Make Your Own Ceramic Leaves

December 15, 2014

Make Your Own Ceramic Leaves

Ceramic leaves are a popular feature in mosaics which you can make yourself in any colour and size variation. In this 'How To Mosaic' I am showing you how (including how to add the vein detail to the leaf).

Step 1 - Select You Tiles

 

Ceramic tiles to be cut for mosaic



Step 2 - Cutting the Ceramic Tiles

It's important to understand that ceramic tiles break differently depending upon the tile itself and tool you are using so practice is the key to cutting your tiles.

To begin with cut your tile according to the size of the leaf or leaves you are wishing to cut. If your planning on doing a lot of work with ceramic tiles then purchasing a siding tile cutter (available from hardware stores for around $50) is a worth whiled investment. Otherwise, I've demonstrated below how to break your tile using a tile scorer. It's a relatively slow process so I don't recommend it for cutting large quantities.

 

ceramic tiles for mosaics  ceramic tiles for mosaics  breaking ceramic tiles for mosaics

Score the tile (this tool is called a tile cutter and is around $15)
Place an object underneath the scored line to act as a fulcrum. Apply pressure to break the tile along the scored line.

Step 3 - Cutting the Leaf Shape

Draw the leaf shape on the back of the tile. If you looking to create a number of leaves a template of the shape is a useful guide. For the project I'm currently working on I've prepared templates of the same shaped leaf in a number of different sizes out of paper.

tracing the design onto the ceramic tile
cutting out the ceramic leaf
roughly cut leaf out of ceramic tiles

 
Using a leaf template trace the outline of the leaf onto the back of the tile
With tile nipper break of the larger areas of tile and nip off the areas close to the line to form a leaf shape.
Roughly cut leaf shape

Step 4 - Cleaning up the Leaf Shape


Using a flat ceramic tile file (which can be purchased from a hardware store for around $15) file the roughly cut leaf until the edges are smooth. The most effective way to do this is to file in one sweeping motion along from the back of the tile to the front. Sandpaper can also be used to smooth the edges to a finer finish.



smoothing off edges on ceramic leaf
Ceramic leaf for mosaics


Step 5 - Adding the Vein Detail


I've added detail to the leaves using a Dremel rotary power tool. These lines have been etched into the glaze without breaking through the surface. Note, when grouting take care not to fill these lines and lose the detail in the leaves.

 

ceramic leaves for mosaics

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