Mixed Media Mosaic Forever In Bloom
Forever in Bloom mixed media mosaic is a treasure-trove of collaged materials.
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Stay-at-home mom Amy Baldwin doesn't have a lot of free time with a one-year-old running around. After the birth of her son Jack, she tried to find a way to be productive and still be home with her baby boy. After thinking it over she decided her love of arts and crafts might just be the answer. She began designing and creating unique one-of-a-kind collaged mosaic pieces. In this project she shows how to make a piece titled "Forever in Bloom."
Materials and Tools:
2" x 12" pine wood--cut into an 11-1/4" x 11-1/4" square
1 12" x 12" sheet of yellow striped scrapbook paper
1 12" x 12" sheet of green polka dot scrapbook paper
1 8" x 10" piece of mottled black and white paper (composition notebook)
1 red flower doily
roll of red "brick" pattern handmade paper
army green retro wrapping paper scrap (flower)
black technical pen
curly alphabet stamps--lower case to make the word "forever"
clear acrylic sealer spray matte
card stock for mosaic stencil or pattern
17 brass upholstery nails
medium gauge copper sheeting
picture hanger or bracket
broken ceramic or plates in red and bright assorted colors
metal swirl trivet--for embossing
hot glue and hot glue gun
heavy gauge copper wire
black metal swirl hook
small red bottle cap alphabet (lower case) "in"
small black bottle cap alphabet (lower case) "flower"
4 clear glass gems
playing cards (red and blue back) for gems
12" strand of funky green pom-poms
thick red paint pen
1. Decide, which side, will be the front and the back of the wood block. Although the front will be covered, make sure it doesn't have large knots or cracks as it will be hard to nail into.
2. Choose a topic or theme such as; flower (demo), curly Q, chocolate, etc.
3. On back of the wood, compose your ideas directly onto the wood using a pencil. Use key words that relate to your theme. Sketch your design on the wood as this adds to the originality of the piece. For the flower example: flower child, flower power, forever in bloom, blossom, loves me or loves me not.
4. Collect paper, printouts, pictures, etc. Start tearing images and placing on wood to determine appearance. Play around with two-dimensional elements. Keep in mind that you will need to cover the sides, too. Overlap onto the back if needed.
5. Glue or decoupage all two-dimensional paper pieces onto the wood for large blocks of color. Glue on a piece of yellow stripe scrapbook paper first; cover the bottom area as well.
6. Glue on a piece of green polka dot scrapbook paper, overlapping the yellow. Cover the top of the block and the top right corner.
7. Glue the red doily down and place it off center. Glue the black and white mottled pattern (composition notebook scrap) above the red doily. Make sure to cut around the doily first.
8. Glue the red brick pattern paper down the entire left side being sure to cover the top left and bottom left corners. Glue an army green flower (wrapping paper scrap) in the center of the doily.
9. Stamp a swirl design to the top left corner. Write cursive phrases around the swirl design with a technical pen. Examples: he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, etc.
10. Stamp "forever" with curly stamps. . Once dry, spray several coats of clear matte acrylic sealer over the front and sides of the block to seal.
11. Create a stencil, pattern or shape for the mosaic design.
12. Draw a flower on the sprayed block in pencil.
13. Cut a copper band from the copper sheeting and nail it to the bottom right side of block with upholstery nails. Nail six upholstery nails down the front and six upholstery nails down the side.
14. Cut a leaf and a small flower out of the copper sheet. Hammer the copper flower with an upholstery nail onto the red doily. Emboss a swirl design into the leaf using a metal trivet and the end of a paintbrush.
15. Make a large swirl out of copper wire to lay over the copper leaf.
16. Important: Complete all of the hammering before the side tiles are glued down and definitely before grouting.
17. Nail a hanger on the back of the block. Important: Position the bracket off-center to accommodate the extra weight of the mosaic tiles.
18. Hammer a black swirl hook at the bottom right.
19. Create a red swirl pattern of tiles and glue down. Place cut tiles into the flower area.
20. Cut and place colorful tile into the petals, being sure to overlap onto the left side and bottom. Securely glue all pieces with the quick dry adhesive.
21. Mix grout with water in a mixing bowl into desired consistency. Apply grout to the mosaic with a spatula.
22. Wipe off any excess grout and run your finger along the edges to create a smooth finish. Accentuate the swirl by removing the grout in the center to reveal the yellow paper underneath.
23. Wipe the surface entirely with water and re-seal non-grout areas with gel medium. This reveals a shiny look that sometimes becomes dulled during the grouting process.
24. Hot-glue the bottom half of the copper leaf next to the big flower petals.
25. Drill a hole into the base part of the leaf all the way into the wood block. Insert the folded end of the copper wire into the wood for a secure fit.
26. Glue the red "in" bottle caps at the top (Forever in Bloom).
27. Glue the black "flower" caps at the bottom--covering the upholstery nails on front.
28. Glue the design onto four clear glass gems. Apply to design accordingly; red in center of green flower, and blue, black, blue down left side of red doily.
29. Glue funky green pom-poms on the back. Using a red paint pen, write the word "bloom".
Sheila Sornsin uses tiles to design her argyle- and circle-patterned purse.