I was recently invited to take part in the Topps Tiles Mosaic Tile Challenge, and as I’ve never actually made a mosaic before (and I’m always up for a crafty challenge) I decided to give it a go! I was sent a batch of mosaic tiles and some tile glue, but then from there it was up to me to design my own crafty project. There is a Pinterest board but I decided not to look at that – although, now I have in order to be able to put the link in and there is a bird bath – argh! Never mind, I’m really pleased with how this project has turned out!
Making a mosaic isn’t the kind of project that you can do quickly. It takes a lot of time in terms of making and preparation, but spending time getting all your materials ready will result in a better mosaic. I looked up some tips on YouTube and found that this video tutorial (to make some wall art) was really helpful. I took on board lots of their advice whilst making it, and it definitely helped! If you’d like to have a go at making your own mosaic bird bath, just follow the easy steps below.
You will need:
Some mosaic tiles and glue
A tall terracotta pot (I used this one)
A large terracotta saucer (I used this one)
A paint pot (or other tub)
Some grout (must be suitable for outdoor use)
A margin grout float
A washing up bowl of hot water and rubber gloves
Something to dry your tiles with
A couple of dishcloths (ones you can throw away afterwards)
White vinegar (not the red one!)
Remove all of the the tiles from the backing and wash them in warm water to get rid of all the glue. This takes a little while, but it’s worth getting everything glue-free. We did this in the sun, but ended up moving into the garage when we got too hot!
I decided to use the blue and white tiles for this project, and after playing around with some designs, decided not to cut the darkest blue ones. This made laying out the chevron pattern easier too.
When we had laid out the pattern, we glued the tiles on – Tom was really good at this super-precision bit!
The next step was to cut the lighter blue and white tiles into small pieces. You need to wear eye protection for this, and mind your fingers too! I placed the tile and the cutters into my paint pot, which avoided having little fragments of glass flying everywhere.
Now for the really fun part! Select pieces of the pale blue and white tiles and glue them in. It’s easier if you position and glue as you go, rather than laying them all out first like we did with the dark tiles.
To complete the sides, I stuck down one small layer of the blue and white fragments and then placed whole white tiles over that around the edge.
Before grouting, I stuck small pieces of masking tape around the rim of the saucer to avoid getting any grout on it. I mixed up about 250g grout in my paint pot, according to the packet instructions.
Scoop out some grout and use your grout float to work the grout between the tiles. Make sure you do this evenly and cover the base and sides.
When you’re happy with your grouting, carefully peel off the masking tape before the grout starts to dry. With a damp (but not dripping wet) cloth, wipe the tiles to remove any excess grout.
Then, turn the tall plant pot upside down and spread the rest of the grout over the top. Carefully position your saucer and press down as firmly as you can, without putting your thumbs in the grout! Then you need to leave it to dry – refer to the instructions on your grout for timings. I left it to dry in the sun, but only do this if you know it isn’t going to rain!
When the grout is completely dry (which may be 24 hours later…) mix a little white vinegar with some warm water. With your other cloth (making sure it is damp but not dripping), wipe the surface of the tiles to clean them. The vinegar will really bring the tiles to a shine! Except if you use the red stuff…that will undo all of your hard work!
Ta-dah! You’re ready to position your bird bath – we chose a spot at the bottom of the garden, near to the bird feeders and the hedge where the birds like to play. We’ll be able to see them splashing about from the house, so it’s the perfect spot!
This was such a fun project to make, and even if I don’t win the prize I have a lovely new bird bath! 🙂