Recycling has always been at the heart of the DIY mosaic art world; it fits into a tradition sometimes called 'junk art.' The best thing about recycled mosaics is the uniqueness of the pieces because, using recycled materials, each mosaic is different.
If you love taking old crockery and turning it into something new, especially something special to a family that's been broken or chipped or that they can hang on their wall, you're in the right place.
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Materials You Can Use for Recycled Mosaic Art
The materials that you can use in mosaic art are endless, but some of them are:
- Pebbles: When creating a mosaic with pebbles, you will need to mortar your work to ensure that the stones stay in place. They also add visual interest to your work. You can use reasonably flat or thicker ones also.
- Old and rusty bits
- Washers, seed cases, and seeds: When you use organic mosaics from recycled materials like this, put them in the oven at a low heat for maybe four hours just to ensure all the moisture has gone before you put them into a mosaic.
- Single-purpose plastics like bottle caps or needle covers: If you need to cut them, you can just use simple wire cutters.
- Crockery/Stash of portal ports, which were found on the beach.
- You can use any old broken mug or plate at home.
- Shells are an obvious choice and they're absolutely wonderful to use in mosaics.
- Cork is also an interesting modern tessera.
- Wood: Appropriate for both indoor and outdoor projects.
- Buttons are great.
- Old dishes, cups, sugar bowls, old household tiles, scrap glass, broken mirrors, China plates, coins, jewelry, beads and baubles.
How and Where to Source Recycled Materials for Mosaic Art
DIY mosaic art can be gorgeous works of art, usually made of glass tiles or similar materials arranged to create a larger image.
Many local craft or DIY stores generally have mosaic supplies. While it may be harder to find tiles for sale in craft stores, you'll be able to find many of the tools needed since they're multi-functional.
Alternatively, ask the employees in the store if they sell grouting tools, tile clippers, or mosaic tiles, and hopefully, you'll find all the supplies you need!
If you're looking to buy your mosaic supplies online, then there are hundreds of merchants to choose from, like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. There are also specialist mosaic suppliers, such as Art Masterclass, which sell everything from tools to kits.
Wondering where to buy the best mosaic supplies and kits? We've got you! You can buy DIY mosaic art supplies and all the best mosaic kits from Art Masterclass.
10 Ideas for Mosaics You Can Make from Recycled Materials
You can take this skill and make an entire table with it if you want to, a side table for your outdoor dining experience, or a pot or a coaster. There're so many different things you can do with it.
All this concept of breaking up these plates or taking these sort of recycled materials that somebody probably bought that you're going to just repurpose and make into a new memory.
Recycled Ceramic Mosaic Pot
You break your favorite colored plate, or something happens when your kid is trying to do the dishes? Don't throw them away! You'll recycle them and upcycle them into something brand new and beautiful DIY mosaic art.
This technique can be used on circular pots, a piece of wood (plywood), a side table for the patio, or a thing to put your shoes in before the trampoline. You know that the sky's the limit with this project.
The concept is simple: You break the plates or the dishware, glue it or use a thin set if you're really into tiling. Then, you use the mortar for the outside.
You will need a pencil, colored paper sheets, glue, scissors, and more paper as a canvas (Leftover paper sheets are perfect for this project!).
- Cut colored papers into small pieces of various shapes. Make sure you have various shapes of different sizes at the end.
- Repeat for other colors and set these pieces aside.
- On a sheet of paper, sketch your drawing.
- Arrange paper pieces onto the drawing.
- Tend to work on edges first and fill in the center later.
- If you can't find anything that fits, try to trim any piece or rearrange existing pieces accordingly.
- Apply glue onto the pieces (Tips: use fingertips to hold them down)
- You don't need a lot of glue; avoid tearing the paper.
- Try to apply glue near the corners and carefully put the real canvas on top.
- Apply pressure to allow mosaic pieces to stick to the canvas.
Mosaic With CDs
You'll need CDs, glue, scissors, egg cartons, sticks, tissues, and anything you want to use as your baseboard.
- First, find some CDs that you don't need anymore. Then you want to scratch the label side carefully. Using a razor blade or scissors would work too.
- Now, you want to clean your CD with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball. To create a grid, use a white sheet of paper, a fine-point sharpie, and a ruler. Make grid lines with any size you want.
- Trace over your grid to create lines on your clean CD.
