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Mosaic Stones and Hanging Mosaic Tiles

Glittering Shards: Mosaic Stones and Hanging Mosaic Tiles

Glittering Shards

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mosaic Stones and Hanging Mosaic Tiles

In my quest to make mosaic a toddler friendly art and craft I have  used lots of different materials that have no sharp edges (I made a long list of these materials here). I was really excited to discover these soft glass tiles recently which has launched our toddler / little children mosaic into new realms. They are made from melted down glass so all the edges are smooth and the pieces are irregular so you can make shapes without needing to cut. All the joys of colour and the reflectivity of glass - yay!

The other day, I set about using our new discovery so here's two new little-kiddie-friendly mosaic projects for you to try- making mosaic stones and mosaic hanging tiles.

To do these projects you will need:

  • soft glass mosaic tiles (see here for US supplier,  here for Europe / international supplier and here for a UK supplier)
  • stones with a fairly flat surface
  • small tiles as a base for the hanging mosaics (we used leftovers 5x5cm, 6x6cm and 10x10cm)
  • white craft glue (PVA / Weldbond or equivalent)
  • grout, protective gloves, a plastic tub and stirrer.
  • d-ring for hanging and some "hard as nails" glue
I brought the rainbow mix of the soft glass tiles which gave us the added bonus of a sorting game to start our activity! The children loved this and spent a lot of time putting the tiles into their own colour pot (there is something so absorbing about sorting isn't there?). We were then ready to start gluing.

I demonstrated doing a flower on one of the little tiles and then let my two (aged 3 and 4) just do it their own way - I was really impressed with their creations, particularly Toby who is only just 3 and still developing his fine motor skills. Isabella then also made a stone with just yellow tiles - very pretty against the sandy colour of the stone.
 Toby carried on with the flower theme and made another while Isabella went into freestyle! She tiled a 5 x 5 and 10 x 10 cm tile (and I did one too carrying on the flower theme!).
 The next day, we got to grouting the hanging mosaic tiles that Isabella and I made - a bit of a landmark as this was Isabella's first grouted mosaic!
 We used charcoal grout (though a grey shade will also look good). I always use powdered grout for my mosaic work (you can also use white grout and tint it with acrylic paints to any colour you like). Always wear a mask when mixing your grout as you don't want that powder in your lungs.
Mix it to a smooth, thick paste. Then, with your gloves, rub it into your mosaic, getting the grout into all the gaps. Isabella loved doing this! Lots of squidgy fun!
After a couple of minutes, take some kitchen roll and slowly start wiping the excess grout away (Isabella took these photos of me cleaning up my mosaic!) to let your mosaic emerge. Once the grout has dried (the next day) you can give it a final clean up, shining your lovely mosaic to make it glimmer.
(Isabella's first grouted mosaic!)

To hang your tile mosaic, put a large blob of "hard as nails" (glue that is a nail substitute) on the back of the tile and embed the d-ring into it. Once dry, it will be solid and ready to hang!

I love making little mosaic stones with vitreous tiles too - I have made quite a few over time, fun if a little fiddly cutting the teeny pieces with tile nippers to make up the images (the dove of peace is my favourite).
 I keep some of them as paperweight / memento's whilst others I turn into hanging stones. Quite a few of these are currently in a window exhibition, alongside some of my smaller pieces of wall mosaic art, at the Sprout Community Arts gallery in my local neighbourhood, until 5th June. If you are local, do pop along and see!

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  • Hmm, looks like a good project - can't wait till my little toddler is old enough to help make some of these.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 May 2010 at 22:13  

  • how old is your toddler? Isabella (now 4) has been doing little mosaics since she was about 2! If you click on the "Get Creative: making mosaics with children" on the left, you will see some of them going that far back. Glass nuggets are a great place to start! Have fun!

    By Blogger Concetta, at 27 May 2010 at 08:53  

  • those hanging tiles are so sweet. Thanks for the how-to. But those ones on the natural stone? gorgeous, and unique, and all around awesome.
    I wish I lived in your neighborhood so I could admire your window exhibition.

    By Blogger AG Ambroult, at 28 May 2010 at 21:30  

  • hi there, lovely work and images! Oh, so much creativity!


    By Blogger Amelia, at 30 May 2010 at 08:00  

  • This is such a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing x

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 30 May 2010 at 12:00  

  • Fantastic! I'm loving your blog!

    By Blogger Cat (darklingwoods), at 6 June 2010 at 13:50  

  • These glass pieces look similar to some I got from Delphi Glass in the US. I just finished classes with 9-11 yr. olds, and they did great with 1" & 2" tiles, marbles, and vitreous squares. They made stepping stones.

    By Anonymous floyfreestyle, at 14 June 2010 at 14:53  

  • Thanks for the supplier link...really helpful.

    By Blogger Concetta, at 16 June 2010 at 10:33  

  • OH my goodness these are lovely. On our summer to-do list for sure. Found you via Crafty Crow. Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Kellie, at 7 July 2010 at 19:49  

  • Hi, Concetta. I should thank the Crafty Crow for leading me to your blog. I love it. Out of all the crafts that I do, mosaic was definitely missing and having your Blog handy I may finally fulfill my dream:) Thanks for your passion and sharing

    By Blogger Alexandra and Julia, at 8 July 2010 at 06:43  

  • Hello Kellie and Alexandra, thank yo so much for your lovely feedback. Mosaic is a wonderful medium and kids just love it. Enjoy making the stones:)

    By Blogger Concetta, at 8 July 2010 at 09:12  

  • Thanks for this great tutorial. My daughter loves to paint, but I never thought of mosiac for a little one. I think I'll have to give this a try. I'm looking for an interesting backdrop for my studio, including a few?!

    By Blogger Cherylyn Bredemann, at 29 July 2010 at 16:58  

  • We've done mosaics at a hands-on art studio before, but I've wondered for a while now about how to do them at home. LOVE the ones on the stones!

    By Blogger julie, at 29 July 2010 at 21:55  

  • My goodness! I thought I had all my activities planned for Christmas at kinder but now I am going to have to add another . What beautiful tree decorations .

    By Anonymous Shauna, at 10 November 2010 at 10:35  

  • Thank you Shauna! Have fun making them!

    By Blogger Concetta, at 12 November 2010 at 09:21  

  • Really, Tiles gives good look to your home. To purchase a particular type of tile, it is better to go to the wholesale tiles distributors, who deals with those tiles wholesale. This way you will be able to save quite a handful of money.

    By Blogger Ravi, at 7 December 2010 at 11:57  

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