Mosaic Making for Fun, Decorating and Profit!
Updated in June of 2016!
This course teaches you how to create a mosaic project from start to finish. Imagine the colorful, decorative and permanent mosaic projects you can make! This class will provide explanations and demonstration of all aspects of mosaic making, from simple stepping stones to much larger mosaic projects! How would you like a mosaic fireplace? Or a mosaic pathway in your patio? How about a mosaic back splash in your bathroom? See how to do this and more with indirect methodology and direct mosaic methods!
This class is for teens and adults looking for a challenging hobby. You can start with a minimal investment in a few tools, and some grout and mortar to make fabulous mosaic patterns out of stones, shells, stained glass, and ceramic tile or plates. A cost of $15-$50 US dollars is what you will need, depending on your aspirations and materials you may already have on hand.
Twenty-four lectures and nearly 2 hours of content in demonstrations, tips and advice await you in this step by step class by a mosaic and stained glass expert of nearly 20 years.
Mosaics have been a key art form for thousands of years, with some of the oldest still preserved. And modern pieces are just as inspiring today as the Greek and Roman masterpieces are from 4000-5000 years ago.
If you are interested in decorating projects, see the free section on inspiration to get a good picture of what you will be able to do during and after this class!
Learn how unique, durable and amazing mosaics can be! This section discusses the experience and qualifications of your instructor, KT Caselli, and what making mosaics is all about. You may decide to go all out and cut your own materials or buy them already in their ready to use form, and the same with the grout and mortar to cement the materials down: A very versatile craft! Whether or not you decide to take those shortcuts, this class will teach you everything you need to know to create beautiful and lasting mosaics. After all, some mosaics have lasted on earth for 5000 years!
This section introduces you to the history of mosaics and shows the ancient designs of Egyptians, Grecians and Romans, complete with photos of famous mosaics. These mosaic floors, fountains and walls have lasted as long as 5000 years!
Get ready to be inspired!
Find a great source of inspiration, such as Pinterest or Google Image galleries! Be careful that you show restraint! Those pictures sites are highly addictive!
Also, check out the supplementary materials, there are pictures of some exciting projects, including some pictures your instructor took!
Let's make sure you know how to protect your eyes, lungs and skin so that you have fun with this hobby! Always wear your safety glasses, and protect your skin, and use ventilation when mixing grout and mortar.
If you are working with glass, keep a few bandages handy and always protect your eyes when cutting hard and brittle materials!
Let's go over tools. Some of the tools we discuss you may already own, some you may need to purchase. It depends on what you will make as a project, so do not buy until you are pretty sure of what you are going to make. In this lecture, we discuss tools you may need, and glue or tile mastic, and grout to make your piece permanent and sturdy.
What kinds of materials can you use to make up the mosaic? In grade school you may have made a mosaic out of pasta as a school project. But the key in this lesson is that the tesserae (bits of materials with which you will create a design) must be of strong materials, such as glass, tile, stone, beads, shell, or other such durable materials. In this lesson we will see examples of durable and attractive materials.
Choose a strong, permanent surface to build a mosaic upon. This lecture discusses several options for permanently displaying your work. There are so many examples of great surfaces you can work on, including stepping stones, countertops, fountains, birdbaths, hotplates, flower pots... really you are only limited by your imagination. Also, make sure what you are going to build on has a certain amount of rigidity.
This video shows how to set up for both the direct and indirect method. Your instructor shows how to estimate if you have enough tesserae for a project, and how to apply your pattern directly to your work and indirectly to a sticky backing, like clear contact paper, so that your patterns can be seen underneath.
Let's start with safety! Always protect your eyes! To cut glass, you will need a small tool, a glass cutter, it looks like a small metal wheel at the end of a metal rod, pencil sized. Make a scratch or score across a piece of glass, then break it either with snips, or using a rolling motion.
Correct use of tool, forces and position for taking off small bits of tile. Rest your arm often, you may begin to feel an ache in the carpal tunnel nerve area of your wrist, depending on the force you use to nip off bits of tile.
You instructor recommends snipping inside a bowl or bucket so that pieces do not fly all over! Often tile cuts at a curve. Keep everything, as points will be needed here and there in your project to fill in gaps.
Have you ever wanted to break dishes? Now is your chance! Grab something old or cracked and practice along! The key is to make a few major breaks, then cut along in a ring or from another piece. If you want to preserve a central pattern, try to make a few shallow chips off the side, but do not be surprised if a crack goes through the middle on your first try.
For more advanced techniques in cutting stained glass, check out this free excerpt from the Udemy Basic Leaded Stained Glass Class.
How to make curves and points. Don't missing the downloadable cutting guide for best practices.
For an even more fabulous hobby, please check out my Basic Leaded Stained Glass Techniques class on Udemy!
