Tag Archives: mosaic

Glass Mosaics Part 3- Grouting and Finishing

This is my last post on the glass mosaics. You will see how to grout and finish your mosaic piece. Don’t forget to check out the first two posts for all the steps on creating a glass mosaic.

Glass Mosaic Step 1:

Glass Mosaic Step 2:

IMG_1602What you will need for this step:

-Bag of sanded grout in color of your choice

-Grout mold and mildew preventive mixture (optional) good for bathroom projects

-Mixing paddle for electric paint mixer or cordless drill (optional), You can also mix it by hand with a paint stick, but it is much easier with the electric mixing paddle.

IMG_1491-Tile float

-Rubber heavy duty tile gloves

-Empty buckets

-Large sponge

Make sure your mosaic completely dried from step 2.  You should have left it to dry for 24-48 hours depending on how humid it is where you are. Here in South Florida, we have to leave it at least 48 hours on these big projects because it is so humid.

IMG_8996Mix the grout according to the directions on the packaging. I mix mine to a slightly thicker consistency than I normally would for normal tiling.  Start with a small amount of water in a small amount of grout and mix in a large bucket, adding water and grout as needed.  You can always mix another batch of grout.  Only mix what you will have the time to use since the grout will harden if left in the bucket after it is mixed and you will have to throw it out.  Add mold mildew mixture if you choose, before water as it will water it down. Let the grout mixture sit after mixing for 10 minutes or according to package directions.

Work on one area small area at a time perhaps a couple of square feet. It is best to start from the top down of your mosaic. Using the tile float, spread grout back and forth and up and up and down in the section you chose. Make sure you are getting grout in all the little holes and spaces. Use your tile float to scoop some grout from your bucket, and work from the bottom up of your section to help keep the grout from spilling off the wall while you work.

IMG_1608Let the section sit for a couple of minutes and then take your damp sponge and gently sponge over the section to wipe off excess grout.  You will need to rinse your sponge several times as you clean the tile. You will need to change your water often as well.

Continue the same steps until you have completed grouting your mosaic.  The glass will have a haze over it that you will wipe off with a dry cloth after everything is dry.  Make sure it is only a haze left before you let it dry.  Do NOT let the grout dry on the glass without sponging it or it will be difficult if not impossible to remove.  This is why you need to work in small sections.

IMG_1599Also, make sure you tape off everything but the edges of the mirror if you do a mosaic around a mirror, since the grout can leave a haze on the mirror that doesn’t come off.

On the tropical mosaic dock, I added tiny little pebbles on the dock posts and edges that I had gotten from a trip to the German Alps.  Try adding fun little mementos into your mosaic, be creative, just remember grout doesn’t stick to wood like it does stone. The wood edge framing that we built on the bathroom wall, and any other edges like that need to be caulked with matching color caulk when everything is completely cleaned and dried.

Use cheesecloth or a soft cloth to buff and clean all the grout haze off when the grout has dried. If there is a lot of dust you may want to wipe it again with a clean damp cloth again first to remove some of the dust.  You will then need to let this dry and buff again with a soft clean cloth.

Check out our great Womens handbags that we sell in our shop. Like this Green Bohemian Quilted Sling Bag. It is great for everyday and has plenty of room for a change of clothes for an over night bag, or even a small laptop or tablet!

Glass Mosaics Part 2

This is a really neat way to remodel a bathroom wall, a kitchen or bar back splash, or just make your own art work to hang. It can be done and used in so many ways for so many different looks. The video shown here is of us doing a mosaic on a bathroom wall surrounding an unframed mirror above the vanity. I also created one on the back splash of my bar/kitchen extension I built on my former home. That one was a tropical theme that played along with the ceramic dishes I had painted. It featured a palm tree, sailboat, and dock. The mosaic in the video is our representation of “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Hokusai.

Please see our first blog post and video on how to make the glass for the mosaics from re-purposed glass.

IMG_1492 What you will need for this step:

-Broken painted glass, we used 2 sliding glass doors worth of glass for this bathroom wall and ran very short of some colors.

-Pre-mixed tile adhesive from your local Home remodeling store, or tile store.

