I have this hanging over my desk now, and I just love it. It was both artistic and mathematic to create, so both sides of my brain got plenty of exercise on this one. :)
Perhaps you recall the glass tile jewelry kick I was on for a while around the first of the year? I really enjoy making glass tile necklaces, and I also made them into magnets and hairpins… all of which were one-tile endeavors. This mosaic was a lot bigger project… 88 times bigger, to be precise. I did make up each tile individually and arrange them on an 11″x14″ wooden canvas. The hardest part? Keeping all the individual papers in order and straight! So this project was a challenge when it came to the final arranging, but preparing the tiles was actually pretty simple. I’ll walk you through how I did it in case you’re interested in making something similar!
First of all… how cool is Mod Podge? I wish I were more skilled with it, because it can decorate so much. This project used two Mod Podge products: the traditional matte formula, and also Dimensional Magic to give each tile a nice shine.
I needed to get my graphics for the tiles, so I found a photo I liked and adjusted the tone until I got a light and dark sepia, and a light and dark blue.
I lined them up together, and cut them into my 1″ squares to fit the tiles. Sorry about the lighting here, but it was pretty late and you get the idea. :)
In the above photo, I had just started to choose different colors to make up the overall design. Basically, for each square, I had 4 color options. So I just picked one at random so that the overall design would stay the same, but be made up of squares of different colors.
To make my tiles, I adhered my graphic with Mod Podge. I just used mosaic tiles from Hobby Lobby, but any 1″ tile would work the same.
Once all my tiles were dry, then I added a coat of Dimensional Magic to add depth and shine. If you haven’t used Dimensional Magic before – first of all, don’t shake it. :) If you’re just bringing it home, let it sit for a while. You want to keep the bubbles out. But once it’s settled, squirt a little on. Then, I use a toothpick to smooth it all the way out to the edges. If you do end up with any bubbles, you can try just popping them with your toothpick or a pin. For really small ones, push them to the outside edge of the tile, you can usually just push them right off and they will pop.
The only way to keep my design complete was to keep them lined up all the time. :) As I finished my tiles, I put them right back in order. When I left them to dry overnight, I dreamed my daughter knocked them on the floor… what a nightmare! When you set up your space, keep it in mind that you’ll need to set them aside all together so that they don’t get mixed up.
Try not to touch them while the Dimensional Magic sets… but if you do, you can always add another layer of glaze to help fill in any smudges.
I picked up a 11″x14″ wooden canvas, and painted it black. I measured it out and marked with a silver sharpie marker where I wanted all my tiles to go. Then, when everything was dry, I started gluing my tiles to my canvas, using a ruler to keep them straight.
All told, I had about 4 hours of actual work into this project – 2 hours designing and carefully cutting my graphic, and two hours of working with the tiles themselves. The drying time took up quite a bit of time in-between, so you won’t be able to finish this in an afternoon. It’s a great project if you’re like me and only get about an hour of crafting time at a time!
I had planned to leave the canvas umframed, but when I finally saw it all come together, I decided it needed a last finishing touch.
I’d love to show it to you in my office area, it’s hanging right above me as I get this post ready, but the lighting is just no good right here! (Fortunately, the rain broke for long enough for me to take it outside for a photo this weekend.)
Thanks for letting me show off, and thanks for keeping me alive for round three. :) It’s top ten now… wish me luck for next week!
I link up to these great parties!