A little known fact about me – I used to make and sell mosaics! Many, many moons ago, I did a mini mosaics course at a local community project, as a way to get me out of the house when my son was at school, and I was a newly made single mum. It was there that I became good friends with the tutor. She also ran a longer certified course at the local adult education college, which I also took. Eventually, we started up a small business together designing pieces of artwork, and making mosaic table tops. It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed that period of my life.
Eventually, this venture ceased, as we were both concentrating on new things, but every now and then I would dabble in mosaics at home, one being a project in the bathroom of my old flat. Sadly, pictures of most things are tiny and blurry, but I did find a few on an old hard drive to share with you!
Pixelated Mosaic Kits
So when I received an email about Teresa Mill’s Mosaics and her cute Pixelated Mosaic Kits, I was immediately interested. I haven’t made any mosaics for such a long time now, and figured these kits would be an nice easy re-introduction, plus I could introduce my niece to this craft, as there is no cutting of tiles, or grouting required.
Everything you need to make the kit is inside a handy tote bag – a wooden baseboard, a bag of mosaic tiles, a bottle of waterproof glue and full instructions. The little tiles come attached to a sheet of brown paper, which need to be soaked off with warm water – which was very quick and easy to do – the tiles just slide right off. The glass tiles came on a netting backing sheets, which could just be pulled away by hand.
The instruction sheet suggests to play around with the tiles on top of the shape first before sticking them down. On a design like this which is very structured, you are a bit limited to using your own design as it were (if I was comparing it to some of her other designs, like the cute elephant, or butterfly). For adults I don’t think this step is necessary, but for children it might be a good thing, just to get them practising how to lay out the tiles.
Children should be supervised by an adult when using these kits as the tiles are made from glass, so may have sharp edges if broken. Keep out of reach of children under 3.
The tiles are stuck with the flat side facing upwards, and using the bottle of PVA glue, you literally go line by line, following the pattern and sticking the tiles down. There is plenty of glue in the bottle, so you can be very generous with the glue – I would say even more than what I have been in the image below. You want those tiles to be stuck on there good and tight, as you won’t have the added staying power of grout.
To follow the pattern, I used a ruler to help me keep track of which row I was on (I do the same thing when following a cross stitch pattern!) and worked my way through. I found the whole process to be really therapeutic, and it really has kick started my need to take up mosaics again!
As I got to the tummy section of the owl, I realised that there were two slightly different shades of pink, which whilst clear on the tiles once they were laid down, didn’t seem so clear on the pattern itself. This would be my one and only issue with the kit. Maybe if I had laid all the tiles out I would have realised…! because I had already stuck down a row, and wouldn’t have enough tiles of one colour, I ended up doing my own arrangement to make it work!
If you get any glue on top of the tiles, it is suggested to wipe away with a damp cloth. Once all the tiles are laid, you leave it to dry overnight – I left it for 24 hours, just to be sure! You can then add some ribbon or string to the whole at the top of the baseboard to hang up. Doesn’t the owl look fabulous?! I’m really pleased with the way he turned out.
I made this kit in just over an hour, and I have another one to make with my niece who will be 5 this year. It will be interesting to see how she gets on with using the kit – when we make it together, I will report back and let you know!
Overall, I think the kits are a great idea, as they contain everything you need. You can buy them on Teresa’s Mill’s website for £11 per kit. There are lots of designs to choose from, including seasonal ones. These would make a lovely little gift for someone who likes trying out different crafts. They would also be great for a rainy day or for a craft party!
Have you tried mosaics before? What do you think about these Pixelated Mosaic Kits?