- Follow these lines and draw over the cd with your straight edge to create your cutting lines.
- Use some heavy-duty scissors to cut out your tile squares.
- Now you're ready to get creative with color using acrylic craft paint. When you apply your acrylic paint, be generous with the amount. You will be pressing two tiles together to form one thick tile. Apply paint on one tile, then place another over it, line it up, and gently press them together.
- Have fun blending colors. These tiles have had a chance to dry overnight.
- Put your tiles in the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes. After allowing the tiles to cool for 15 minutes, they're ready for a project.
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Eggshell Texture Mosaic Art
The materials that you'll need for making eggshell DIY mosaic art will be:
- Container for drawing the eggshells
- Food coloring
- White glue
- Paper towels
- White vinegar
- An optional small paintbrush or Q-tip or a toothpick
You need to break the shells, and they need to be very dry. Once they're dry, then you're going to be coloring them. You need a different container for each color of the food coloring.
- Add about a tablespoon of vinegar which helps retain the color of the shell more permanently.
- You do need to let shells sit in the coloring for a while.
- After they're in these containers, you could put them out in the sunshine for a little while to get them extra dry to speed up the process of drying.
- Once they're completely dry then you can break them up even more with a metal spoon.
- Then you get your cardboard and draw any design you like.
- You want to then put the white glue in the area where you want to place the first color of your dry-colored eggshells.
- Wait a while for it to dry. Then you can add glue for your next color.
DIY Mosaic with Broken Dishes
For this DIY mosaic art project, you will need the following:
- A hammer
- Piping bags
- Tile nippers
- Paper plate and
- Paper bowls (or you could use Tupperware containers)
- Tile adhesives
- Little spatula (you can use this instead of the piping bags)
In the first step, draw out your design, anything you want. You can pick out some inspiration from Pinterest. Draw your design out on your base. (You can use any base you like)
Once your adhesive is down, you just start sticking down your little tiles. You don't have to worry too much about little gaps or just little spaces because you won't see them since you do a clear epoxy coat. Once you've got everything tiled, the next thing takes a little wipe and just goes through. Make sure that none of that adhesive is on top of the tile.
The final step is cleaning it and preparing the mosaic. You can lightly vacuum it to get all the dust and little pieces.
Bean Mosaic Art
Especially students can learn about mosaics by creating a bean mosaic using dry legumes and seeds. The supplies are as simple as you can get to make bean mosaic art.
Making mosaic art with beans is surprisingly cool. You can make any design like animals, trees, houses, etc. The beans give your project an awesome texture that makes your ideas pop! You can use beans of all sizes to make it come to life and add gorgeous colors.
Recycled Bottle Cap Mosaic Art Project
Everyone has at-home bottle caps and caps from different jars and items. It's very easy to do this project. If you do this project with your children, they will need your help because this is all done with a hot glue gun.
You can start with a piece of cardboard and cut out a piece. If you don't want to keep this in the background, use any color piece of paper as wrapping paper. Just glue it on and start to build your mosaic on it.
From Trash to Art
You can grab old dishes, cups, sugar bowls, beads, and baubles and give them a new life by breaking these found materials into interesting shapes. Mosaic art could be made out of anything. You can also make sculptures from just one medium or use reclaimed plastic material to build wonderful sculptures.
Want to make mosaics from recycled materials yourself? Art Masterclass Mosaic Kits might be a good option to start. Check out some of the great DIY videos in this link.
Upcycled House Mosaic Art
Use a pencil and ruler to draw a house shape on your cardboard. Then, cut the shape out using a craft knife or scissors. An adult should help with this part of children.
Gathering odds and ends to start decorating paper scraps, soda tabs, and anything from your recycling bin would work.
Broken Mirror Mosaic Art
The first thing you will need is a canvas for whatever size you want for this project and a strong adhesive that's meant to hold glass and tile. You are also going to need a broken mirror or some broken mirror pieces.
Then finally, some grout. The first step to this is using your glue and adhering all of your mirrored pieces to the canvas. You can use all the big pieces or whatever you like and then figure out where smaller pieces could go around it to make it fit. There's always something that goes somewhere.
Let the glue completely dry (24 hours at least). Then make your grout and mix it up based on the proportions the box says. Just spread it around the whole thing. Then wipe off all of the excesses with a wet sponge. Let the ground completely dry.
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