Making Mosaics Out of Simple Images

When it comes time to make a mosaic it can be difficult to find patterns. There are many web sites about mosaic art but not many offer patterns for you to replicate. The possibilities are truly endless. From geometric designs to replications of animals and nature scenes.

Of course it depends on the size of mosaic you want to make. But what you should keep in mind when making a mosaic and finding patterns is you must keep it simple. Too much detail becomes very hard to reproduce with pieces of tiles, except of course you are a veteran artist!

I for one am not, and need inspiration when it comes time to reproduce images in a mosaic. One method I would like to share with you is very simple. I discovered that it is very easy to find the perfect image in children's coloring books. Most of these pictures are detailed enough to see its representation yet simple enough to easily reproduce in a mosaic.

Now how do you transfer these images to tiles?

Just follow this method to transform your images to patterns.

  1. Once you have found that perfect image, outline the image lines with a large felt pen, these lines will represent your grout lines. If you want larger grout lines use a larger marker.
  2. When you finished outlining the image, number each section and photocopy the image, you will need this photocopy later.
  3. Then cut out all the pieces making sure to leave out the font line. One piece of cut out paper presents one piece of tile. So here make as many or as few as you want, it is up to you.
  4. Transfer the cut out piece onto a piece of ceramic or whatever material you are using.
  5. Now gently cut each piece using your tile nippers.
  6. Smooth out the edges with a rough sanding paper or a table top grinder.
  7. Now using a fiberglass mesh with your photocopied image underneath, glue each piece of tile onto the mesh. Use a parchment style paper here between your photocopied image and your fiberglass mesh, otherwise your pieces will stick to the paper.
  8. Once all your pieces are glued onto the mesh, your mosaic is ready to install!

This method has always given me excellent results, given your image is not too big. If you want your mosaic to be larger than 12 by 12 inches you can use this method but separate it into quadrants, it is easier this way when it comes time to transfer your mosaic to it permanent location.

The method using a fiberglass mesh is called the double direct method; however you can also use the indirect method for this. These methods and more are a topic by itself and will be covered in another article.

Now all that is left for you to do is install your mailbox, sit back and wait for your mail.