Butterfly Tile Mosaic

Well, I made another tile mosaic.  I am not in the habit of showing off the same things over and over again around here, but I tried a few different things since my original tree mosaic, and they worked out really well (and are considerably more cost-effective) so I’m going to show this off today with a few things I’ve learned since my first craft experiment.  Oh, and plus, I really love how it turned out – it’s a totally different look from the tree.  Take a look!

The inspiration for this one is pretty cool – a friend of mine is collecting craft donations for a booth at a local street fair for a fundraiser she is organizing.  The young lady who the fundraiser is for likes butterflies – so I thought if for any reason my contributions didn’t sell, perhaps she’d like to keep them.  So this piece is being donated this weekend, along with some jewelry, and I really hope it helps just a little.  It’s nice to know that my passion for creating might make a little difference for someone!

First of all – I’m not going to go into full detail here.  If any of these steps are unclear, check out my original mosaic post for a more detailed explanation.  What I’m going to highlight today are things that worked better than the first time around.  And the first difference is that instead of using craft mosaic tiles, this time I went to Lowe’s for my tiles.  WOW, do they have an excellent selection.

The prices are pretty similar, but the quantities are much bigger, so if you’re making a larger mosaic (or several small ones) going the hardware store route is a lot more cost-effective than buying several packages of craft tiles.  I wouldn’t plan on using these tiles for jewelry, because they are mounted on a mesh backing that you have to remove, so they are rough – but that makes them perfect for something like this where you glue them down.  I decided to vary my sizes this time and use two different shapes of tiles – square and rectangular.  Each of these big sheets of tile (well, big compared to the craft tiles) was $4 (compared to 48 – 1″ craft tiles for $5.99).  The colors don’t matter because we cover them with our graphics, though I would recommend something fairly neutral or coordinated to your picture, in case a tiny edge does show through.  The black and white tones worked perfectly for this project.  I also printed off 6 different versions of my butterfly in blue and purple tones.  I used a 5×7 graphic this time, too.

The other change I made from last time was that instead of picking up a nice wooden canvas, only to turn around and decide it needed a frame anyway, this time I got the economical canvas boards and a shadow box to put it in.  I think it looks even nicer behind the extra layer of glass (though it is harder to photograph) and between the 3-pack of boards from Wal-Mart and the 3-pack of shadow boxes from Michael’s (oh – with a coupon!) – I got all three sets for less than one wooden canvas and frame.  Plus, now I can still make a couple more. :)  I opted for a 8×10 finished size, and the tiled area is just slightly bigger than 5×7.

The actual method is just the same as before, line up and trim all your graphics exactly the same, then switch up the colors, and Mod-Podge them onto the tops of your tiles.

When they are dry, add a coat of Dimensional Magic gloss to the tops.  Let that dry overnight – it will start out cloudy, but dry clear with a shiny glazed look.

Then, use a heavy duty adhesive or superglue to attach your tiles to your canvas.  I use a water-based superglue.  It takes longer to dry, but it’s more forgiving if you need to re-position a tile or two, and it does dry strong.

Then, I just framed it in the shadow box!

I also made up these little butterfly necklaces:

They are two-layered, which is hard to see in the photo – the words are underneath clear glass tiles, and I stuck a vinyl butterfly to the top, then glazed it with Dimensional Magic so it looks like it’s floating over the word.  I mounted them into trays to make them look more finished than just a regular bail.  (Nope, no tutorial for it today – maybe another day!) :)

Anyway – I hope my contribution will help just a little!

I link up to these great parties!


  1. Heather says

    You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. Love this. I'm sure it will sell quickly at the fundraiser.

  2. Sarah E. Seay says

    What a wonderful blog!! Thanks for stopping by mine!! It's always nice to find new blogs from welcome Wednesdays blog hop!! Thanks!!! sarah

  3. Kadie says

    I LOVE the new tile mosaic! Great idea to use hardware store tiles. And those necklaces are so cute! I love the floating affect! You are always so clever!

  4. Terry says

    I was thinking about what to say about the butterfly mosaic (which I love, pretty colours, pretty design) and then came upon those necklaces. Oh wow,…they are striking. Maybe it's the layered effect, I don't know, but I really think they are winners. Can I ask where you got the bales (is that the right word? the part that is glued on the back of the tile I mean).

  5. Danni Baird says

    I clicked on this because I love the Butterfly tile! But now I'm really loving those necklaces! They really do look so dimensional! Awesomeness on both!

  6. Jessi says

    Oh wow, I loved that tree, but the butterfly is fantastic too! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  7. Theresa says

    I was in the process of finding the “right” art project for our school auction. This is it! Thank you!
    I do have a question….how did you cut the squares of the photos so precisely? Exacto knife?

  8. Nicci says

    Please tell me where I can find the glass Mosaic butterfly tiles with the words on them …”dream” , etc that you made the necklaces with. I’m making a “gratitude” jar and want to use these.

  9. says

    Wow!!! it looks so amazing and I like your creativity too. Your imagination and the way you convert it into a form of tiles and other thing looks alive. The butterfly with beautiful colors really I want to make it. You described it, into very detailed information. Thanks a lot for sharing this information.

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