Introduction to Mosaic! Made very simple!

Why choose wikiHow?
wikiHow marks an article as reader approved once we have received enough feedback to know that most readers were able to successfully complete the task. In this case, we have also received several testimonials from our readers, who told us how this article truly helped them.

How to Do Mosaics

One Methods:

Mosaics are works of art created by using glass or ceramic tiles and grout to make a picture. They date as far back as 1500 BC and are all over the world. Mosaics adorn the ceilings in cathedrals with elaborate details or they can be found in a simple pattern on the coffee table in your home. With practice, you can create a custom mosaic all your own.


Preparing to Create Your Mosaic Art

  1. Select the material you wish to use.Pieces of material used in a mosaic art are called tesserae. They can be glass, stones, porcelain, seashells, or anything else you can find. You will also want to gather together any objects you might want to include.
  2. Pick the foundation to adhere the mosaic tiles on.Tables, planters, birdbaths, or walking stones are just a few ideas to use.
  3. Find a pattern you wish to make into a mosaic.
  4. Transfer the design to your base.Lay it on a flat surface and rough lay the tesserae. Use glass or tile cutting tools to cut pieces to the desired size. You can also use a hammer to break pieces as well. Make sure the pieces are clean of any dirt or debris before laying them out.
  5. Mix mortar per manufacturer recommendations.Apply it to the foundation using a trowel or spatula. While still wet, gently affix the mosaic tiles by pushing them into the mixture. Apply tiles starting in one corner of the design and work across in rows. Make sure you leave enough space between pieces for grout. You may also choose to put the mortar directly on the tile as if you are buttering it like a piece of toast. Apply the buttered piece directly to the foundation and press down to affix it in place.
  6. Let the mortar set.Time varies depending on usage, so follow manufacturer recommendations. For pieces in your home, the timing is roughly 24 hours. Outdoor mosaics will need to set for 72 hours. Clean the mosaic tiles once more to clear away any extra mortar that may have risen to the top.
  7. Prepare the grout mixture.Grout comes in many colors and there are colors you can add to the grout to change the coloring. Choose a color that accents your mosaic. Mix the grout by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  8. Apply the grout using a spatula.Fill in the creases between the tiles. The grout should cover the mosaic enough to fill the gaps.
  9. Let the grout set for 20 minutes, or the time advised by the manufacturer.Wipe the mosaic with a clean sponge and warm water. Rinse out the sponge regularly as you wipe away grout from the surface of the tiles.
  10. Seal the mosaic with varnish.This will coat the tiles and safeguard against damage, especially for outdoor mosaics subjected to fluctuating temperatures and adverse weather conditions. It also will give a high gloss shine that will make the colors stand out.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I use only glue to do mosaic?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use glue or caulk to affix pieces, but you will still want to use grout to smooth over the top and fill in the spaces between the pieces.
  • Question
    Can I mosaic on glass windows?
    Kate Weaver
    Community Answer
    Yes. You can create a glass-on-glass mosaic by gluing stained glass on clear glass. Use a clear bonding agent though. Then, grout it as shown in this post.
  • Question
    Do I need a special kind of mortar or varnish for outdoor mosaics?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Seal with marine-grade polyurethane (matte, not shiny).
  • Question
    Can I make a mosaic on heavy paper board?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The paper would probably absorb most of the mortar water (which would cause it to dissolve). If you want to make a mosaic on paper, use some silicone-based glue.
  • Question
    Do I have to remove old paint from a project before putting a mosaic on it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If your mosaic is smaller than the old paint behind it, it is better to remove it. Also, your mosaic glue or mortar will work better if the wall is smoothed, rather than old peeling paint and an uneven surface.
  • Question
    How do I make the grout?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You don't make it. You buy it. To properly use it, read the instructions on the container.
  • Question
    I have a large concrete bowl. Can I put mosaic on it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can!
  • Question
    Can I use only glue without using mortar?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but depending on your surface material or your tesserae, mortar may be a better choice than glue.
  • Question
    What kind of adhesive do you recommend using to adhere the mosaic tiles to a bowling ball?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Loctite Power Grab Construction Adhesive. You can find it at any hardware store. It works great on vertical surfaces for a quick bond.
  • Question
    Will mosaic adhere to stainless steel?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You would need a special glue. Test it first, and see if you find the right adhesive. Do this before you start your project so you do not waste your time.
Unanswered Questions
  • How do I create a level table if I have various thicknesses in my tiles?
  • What is the best backing material to use to make mosaics last longer?
  • How can I mosaic a cast iron tub for outdoor use?
  • I have a birdbath made of resin. Can I mosaic it for outdoor use? I'm thinking of using glass stones bought at a craft store.
  • Can I apply grout on foam when smoothing the surface?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • When selecting the mortar or grout, get products that will last a long time in the environment that will house your mosaic. This is especially true for mosaics that are outside.


