Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mosaic Picture Frame

With Father's Day right around the corner, I thought it might be fun to post this great Mosaic Picture Frame craft to do with your kids.  It can get messy when doing with little ones, so either do this on your porch, or spread out tons of newspaper (or in my son's case, a giant tarp).  All the supplies can be either purchased at your local craft store, or you can be more eco-friendly and use found items.

Wooden picture frame
Heavy duty craft glue
Grout (to save a step, try using pre-mixed grout with the sealant already in it)
Sealant (unless your grout has sealant included)
Tiles, upcycled china, sea glass, found items, etc
Large sponge or rag
Wooden popsicle stick
Tile cutter or nips (only if you are not using precut tile pieces or plate pieces)
Your favorite photo

1) Make sure your picture frame is clean.  Remove the glass so that it won't get scratched or dirty.  If it is an upcycled frame, make sure it is cleaned off well so that the adhesive will stick.
2) Unless you want a random pattern, draw a design to follow (such as shapes, maybe the word Dad, anything you want to stand out from the rest of the frame) on the frame.
3) If you are using uncut tiles or china, use tile nippers to cut pieces off in random sizes and shapes (do this prior to including the kids and make sure you wear protective goggles).  Do this by fitting the nippers over a section of the plate/tile and squeeze the handles firmly until a piece snaps off.  Repeat until you have the plate/tiles in ans many large and small pieces as you want.
4) Lay out the pieces of cut tiles, plates, sea glass, stones, etc on your frame, forming the design and pattern you want.  If you have a pattern laid out, do that section in a different color than the rest of the frame to make it stand out (ex, blue glass for background, yellow glass for the sun pattern, green for the word Dad, etc).  Lay them close together, but not touching, so that there are small spaces between.
5) Once you have the entire frame covered in a pattern you like, begin gluing each piece down in place.  Let it dry overnight.
6) Mix grout according to package instructions.  Using the wooden popsicle stick, spread the grout evenly over the mosaic frame.  Use fingertips to press the grout deep into all crevices.  Allow to dry a couple of minutes, and then carefully wipe off excess grout with a damp sponge or cloth (be careful not to wipe out any grout from the crevices).  Switch to a dry rag to wipe off any residual grout.  Let it dry overnight.
7) If you didn't use grout with sealant mixed in, wipe the mosaic frame off well, removing any left over dried grout and apply the grout sealant  according to package instructions.  Wipe off any excess and let it dry overnight.
8) Wipe down mosaic with a damp rag, and then polish with a dry rag to make the mosaic shine.  Replace the glass, put in your favorite photo, wrap, and wait for dad's big smile!

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