This lecture shows you to apply pieces to a sticky surface, which act as a temporary substrate to build on, which will then allow you to transfer the finished design to its permanent place on your substrate. Follow your design beneath the contact paper.
Also, how to flip your piece over in readiness to lay on your substrate without totally relying on your sticky paper!
Once, for a built in project, your instructor used a pattern under a 9 inch strip of 2 inch wide clear packing tape in order to make many 2x9 inch mosaic pieces. While tiling the bathroom counter, these tiles were applied last as a decorative strip and short backsplash. It worked very well.
Mortar is also known as glue, mastic or cement and keeps the project firmly fixed to the substrate. Mix mortar to the right consistency and apply it evenly to your project, whether you are working in the direct or indirect method. Make sure the level of mortar your materials will settle into is approximately half the thickness of the tile, glass, stone or other materials. This will allow a strong bond, but will not cause the glue to squeeze up, filling the cracks where the grout will go.
Watch the slightly tense installation of the indirect work onto the mortared surface, all at once, and do not miss the inquisitive giant Siamese Cat and the troubleshooting of a few loose tesserae!
In this lecture you will see how to apply tesserae directly to your substrate, placing the right amount of mortar and making a pleasing design. Be aware of your time! Your mortar is drying, so work quickly, or use only enough for the amount of tesserae you will set down before you take a break. Try for uniform placement, with the same approximate amount of gap between each piece.
Sometimes, inspiration gets interrupted! Check out a project I interjected, a direct method sea glass mirror with no grout. Then, watch my slightly stressful contact paper removal, revealing an almost entirely intact roman floor tile design, with only a few pieces to set back down with glue.
Another curious cat tries to get involved- make sure the cats and dogs and kids in your work area do not get too close. Anything on the paws will go next to the mouth.
Gather some mess proof materials! Old clothes, and newspapers help to keep everything else clean. Have your big sponge ready and a disposable container to mix your grout in. If your grout lines are narrow like mine, non-sanded grout is fine. For larger than 1/8th inch gaps, go with the sanded grout for strength.
Use something rubbery and hard to force in the grout. I found an old rubber eraser, a grout float is ideal and likely necessary for larger projects. For smaller, try an old credit card, a plastic lid, or a spackle knife (plastic rather than metal, we do not want to scratch your mosaic.) How about a flip flop that has seen better days?
Fill the gaps between the tesserae and further cement in your project with a thick grout mixture. Spread it over the whole project first, then force it into each gap, going across the lines at all directions to force in the grout. Go over the project several times, and pay special attention to the edges for a nice, complete finish.
Clean up your mixing and grout tools quickly, or toss them if that was your plan.
Let the project firm up for 20-30 minutes, then take your damp sponge and wipe the excess off, rinsing after each pass with clean water and wringing the sponge to a damp state (not a drippy state.) Turn the sponge so that a clean surface is used each time. We do not want to reintroduce wet grout to the project. Rinse it and wring it well to keep wiping off the excess grout.
When it is wiped once, let it sit again for up to 2 hours.
Return in a few hours with a damp, clean sponge, wipe away the film that will have formed. Do so at least one more time in the next 2-8 hours, to let the project dry slowly and to get any excess film off the project. This is a good chance to look at it and finally see it! Take note of anything you might want to fix and then go on to the Final Touches lecture to be sure you are really finished!
Let's go over it carefully to trim any unwanted bits of mortar or grout from the project! Any sharp metal tool can be used for this: a putty knife, screwdriver or any other piece of metal will do. Just chip and scrape away until you are satisfied.
My next exciting project. What will you do? Don't forget about Pinterest and other photo galleries!
Check back here for pictures of my fireplace!
Congratulations, I hope you are proud! If you have enjoyed making mosaics and are ready for even more challenge, please take my Basic Leaded Stained Glass on Udemy to learn how to make unique, beautiful decorative glass items and gifts!
Also, please take a second and give me your feedback and rating, so that I know best how to improve this class for others. I want everyone to have a great time learning fabulous crafts!
Cheers, KT the Crafting Genius
KT Caselli loves crafting in her spare time from her real profession, teaching adults in the corporate world. Some favorite offline hobbies are building stained glass windows, making mosaics, designing quilts, stenciling and gardening. KT has been enjoying simple and complex projects in stained glass, including built in windows and Tiffany style lamps for the past 20 years. KT knows all the tips, tricks and practice techniques to help you build a unique piece of art to decorate your home or those of your loved ones.
KT Caselli is also a 17 year veteran of the Learning and Development Industry. A certified Trainer and long-time Instructional Designer, KT also has her masters degree and years of public speaking experience. Her experience in classroom teaching and in online learning environments translates very well to teaching Udemy classes.