Mosaic 101

12 May

This project will teach you the basic principles of mosaic work.

If you‘re working on wood, you can use joiner’s glue or tile adhesive to paste the pieces in place. if you‘re working on a ceramic or glass surface, it is better to use tile adhesive. You can make grout in the colour of your choice by adding a little PVA paint to your white grout mixture. we made our colour by mixing together oatmeal-coloured grout and white grout. Instead of using a tile cutter, you could also break the tile into pieces, but this makes it more likely to shatter. A tile cutter gives you more control so that you can cut the pieces into the exact size and shape that you require. If you would like to retain the original pattern or shape of the item in your mosaic (as was the case with our plate), it helps to take a digital photo of it to refer to later. To ensure that all the pieces fit perfectly, use a non-permanent marker to indicate where the tile should be cut. This helps for the background, or where there are corners or strange shapes.

Call Mosaic Works on 021 551 2532 or 021 552 4870, send an email to or visit their website at to inquire about suppliers of their products in your area. Mosaic Works stocks a wide range of tiles and other accessories, such as Supawood shapes on which you can work, as well as do-it-yourself kits.

Use a tile cutter to cut the plate in pieces. Place the pieces on the pot holder in the correct sequence as you progress, or consult the photo you took.

Use a tile adhesive like Tylon Superflex to paste the pieces onto the pot holder – an ice cream stick works well to apply adhesive to the back of each piece.

Cut the tile for the background in smaller pieces and place them around the plate. Place the pieces with the smooth edges and the corners at the sides and corners of the pot holder.

Continue until the entire background is covered and then paste the pieces in place as before. Leave to dry.

Mix tile grout in a plastic container, adding a little bit of water at a time until the mixture resembles toothpaste.

Use a clean ice cream stick to spread a thick layer of tile grout over the entire surface of the pot holder.

Use your fingers to work the grout in between all the mosaic pieces and then wipe off any excess with your hands. Make sure you don‘t remove the grout from between the pieces.

Clean further with a damp sponge. Leave the grout to set a bit and then wipe again with a clean sponge. Leave to dry and repeat until all the pieces are properly clean.

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