Tips and Tricks for Making Mosaics
Did you know? Here is an assortment of tips that I have collected over the years when working in mosaics, working with mosaic teachers and students. There might be some you haven't heard of.
- Clear bags or clear containers that seal are super handy for storing tesserae so you can see what's in them.
- Never use your hands to push away shards, a small dust pan and whisk broom will keep you from cutting yourself.
- Step away from your mosaic occasionally to assess any mistakes and to see where you need to make changes.
- Cutting your tesserae over a small bin helps catch those small fragments and save time on clean-up.
- Small disposable cups are great for mixing small amounts of thinset and grout in and when you're done, just toss away with no cleanup.
- Record the grout color you use for each mosaic project in case you have to go back and do repairs, then there's no guess-work.
- Before you begin your mosaic project, always know how you will frame or hang your piece or how it will be installed.
- Wooden (craft) sticks are perfect for stirring up small amounts of adhesive and grout - even for 'buttering' the backs of tiles; just use and toss!
- When putting tiles on the edges of your mosaic, do the sides first, then overlap your top tiles just a little, for a finished look.
- For grout haze removal, clean tops of tiles with white vinegar and water mix.
- Don't just use random small pieces to fill in gaps in your mosaic as these odd shapes draw your eye to these areas and look out of place.
- A lazy-susan can be a helpful "hand" when you need to rotate your mosaic and don't want to keep picking it up.
- If you use a glass grinder, wear rubber finger tips to prevent cuts to your fingers.
- Wet grout will dry back to the original color it started out as, so don't panic when your wet grout looks darker.
- Cut the name and item number off that new bag of tiles and put in your storage container so when it's time to reorder, you have that info handy.
- Holding a tile over the space it needs to fit into can help you "eye" the right way to cut it.
- Always be safe and wear safety glasses, gloves and other safety equipment when necessary.
- Take phone photos as you go. It’s easy to spot a badly placed piece or a perfect array in a photo.
These are just a few tips and tricks – I encourage you to share your tips and tricks with other mosaic artists. That's how we all learn!