-Heavy Duty Tile Gloves

IMG_2045The first step we did ahead of time was to hang the mirror .  We centered it above where the sink vanity was going to sit.  Using mirror adhesive in a caulk gun, we applied it to the back of the mirror and positioned it on the wall.  You have to tape it on after positioning it until the adhesive dries. Be VERY careful not to scratch the finish on the back of the mirror while adhering it, or it could have a noticeable scratch in the mirror after it is hung. We accidentally did this when we first hung it and had to return it and get a new mirror.  You must let the adhesive dry over night and make sure it is propped up with something as well as the tape so that it will not fall off the wall.


The next step is to do a basic pencil drawing of your design on the wall.  This takes a few times to get the layout just right usually.  It is not worth making a detailed drawing since you will be covering whole sections in glue and will not see your drawing.  You should draw only the very basics, making sure to get the dimensions proportionate.


Starting in one area no more than a square foot, apply the adhesive using a small putty knife or even a disposable plastic knife.  In our design we followed the curves of the upper wave with tile glue to start.  If you are mimicking a picture, make sure you have a copy hanging close by as you will need to look at this often to know what pieces of glass to place where.

IMG_1491The nice thing about a mosaic like this is you don’t have to be perfect! There is plenty or room for your interpretation of a picture or photo.  The important thing is to make sure you get the main proportions to look realistic and visually appealing.  Of course, that is if you are doing a realistic picture! You could also create a nice abstract design as well.  This mosaic process kind of reminds me of painting with watercolors.  There is a lot of forgiveness of mistakes in the process as you create. With wateIMG_8996r colors a little dab of water can almost erase or change the lines you did not like, with mosaics, a “wrong” color tile can add dimension and shading you didn’t know you needed.






While you are remIMG_2351 copyodeling, don’t forget to check out all of our unique products in our shop such as these Personalized Aprons with clever quotes. This apron features a 100 percent cotton linen like fabric with an adjustable neck strap and waist ties. It has “I do whatever the voices in my wife’s head tell me to do” embroidered with light pink thread.

They make a great gift for the Valentine in your life.  they can wear it all year long and there are coordinating aprons for women, children and even dolls!


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Glass Mosaics-Step 1-How to Make Mosaic Glass Using Repurposed Glass

If you are interested in doing anything mosaic then this post is for you!  I will have the other steps of creating gorgeous, detailed glass mosaics in future posts but this one is all about an inexpensive alternative to the expensive mosaic tiles you would buy at the craft store.  Not only is it a cheaper alternative but it makes for a much more unique and beautiful mosaic.


What you will need:

-Tempered Glass, I used old sliding glass doors that were being thrown away.  You could try thrift stores or garage sales or even trash piles on bulk trash day for other items that would work, without having to spend much money.

-Frosted Glass Spray Paint

-Clear Lacquer Spray Paint

-Fine Glitters in your choice of colors

-Craft Acrylic Metallic paints in your choice of colors

-Denatured Alcohol

-Wide Paint brush, like you would use on the walls not for crafts

-A large piece of cardboard or thick plastic to work on


-Buckets or some other thing to place under the glass to help break it

-Trays or other buckets for sorting the glass.  I use old photo developing trays which work great when you are working on the mosaic since they are short and flat and make finding the right pieces easier.

IMG_2067 IMG_2068 IMG_2069First you need to clean the glass thoroughly.  Scrub it down with some soap and water, dry it with a clean cloth and then wipe it down with denatured alcohol.  This helps ensure that the glass is clean and the paint will properly stick.

To give you an idea of home much glass and supplies you will need I will tell you what I used for past projects.  For the last glass pieces I made, I used 3 sliding glass doors, a whole pack of about 12 little vials of glitter from Michaels, 1 can of lacquer and 1 can of frosted spray paint, and about 7 little bottles of craft acrylic metallic paints. This made 2 very full 5 gallon buckets along with 2 large developing trays full of glass.  The mosaic I did in the video on the bathroom wall I used 2 sliding glass doors and has a little left over.  I once did a mosaic back splash on my bar area I built in my house and used 1 sliding glass door but had to use lots of the itty bitty pieces to finish it.   My advice is to purchase extra of the craft paints and save your receipt and return what you don’t end up using.  You can always use the leftover bottles of paint to make some beautiful re purposed glass dishes like in my other post http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2013/08/02/re-purposing-ugly-mis-matched-glass-dishes/

IMG_9074Before we go into all the instructions be sure to check out our fun Elf aprons.  You can get matching aprons for women, children and even dolls.  You can also get them personalized for a little extra.  These make great gifts and will help you get ready for all your holiday projects like these mosaics!

