The other day I was reminded just how much people love receiving handmade mosaic gifts, as my kids had the traditional end of year gifts to give to their teachers. Normally I buy a box of Favourites chocolates or something similar, but after a luke warm reception to this last year I decided to put more effort into this years gifts. So, diving through my boxes of mosaic projects I can up with a number of lovely mosaics that I had made over the years, the hardest part was deciding what mosaic suited what person.
Needless to say that everyone loved their gifts and was very appreciative of the fact that they were handmade. For me, working in mosaics everyday, it is easy to forget that they are unique and loved by people. Handmade gifts are going to become a tradition in our family for years to come.
Last weekend, I took time out to create this new project which again is a lovely gift for someone special.
- Photo frame - Square Wooden Photo Frame 25x25 cm's
- Adhesive - I've used are new range of 'The Mosaic Store' adhesive. It is a clear and quick drying PVA adhesive, which is really good for projects like this one.
- Ivory Grout
- One packet of each of the following Irregular Ceramic Tiles: Vibrant Blue and Vintage Blue Swirl
- One packet of our brand new 'Blue Irregular Mirror Tiles'
- Mosaic Cutters
- Gloves, containers, rags or sponge for grouting
1. Sealing the MDF 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 PVA adhesive & water can be used as the sealer in a ratio of 1 part PVA to 4 or 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.
2. Tiling the Photo Frame
The adhesive can be applied either directly to the base or painted individually onto the back of the tiles. By far the quickest method is to paint the adhesive onto the base. When using this method apply to small sections at a time to avoid the adhesive drying out. When the tiles have been laid allow the adhesive to cure for 24 hours before applying the grout. Run you hand over the tiles to ensure they are all firmly adhered before grouting. If any are loose, remove them and re-adhere.
As all the tiles are an irregular shape, many of them can be laid without the necessity for any additional cutting. If you want your tiles to fit snugly however you will have to cut some tiles to fit the spaces created. The Irregular Ceramic Tiles will need to be cut with ceramic tile cutters as using Wheeled Nippers will blunt the wheels.
3. Grouting Time
When selecting your grout buy grout that is suitable for use in spaces of between 1-3mm. This grout is much smoother than grout that is suitable for larger gaps. This is really important when grouting the mirrors as the coloured coating is applied directly to the face of the tile. If you use too coarse a grout or are overly zealous in rubbing the grout you will damage the face of the irregular mirror tiles.
If you are a complete beginner then click here to go to the 'Beginners Guide to Grouting'.
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, nor for any omission in the advice. Please wear appropriate safety equipment when cutting mosaic materials and using grouts and adhesives. Keep out of reach of children.