How to Make Colorful Mosaic Garden Art

Learn how to make mosaic art for your garden using three-dimensional tiles and marbles.

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Materials and Tools:

24" round 3/4" pressboard or plywood
ceramic tile:
- colored tiles for background
- three-dimensional tiles for focus pieces
flat marbles
tile adhesive
tile grout
grout sealer
polyurethane
hammer
towel
grout float
protective glasses
bucket of water
rubber gloves
butter knife
sponge
foam brush
black spray paint
jigsaw (optional)

Steps:

  1. Either purchase or cut a 24-inch round 3/4-inch thick piece of plywood or pressboard with a jigsaw. Spray paint the bottom and sides to protect the surface and for a clean finish. Let dry.
  2. Break up the colored tiles with a hammer for the background pieces. Place the tiles on a towel on a hard surface. Put on safety glasses. Cover sections of tile with part of the towel and break into smaller pieces.
  3. Lay out the mosaic tiles on the 24-inch round. Experiment with different designs, colors and arrangements. Place marbles in the center of the piece.
  4. Glue down the mosaic tiles beginning with the larger three-dimensional tile pieces. Apply the adhesive on the back of the tiles with a butter knife and place the tile in the desired position. Lightly press down to set. Remove extra adhesive with a paper towel.
  5. After the larger mosaic pieces are set, work from the center and set the small broken tile pieces. Let the art set for at least 24 hours before grouting.
  6. Add your signature (optional).
  7. Mix the powdered, sanded grout in a bucket with water, until the consistency is of moist cake batter. Let set for approximately 10 minutes.
  8. Spread the grout over the mosaic tile pieces with a grout float. Fill the grout between all the pieces, but do not hide or completely cover any pieces.
  9. Allow the grout to set for 10 minutes. Use fresh water and a sponge to lightly wipe off excess grout. Repeat as necessary to remove excess grout. It may be necessary to use fingers to ensure all the pieces are clear of grout. Let grout set for at least 48 hours.
  10. Seal the grout with grout sealer. To test the sealer, place a few drops of water on the piece, if it bubbles up the sealer is working. Spread sealer over the grouted areas with a foam brush, covering all the grout. Let dry and reapply.
  11. Seal the plywood with a waterproof sealer or polyurethane. Place the mosaic art piece in the garden.

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