You should start with the glitter since it will end up covering the least amount of space depending on how much you purchased and it looks fantastic mixed in the mosaic giving it an extra sparkly glass look.  They also sell glitter in little assorted color packets at Michaels that work well.  Just make sure you use fine glitter, you don’t want to use any large pieces of glitter. First you will spray a small section, I repeat SMALL section, of the glass with the clear lacquer spray paint. (On a side note make sure you purchase the spray paint from a place like Home Depot and not a craft store or you will pay almost double in price for the same thing.) Quickly after you spray the glass sprinkle the first packet or vial of glitter onto the wet spray paint.  Make sure you have everything ready because the spray paint dries quickly and you must get the glitter onto the spray paint before it dries. Sprinkle the glitter until it is fully covering the section of glass not leaving any clear spaces. You can blow the excess glitter a little if you put too much on the glass to spread it to other wet portions of the painted glass. Repeat this until all of your glitter is used.  You want to put all the colors right up next to the others and don’t worry if they overlap a little this makes for more unique pieces of broken glass. Make sure there are no empty clear spaces of glass.

IMG_2044 IMG_2043 IMG_2042 IMG_2045Next you will use the acrylic paints to finish covering the rest of your glass. It takes about 3 bottles or less of the acrylic paints to cover a sliding glass door, so you might not want to use the whole bottle if you are doing a much smaller project and need a variety of colors.  Squirt some of the paint onto the next section of glass and use your large paint brush to spread it evenly and thinly on the glass. It should be thick enough that you don’t have any clear glass streaks showing but not too thick or it will end up pealing off the broken glass and leave you with a lot of unusable pieces. Make sure you cover all sections of the glass just like with the glitter.

IMG_8999 IMG_8997Next you will need to use your frosted glass spray over all of the glitter to seal the glitter in and make sure there is no clear spaces that will show glue through after you break the glass. If you have left over frosted glass spray paint, it is a good idea to spray over all of the metallic paints as well with it.  Then you should use the clear lacquer spray paint to spray a coating over everything just to help seal it all in.

Let it all dry over night

IMG_8994IMG_8996Next comes the fun part ( a little scary too if you haven’t done it before. Make sure you use safety goggles and gloves and don’t do this around little children.  You need to lay out your large piece of cardboard or plastic underneath your glass which you need to have laying on top of 5 gallon buckets or something that high on the ends.  This is best done outside on pavement so you can sweep up any glass that may miss the plastic.  Take your hammer and hit the glass to break it.  You will need to hit it several times and at first you may think it will never break.  Out of all the glass doors I have done they all break differently. Some are much stronger others break with a couple hits of the hammer.  The last one I did felt like it would never break and I ended up breaking it using one hit of the claw of a large crow bar.  Be very careful that your hammer and arm don’t go through the glass when it breaks.  When tempered glass does start breaking the whole thing breaks and breaks quickly.  I do suggest using something like the crow bar which is long so you have less chance of your hand or arm going through the glass when it breaks and getting cut on any of the broken pieces.  After the initial break, you may need to tap the edges of the glass off the door frame to get the rest of the glass off.  Then move the frame to the side carefully since there will still be broken pieces left in the frame.

IMG_1491Next comes sorting the pieces. With thick gloves carefully pick up all the pieces and sort them into your trays by color.  Leave the bigger pieces big especially if you are doing a large scale mosaic like the one in our video. Don’t bother to pick up all the tiny ones that don’t have paint on them, these are useless for your mosaic purposes.

Next put the sliding door frame back on the plastic or cardboard and carefully using a flat screwdriver pry the gasket out of the frame releasing all the leftover pieces into your plastic.  Usually these glass doors are aluminum and you can get a little bit for them if you scrap them.  Clean up all the bad glass by sweeping it or just gathering your plastic up carefully and tossing the whole thing in the trash.

IMG_1492Now you are ready to mosaic!