  • Wear safety glasses and use gloves while working on this project. The tile pieces can have sharp edges and, if you are breaking or cutting them, you want to reduce the risk of damaging your eyes or cutting yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Tile pieces
  • Foundation for mosaic
  • Design template
  • Glass or tile cutting tools
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Spatula
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Varnish

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Made Recently

Add a photo
Upload error
Awesome picture! Tell us more about it?

Article Info


In other languages:

Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Deutsch: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands: , العربية: 

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 364,105 times.
Did this article help you?
of readers found this articlehelpful.
1 votes - 100%
Click a star to add your vote
100% of people told us that this article helped them.
Views: 364,105

Quick Summary

To make a mosaic, start by getting some pieces of glass, stone, porcelain,or any other material you want to use for your mosaic. Then, find a surface to create your mosaic on, like a table, a planter, or a walking stone. Once you have your materials, mix some mortar powder and water in a bowl and apply the mortar to the backs of your pieces. Press the pieces onto the surface in whatever pattern you desire and let it dry for 24-72 hours. Finally, apply grout in between the pieces and seal the mosaic with varnish.

Success Stories

Lydia Lynne C. Fuller

Aug 14

"I want to learn how to design and make a mosaic. I am a visual learner, so the simply-done visuals in thedifferent stages helped me."
Rated this article:

Jackson McDonald

Jul 17

"I'm currently at school and I was very stuck on how to do this particular artwork, thanks heaps! "
Rated this article:

Carrie Ritchie

Nov 3, 2019

"It's a great basic guide to use, especially for those of us who have never created a mosaic piece. It told me whatI needed to start and got ideas flowing. I'm starting on my first piece, thank you so much!"

Loretta Pietrzyk

Apr 11, 2019

"The step-by-step instructions and video in this article show a great way to create beautiful mosaic pieces byyourself or with others."

Carolee Sullivan

Sep 3, 2019

"Yes, it helped. I want to learn how to make things with the tiles. It was informative and interesting. Thank you."

Lenda Young

May 23, 2019

"It taught the method step by step and included narrative and pictures. I could not wait to get started!"
Rated this article:

Pam Barett

Aug 14, 2019

"Very clear and easy to follow, it's given me a real incentive to have a go at creating a mosaic."

Marilyn Winburn

Jan 7, 2019

"The basic process became more clear in my mind. I feel more ready to begin my first project."

Melissa Fisher

Jul 2, 2019

"I haven't tried yet but I have all of the materials. I'm so excited and ready to start!"

Nancy Jovellar

May 5, 2019

"Glad to have found nicely put instructions with video on how to put together a mosaic/"

Nadja Martinussen

Sep 3, 2019

"Great job! The video footage is fantastic as a supportive learning tool. "


Apr 12, 2019

"Having the step-by-step video was very informative. Can't wait to try."

Gemma Pearson

Jun 17, 2019

"Very simple. Given me the confidence to give it a try. Many thanks!"

Jacey Brown

Jun 19, 2019

"Amazing. I want to start now and create so many mosaics."

D. B.

Oct 8, 2019

"Helpful steps: drawing the design and how to use grout."


Oct 6, 2019

"I had to do a project, so this was an amazing source!"
Rated this article:

Y. N.

Aug 15, 2019

"Very clear and straightforward explanation, thanks!"

Sally Phipps

Mar 4

"Simple enough for a beginner to get started."

D. W.

Mar 2, 2019

"Very easy instructions.

Video: The Quick Basics - Getting Started in Mosaics

How to Do Mosaics
How to Do Mosaics images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Do Mosaics pictures

How to Do Mosaics forecasting
How to Do Mosaics advise photo

How to Do Mosaics images
How to Do Mosaics pics

How to Do Mosaics How to Do Mosaics new pics
How to Do Mosaics new foto

foto How to Do Mosaics
pictures How to Do Mosaics

Watch How to Do Mosaics video
Watch How to Do Mosaics video

Communication on this topic: How to Do Mosaics, how-to-do-mosaics/
Forum on this topic: How to Do Mosaics, how-to-do-mosaics/ , how-to-do-mosaics/

Related News

This nail polish can tell you if your drink has been spiked
Nystatin Reviews
A Love Letter to Rosé
Get To Know Your Personality Type
Webinar: How to make your 20s count
How to Cook and Carve the Perfect Turkey
Avoid a Hair Mare: This Is How to Find a Good Hairdresser
How to Deal With Losing Your Wallet
How to Make Hairspray Using Citrus Fruits
How to Get a Sweet Girlfriend

Date: 06.12.2018, 15:05 / Views: 62571