Mosaics - Direct Method


  • Object on which to mosaic
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Pattern
  • Pen
  • Paper Towel or Soft Cloth
  • Wheeled Glass Nippers
  • Carbon Tracing Paper
  • Mixing Bowl and Spoon
  • Mosaic Glue
  • Marker
  • Newspaper or drop cloth
  • Tesserae (pieces used in a mosaic) of choice
  • Rubber Gloves

Step 1 - Preparation

  • 1. Your object to mosaic should be clean and dry and have a smooth surface.
  • 2. Transfer your design onto the surface of the object to mosaic by taping carbon transfer paper and your pattern in place and tracing over the pattern with a pen (FIG. 1).
  • 3. Remove the pattern and carbon paper. Hardline the pattern directly onto the surface by tracing over the carbon lines with a marker.
  • NOTE: If you mosaic onto a clear glass object you do not need to transfer your pattern. Tape the pattern behind the glass surface, follow the pattern and glue pieces directly onto the glass surface.

Step 2 - Adding Tesserae (pieces used in a mosaic)

  • 1. On a flat surface covered with newspaper or a drop cloth, place your project to mosaic. If you must glue pieces to a vertical surface, hold your tesserae in place with tape until the glue dries. Remove tape once the glue has set and before grouting.
  • 2. Start with the main or central item in the pattern. MOSAIC TIP: always wear eye protection when nipping tile and glass. Nip tesserae to fit inside the pattern outline. Leave 1/8" between each piece of tesserae and away from the edge to leave room for the grout. When you are pleased with the design, lift each piece and place a small amount of glue onto the backside of the tesserae and reposition (FIG. 2).
  • 3. Once the main subject is glued down, nip more tesserae to fill in the background. If necessary, use a tweezers to place small pieces into position (FIG. 3).
  • 4. Allow glue to set for 24 hours.

Step 3 - Grout Project

  • 1. Following the measurements on the grout package, mix up the grout for project. Wear a dust mask when mixing grout.
  • 2. Work grout into spaces between the tesserae with a glove covered hand or a rubber spatula (FIG. 4).
  • 3. Remove excess grout with your hands or a damp sponge (FIG. 5). Grout should be level with the tesserae and all voids and spaces should be filled.
  • 4. Allow grout to dry. A haze will appear on the glass. Remove any excess grout and buff tesserae clean with a paper towel or a soft cloth (FIG. 6).
  • 5. Allow the project to dry for an addition 24 hours. A grout sealant may be applied if desired. Apply as directed but remove all sealant from the glass with a paper towel before sealant dries.