Ahh the bliss of summer.
I write this while sitting on my front porch. There’s a robin pecking away in my vegetable garden, a breeze at my back, and in a few minutes I’ll be biking off on my trusty ride Jolene to go swing dancing. Sometimes I wonder if life could possibly be any more amazing…
I spent last weekend doing my 5 favourite things – dancing, eating, laughing, crafting and frolicking – with some of my favourite people on earth. We celebrated the marriage of our friends J&K, we made hands down the best home-made pizza ever (word to the wise – cilantro pesto on thin crust pizza? i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e!), and we took in some incredible community events (like The Stop‘s annual Deli Duel & Clay and Paper Theatre’s Day of Delight).
After 48 hours of fun, bliss and sunshine, I convinced Brendon & Dave to help me finish off my latest project – a mosaic for the front of my dear house.
Here’s how it went…
- Glass, tiles
- Safety Gear (mask, eye protection, rubber gloves)
- A backing for your mosaic (e.g. a nice piece of wood, a glass vase, etc.)
- Tile adhesive
- Popsicle sticks (or chop sticks)
- A damp rag
- First, you need to collect your “pieces” that will make your mosaic. You can always buy pre-cut pieces from craft stores like Michaels, but for me, this is pricey and way less fun. Instead, I grabbed a few old, chipped plates and picked a few extras up from Value Village.
- You need to be super careful when you break your plates up. It can seem like a great idea to just chuck them against a wall, but you run the risk of getting little pieces if your eyes and creating a pretty hazardous situation. In order to make sure I still had full eye-sight (etc) after, I wore eye protection, a dust mask, rubber gloves and long sleeves (believe me, those tiny little tile dust particles can get everywhere and really hurt). It looks a little silly, but is well worth it. Just embrace it, throw this on your stereo, and do a little dance!
- Wrap your plates up in a heavy cloth or plastic bag, re-adjust your safety gear, and start smashing. It feels goooood.
- Next lay your pieces out on your backing (in my case, an old piece of wood from my sister’s roommate) and create your design. Don’t feel confined by tile pieces. You can just about anything – buttons, bells, stones, shells, beads – even Scrabble pieces! (Note – I started feeling weird about explicitly putting my address online through these photos, so I blacked out the street name, but trust me – the Scrabble pieces look GREAT!)
- Once you have your design laid out, it’s time to stick the pieces on! I spoke to some folks who mentioned that white glue works for this, but I decided to use full-on tile adhesive because I wanted my piece to be able to weather the outdoors. Using the popsicle or chop sticks, brush tile adhesive onto the back of each piece and press firmly in place.
- Let stand overnight to make sure the glue / adhesive dries fully.
- Mix a little bit of your cement up at a time (it dries quickly!) adding just enough water to give it a creamy consistency.
- With gloved hands, begin pressing the cement in between the tile pieces, pressing firmly so that it fills all the gaps between the pieces. Don’t worry if you get some on the tiles themselves – it’ll wash off.
- When you’re finished, use a damp cloth to wipe the excess cement off your tiles. You make want to do this a few times after the cement is dry for best results.