I love doing mosaics. It’s like building a puzzle but you get to decide what pieces you want to use and how you want to use them 😉 And since the theme for this month’s IBC challenge is Valentine I thought I’d share a tutorial on how to make this little heart mosaic doorstop. It’s a perfect beginner project and it doesn’t cost a lot either.
But before I get to the tutorial, let me first tell you a little bit about the Int’l Bloggers Club (IBC). Every month a group of bloggers from around the world get together to create something using a common theme. Our previous challenge was all about Christmas and this month we’re sharing Valentine’s gift and decor ideas. You’ll be able to see all of our projects at the bottom of the post. Okay, let’s get back to mosaicing that little doorstop shall we 😉
What you need for the mosaic doorstop
- One large pebble from your garden
- Mosaic Tiles
- Extra strong, tacky glue
- Masking tape
- Clean rags or sponge
- Grout. I love using black grout in all my projects.
- Little bird ornaments
- Mosaic nippers
Start by doing a mock-up of what you’d like your doorstop to look like. Since this little one will be a Valentine’s day pressie for my Mom I drew a heart and then added the little birds. Basic shapes are always easier when you make your first mosaic. Don’t make the shape too small otherwise you’ll just end up frustrated and there’ll be glue all over the place.
Cut the mosaic tiles into pieces using the cutters or buy some pre-cut tiles. You’ll find them at most craft shops. I love using these shattered mirrored glass tiles.
They’re super easy to break apart and you don’t need tile cutters. I’ve added a link at the bottom of the post if you want to use the same ones. Glue your tiles inside the heart working from the outside in, just like a puzzle. Play around with the tile pieces until you find one that fits nicely.
Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect fit, we’ll fix it when we add the grout. The glue needs to be completely dry before grouting.
How to Mix Grout
The grout used for a mosaic is exactly the same as good old fashioned tile cement. So if you’ve ever tiled a bathroom, patio or even a kitchen backsplash, you’re can grout a mosaic 😉 The way you mix and apply the grout is the same. Before mixing, mask off the area around the finished shape. Most rocks are a little porous and the grout will stain it and make your finished doorstop look messy.
If at all possible grout outside. It’s a messy business and the dust is super fine. Mix the grout according to instructions. I prefer mine a little more runny and usually use a ratio of 1 part grout to 1.5 parts water. The grout should be the consistency of yogurt. It makes it easier to get into all the gaps between the tiles.
For this heart, I used 2 tablespoons of grout and 3 tablespoons of water. To minimize the grout dust going all over the place, put the grout in a bowl first and then slowly add the water. Mix thoroughly until there are no lumps.
Use a plastic spoon and pour the grout over your shape making sure it goes into all the little gaps between the tiles. You can also use the spoon to push the grout in between the tiles.
Let it stand for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess with a slightly damp rag or sponge. Don’t use paper towels. The tiles have sharp edges and you’ll end up with little paper bits all over the place. Ask me how I know 😀
The rag will get most of the extra grout off, but your tiles will look a bit hazy. We’ll fix that in a minute. First double check that there are no “grout gaps” between the mosaic bits. If you still see gaps, just spoon some more grout on and repeat. Once all the gaps have been filled, give it a few more wipes with a clean part of the rag until the tiles are shiny and free of grout or haze. When the grout is completely dry, about an hour, remove the masking tape and buff the tiles with a dry, lint-free cloth to finish off.
Extra Tips For Mosaicing a Rock
- Use extra strong, tacky glue. Rocks are oddly shaped and tacky glue will stick to most surfaces, even bumpy ones. If you use runny glue, you’ll spend half the time chasing the tiles around the rock as they slip and slide all over the place.
- Try and find a rock that’s reasonably flat and big enough to work on.
- Chose a simple shape for your first mosaic. It makes it easier to figure out where to put the tiles and you won’t stress so much about cutting the tiles perfectly.
- Wear goggles if you’re going to cut the tiles. Those tile chips have a tendency to fly all over the place.
- Black is my grout color of choice. It provides a stunning contrast to most colors. It’s like the little black dress of the mosaic world 😉 Unless you’re using black tile, then you might want to use another color.
- Never pour leftover grout down the drain. Grout is concrete, and that’s really bad for your plumbing. It will clog the pipes. Let it harden and then dispose of it like normal waste.
- If you don’t have any mosaic tiles, try breaking up some old plates. Put the plates in a plastic bag, cover with a thick towel and simply hammer away. Not too much, you don’t want too many teeny bits, they won’t stick and they’re very sharp.
If you like the idea don’t forget to pin it for later.
Keen to try making a mixed media mosaic? Then you’ll love this tutorial that shows you how to combine different art forms and take your mosaic to the next level.
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
Until next time, hope you have a beautiful, creative week and don’t forget to go have a looksee at the other Valentine’s projects below.
Welcome to the Int’l Bloggers Club!
P.S. You can also make a doorstop by recycling those old, rusty garden tools