I recently came across this book entitled Inspirations Mosaics by Helen Baird that teaches you how to create mosaics. The author got her inspiration for creating custom mosaics when she visited a Roman Villa in France which had stunning mosaic tile floors. When people think of mosaic tiles they often think about the ancient Romans who had perfected the art of using mosaics so much that they used the craft extensively throughout their architectural endeavors. I would not expect you to use mosaics throughout your entire bath because that would be cruel and unusual punishment for the newbie, but incorporating the classical art of mosaics into your bathroom decor will without a doubt give your washroom a classical feel that is reminiscent of the ancient roman bath houses. The great thing about mosaics is that there are many different types of materials that you can use to brighten up your bathroom, be it pieces of slate, broken floor tiles, colored glass, smashed crockery or conventional mosaic tiles. One cool way mentioned in the book to use ceramic mosaics in your loo is to frame your bathroom mirror with an inspirational motif to create a stunning artistic affect.
The alluring thing about mosaics is that you can take broken thrown away materials and use them to create a pattern of harmonious elements that make up an inspirational picture of richly colored image fragments that can be enjoyed by all. While the process does require a bit of patience, skill and perseverance, it is not that difficult and can be mastered by anyone with practice and diligence. You can start off small and as your skill level increases you can tackle more ambitious projects that you can execute with confidence and creative style.
To create your own stunning framed mosaic mirror you will need brown paper to draw your design upon, pliers or nippers to break-up your raw materials (tile) into the desired sized pieces, silicone based adhesive, protective goggles, rubber gloves to protect your fingers, tile grout, a mirror, a wooden board to mount everything upon and cement based tile adhesive.
Place your mirror face down in the middle of your brown paper and attach with masking tape. Draw around the outline of the mirror and draw a border, divide the border into sections and draw a pattern around the mirror area slightly smaller than the desired width of the frame leaving a one-twelfth of an inch border. Put on your protective eye wear and with tile cutters, clip your tile into manageable sized pieces and stick them face down on the paper with water soluble glue. An important point to remember here is to keep the gaps between the pieces as even as possible. Continue until you have completed your design, let dry and then carefully lower it unto your wooden board backing and attach the lip around the outside of the frame. Remove your mirror from the middle and cut out the section of brown paper where the mirror once was.
This is the slightly messy but fun part, put on your rubber gloves and rub some grout into the gaps of your mirror frame mosaic design, making sure to wipe off the excess grout with a damp cloth or sponge. Here we play the waiting game, leave until everything is almost completely dry then gently remove the whole mosaic from the board by turning it upside down and apply a tile adhesive to the wooden board. Make sure that the paper side of the mosaic is facing up and then position your mosaic frame over the board and press the mosaic side down into the adhesive. Once the mosaic is securely fastened to the back wooden board, its time for your mirror, fasten your mirror with a silicone based adhesive and let it dry for about thirty minutes.
Abracadabra! Now comes the magic! Dampen the top of the paper on your mosaic with water and let the water loosen the water soluble glue for about ten to fifteen minutes. Gently wipe off the damp paper to reveal your beautiful mosaic pattern. Make sure all glue and paper is gone and let your frame dry. Fill in any gaps with more grout and wipe off any access with a damp cloth. Let your bathroom mosaic mirror frame dry completely before you attach your masterpiece to your bathroom wall. And who said crafts in the bathroom wasn’t fun! Enjoy!