How to Make a Reverse Mosaic Chair

This colorful chair uses a reverse mosaic technique so the surface is smooth for sitting.


Materials and Tools:

black, white and various colors of glass
craft paper
black marker
flat marbles
vitreous tiles
spectrum glass
colored mirror
grout sealer
safety glasses
dust mask
rubber gloves
glass nippers
containers and paint sticks (mixing grout)
Thinset mortar
two-part epoxy
silicone glue
scrap wood
wooden mallet
PVA adhesive
paper towels
gift-wrapping paper


1. Seal the chair with diluted glue. Mix four parts water to one part concentrated PVA adhesive.

2. Draw out a pattern for the seat on brown craft paper. The pattern chosen for this chair is a zebra stripe.

3. Cut black and white glass pieces to fit the pattern and glue them onto the pattern with diluted glue (two parts water to one part glue). When arranging the pieces, remember that the side of the glass next to the paper pattern will actually be the top of the seat, so position any glass pieces with pattern or finish that you want showing face down on the paper. Let sit for 24 hours to dry.

4. Mix grout according to package instructions. Wearing rubber gloves, spread the grout in a thin layer over the glass mosaic. Wipe the grouted surface with a wet sponge. Buff the surface with paper towels.

5. Mix Thinset mortar according to package directions. Apply the mortar to the seat of the chair using a trowel. Flip the zebra glass mosaic over and press it glass side down onto the seat of the chair.

6. Place a scrap board onto the seat and tap it with a wooden mallet. Let dry for 24 hours.

7. Dampen the craft paper with a sponge. Let it sit for a few minutes and slowly peel it back on a diagonal, revealing the mosaic seat.

8. Cut side tiles for the edge of the seat and glue on with silicone glue. Grout the seat and edge. After 24 hours, seal with a penetrating grout sealer.

9. Cut circles from gift-wrapping paper and glue them to the bottom of flat marbles using silicone glue. Glue these decorated flat marbles to the back of the chair.

10. Fill in the area around the marbles with glass mosaic pieces.

11. String beads onto wire and hang them from the holes drilled in the back of the chair.

12. Mosaic the rest of the chair (in no specific order). Glue pieces to the legs, back and every available space with silicone glue in any desired pattern, leaving enough space to apply grout.

13. Once the chair is covered with selected materials, mix any color grout in a separate bowl and start spreading the grout over the entire chair using gloves. Let dry 24 hours.

14. When dry, clean off excess grout with paper towels.

Suzan Germond, Austin, Texas

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