to the elements. Be generous with the adhesive and lay the tiles into a bed of it to ensure they are well adherered.

Once you have finished laying the tiles allow the adhesive to cure (normally 24 hours, check manufactures instructions) prior to grouting

5. Grouting Time

The grout is a terracotta colour.

I added the primer that was used to seal the birdbath to the grout to increase its flexibility and reduce the porosity and staining of the grout. Once grouted allow 24 hours for the mosaic piece to dry thoroughly.

Prior to grouting the circles of the column, adhere making tape along the edge of the intended grout line. Grout the area and then remove the tape, this technique will keep the base clean and give a nice edge along the grout.


mosaic birdbath


6. Finishing the Birdbath

To complete the birdbath I’ve painted the exposed terracotta with a terracotta coloured exterior paint. The grout surfaces have also been sealed with a grout sealer. Allow time for the adhesive and grout to cure fully before using the birdbath (at least 72 hours).

For more information on grouting click here.


Legal Disclaimer: No warranty is implied by these instructions. Use at your own risk. The Mosaic Store and its proprietors are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of this information, or for any omission in the advice. Please wear appropriate safety equipment when cutting mosaic materials and using grouts and adhesives. Always follow manufacturers instructions which take precedence over instructions contained within this project. Keep out of reach of children.



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