Glass mosaics are a great way to redecorate or restore floors, table tops, even picture frames. Although the steps to making glass mosaics might be a little intimidating at first, in fact they are fairly easy to do. Making glass mosaics is also a fun project for people who enjoy creative pastimes or who prefer unique interior decorations.
The first step is to decide on a project. If you have a tabletop that is damaged or needs refinishing, you could cover it in glass mosaic instead. Kitchen tables, coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, and occasional tables all look great with mosaic tops. An old windowpane covered in glass mosaic makes a great alternative to stained glass, or you could cover a photo frame in glass tiles as a smaller project. If you have a bathroom or kitchen floor that needs to be redone, you could cover it cheaply and attractively this way.
Finding enough glass or tile for your project is the second of the steps to making glass mosaics. You can find it in many different places, and for fairly cheap if you are creative about it. If your project calls for clear glass, you can use colored bottles, vases, ashtrays, and other various pieces of clear, colored glass. If you want opaque glass, consider using old dishes and other unwanted glass or porcelain items. You may also be able to find broken glass tile for little or no money.
When searching for glass for your mosaic, be sure to check out as many free or low-cost options as you can think of. Online sites and bulletin boards at work or school may provide you a place to advertise for unwanted glass or tile. Be sure to note that broken glass or tile is acceptable. Glass and tile can also be purchased inexpensively at garage sales and thrift stores.
The next step is to break the glass for your project. The goal is to create many random-shaped pieces that are large enough to work with — in other words, you don’t want to shatter the glass into tiny bits. Hit each piece with the hammer just once and take a look at the results before hitting it again.
Once you have broken all of your glass into pieces, start arranging it on the surface that you are redoing. Of all the steps to making glass mosaics, this step requires the most time and planning. You will need to decide whether to create a picture or a pattern with your glass mosaic, or just arrange the pieces randomly.
While you are doing this, keep in mind that the pieces don’t need to fit together perfectly, like a puzzle. In fact, there should be about 1/8 inch (3.175 mm) of space between each piece, so that you have room for the grout when you get to that step.
Once you have arranged all of the pieces to your satisfaction, it is time to move on to the fifth step: glue down each and every piece of glass. The point of arranging the glass first, and then gluing it down is to make sure you get everything in the right place, so make sure you are done with the previous step before you start on this one.
The sixth and last step to making glass mosaics is to fill in all the spaces between the pieces of glass with grout. Be sure to fill every space between the pieces completely. If the glass is still sharp, you will need to wear gloves to protect your hands. Once the spaces are all filled, you can use a damp towel to remove the grout from the tops of the pieces of glass. Once your mosaic is finished, be sure to let the glue and grout set for a while before using the piece, particularly if it is a table or a window hanging.