This contemporary mosaic mirror project is fun, colourful and very unique. It's an easy project that is suitable for both beginners and advanced mosaicists.
- Square Wooden Mirror - 29.5 x 29.5 cm's
- Handmade Ceramic Tiles
- 2 x Hand Printed Ceramic Tiles 10x10cm - Pattern 13
- Irregular Ceramic Tiles - Light Orange, Light Green, Vibrant Blue and Light Blue.
- Ceramic Tile Cutters
- The Mosaic Store adhesive
- Black Grout
1. Sealing wooden mirror base
This is an indoor project that is not suitable for areas where it will be exposed to moisture or water, as it is not waterproof. As wood is porous the mirror base needs to be sealed before tiling. A mixture of Weldbond adhesive & water can be used as the sealer in a ratio of 1 part Weld bond to 5 parts water, apply two coats allowing each coat to dry thoroughly (30 minutes to 1 hour). Coat the area where you will be tiling by using a paint brush. Note, I didn't seal the area that is going to be painted with blackboard paint.
2. Tiling the Design
The first stage in tiling is to cut the ceramic tiles. You might be tempted to break them with a hammer but in my experience this results in sharp edges and no control over the pieces that you end up with, not to mention lots of wastage. Rather than breaking them with a hammer I cut them into irregular shapes using a pair of tile cutters.
Tile nippers work best on ceramic tiles, porcelain and china.They are not recommended for glass because they tend to crush and splinter the glass tiles.
To cut the tile overlap the edge of the tile by 3 to 4 mm and squeeze down. Don't cover the entire surface of the nipper with the tile, this will help stop the tile from becoming crushed and your hand from tiring. By applying pressure to a small amount of tile at the edge you create a fracture along the surface.
How you position the top edge of the nippers will determine the direction of the cut. Angle the nipper to go in the direction you want the cut. For a straight cut align the top edge of the nippers parallel with the top edge of the tile.
When cutting the tiles try to keep the cuts straight, as angled cuts will result in the tiles not sitting close to each other and larger grout areas. Keep your spacing between the ceramic pieces consistent for a balanced overall design.
If you are after straight long cuts in the 10x10 cm tiles you will need to use a manual tile cutter. Manual tile cutters work by scoring the tile and then applying pressure to break the tile. The key to getting a straight break is to get a good score line. There are many manual tile cutters available but you do get what you pay for. If you cutting a lot of ceramic tiles and decide to purchase one, you can pick them up for hardware or tiling stores.
I used the straight edges of the tiles on the edges of the design, particularly in the lower section.
3. Grouting the mosaic section
I used black grout on this mosaic. When grouting the handmade tiles and expressions mosaic words, use a fine grout to avoid scratching the surface.
If you haven't grout before or have questions regarding grouting then have a look at our 'Beginners Guide to Grouting'.