How to Build a Mosaic Light Box

Construct a wood box and cut mosaic pieces to create this Cow Jumping Over the Moon light.

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Materials and Tools:

1/2" thick wood (for box frame)
wood glue
clamps
table saw
drill press
1" circle cutter bit
1/8" thick glass precut to size
satin finish latex paint
vitreous glass tiles
clear drying glass glue
glass tile wheeled nippers
glass shard catching board
paper plate
plastic knife
grout
mixing container
rubber or latex gloves
respirator or dust mask
sponge
bucket of water
cloth to clean up
light fixture and low-wattage light bulb (60 watts maximum)
peg board cut to size for backing
small screws
safety glasses
picture hanger
hammer
screwdriver
palm sander
single-edge blade scraper
cow jumping over the moon design

Steps:

  1. Measure and miter cut four pieces of wood on a table saw for the sides, top and bottom of the box frame.
  2. Adjust the height of the blade of table saw so that it can cut a 1/8-inch deep groove in each of the side pieces of the box. This will allow the glass to slide into the box frame. Cut the groove on all four pieces.
  3. Use a drill press and a 1-inch circle cutter to cut a hole in bottom section for the light fixture placement.
  4. Apply wood glue to the joints. Slide the glass into the grooves and clamp the box. Allow it to dry fully.
  5. Sand the box using a palm sander. Paint the box a desired color. Allow to dry. Remove any paint from the glass with a single-edge blade scraper.
  6. Tape the printed cow jumping over the moon design to the underside of the glass in the light box. Use as a guide to place mosaic tiles.
  7. Nip the tiles to the necessary size and shape following the cow jumping over the moon design. Glue the mosaic tiles on the glass using clear drying glass glue.
  8. Mix the grout with water according to package directions. Wear rubber or latex gloves and spread the grout over the mosaic tiles using your hands. Work the grout into the spaces between the tiles.
  9. With a damp sponge, remove excess grout from the tiles. Repeat the rinsing process until the grout is removed.
  10. Clean away any additional grout from the tiles with a clean, dry cloth.
  11. Size and cut the backing to fit.
  12. Place a light fixture through the bottom of the box and screw in a light bulb.
  13. Screw the backing onto the mosaic light box. Attach a picture hanger by hammering it to the back.

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