Mosaic glass is not a very difficult hobby to learn. However, it does take some time to make and there are some things that can be a bit annoying to do. With the right tools and a bit of practice, you can master mosaic-making quickly!

Basic things you need to start:

  • A glass scorer
  • Glass (of course)
  • Glass breakers.. do not take the plastic caps off, they are there to protect your glass.
  • Silicon glue
  • Clear Silicon caulking
  • A picture frame with glass, not plastic
  • An image off the internet to mosaic
  • Tape
  • Nippers
  • Tile grout
  • Brush
  • Gloves, if you would like to not get cut as easily. Cuts do and will happen when you are working with cut glass, so be careful.

    There are other tools to help you as well, such as a Cutter’s Mate and the grid that comes with it. The Cutter’s Mate is a scoring tool that is helpful for mosaic pieces as well as stained glass, because you have more control than you would with a regular scorer. It can also help people with pain in their arms or hands be able to work better on the glass, because it requires less force to score cleanly.

 

Gluing and securing your background pieces for glass

Before you can even begin to THINK about starting a mosaic piece, you must first secure the glass in the frame. Pull the back cardboard or paper or whatever out of it, all you need is that glass and the frame. You need to use your silicon glue to glue the glass in the frame and then use the caulking to reinforce it and make sure it isn’t going anywhere! Allow the caulking to set for the time it requires on the tube.

Prepare Your Base

Tape the picture to the back of the frame once the caulking is cured. Make sure your glass pieces, your background glass in the frame, and any glass beads are all clean before you use them, so as not to get dirt trapped between the glass after your project is complete. Also… never ever place the photo on top of the back piece of glass. This will mean you have to move every piece off of the paper and move it before you can re- arrange and glue them down, which means the only thing you accomplished is cutting the glass pieces. ALWAYS attach it to the back.

Tips for grouting your piece

If you choose to mix your own from the powdered stuff, you are looking for a thickness similar to mayonnaise or toothpaste.

 If you want glitter grout, this grout you can buy from amazon is so pretty. Mix in a good clump once your consistency is correct in your grout.

Make sure you have an airtight container to put your grout in, along with a putty knife for mixing.

Some extra tips for working with mosaic glass

Cover your glass piece completely with glue on the back when you stick it on. Air bubbles are the enemy!

DON’T USE GLASS NIPPERS ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR EYES. The glass pieces tend to go flying.

When you use the scorer, press down hard and make sure on the starting point and end point of the glass, the glass is very clearly scored, so as to prevent the glass from breaking wrong.

Some tips to make your piece look the best it can!

Cover your glass piece completely with glue on the back when you stick it on. Air bubbles are  the enemy!

DON’T USE GLASS NIPPERS ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR EYES. The glass pieces tend to go flying.

When you use the scorer, press down hard and make sure on the starting point and end point of the glass, the glass is scored all the way. This will help you break it cleanly.

Thanks for reading this! I hope it helps you with future mosaics.

Your glue is dry. Now what?

After you have read Stained Glass Rose Mosaic Part 1 and completed all the steps, it should be the next day after you glued your last pieces down. So now… we get to play with grout! Go outside and pour some of the powdery grout into your bucket, being careful not to touch it or get it in your lungs. I recommend wearing gloves starting from this point. Slowly add water to your powder until it is toothpastelike or has a texture like mayonnaise. After your grout is completely mixed up with no dry patches, you can mix in as much glitter as you desire for an added touch of sparkle.

Apply your grout

This is VERY messy; you will want to do it on a table with a tablecloth that can be thrown away covering it. Put your mosaic glass side up and, with gloved hands, scoop up some of the grout and splat it onto the glass. Press it and work it in between the glass, be careful not to cut your gloves open. It’s okay if you get it on the frame, wipe it off as best as you can, but remember we will repaint it later. Scrape as much grout off your glass as you can while it is wet but still make sure all of your gaps are well filled. Trust me, this will aid you greatly in the future.

Clean up after your grout and polish your glass

About 15 to 20 minutes after your grout has been applied, wipe it off of the glass carefully with a slightly damp sponge or sponge brush. Make sure to get it ALL off!! It is harder to scrape off later. See how the glitter really sparkles in the grout after it has been wiped? So pretty. You can also use this stuff called Whiting that will polish your glass and get any leftover grout off after your grout has settled. Use a firm toothbrushto apply and scrub. Do not add water to the whiting, it works as a powder.

Finish Your Rose

Wipe over your glass with Windex to make it shine. Then you can start painting the frame. Use your sponge brush and dab it on thickly. Cover the whole frame thoroughly and let dry for one hour, being very careful not to paint the grout or the glass. After an hour you can put a second coat on and allow it to sit, and you may need a third coat. Once your frame is dry and you are satisfied with it, Put the hooks into it with a screwdriver, these particular ones you can purchase here do not need a drill and are absolutely fantastic. I chose to light it from behind with some battery operated Christmas lights, but you can just hang it in the sun as a suncatcher if you so wish. If you choose to make this piece, feel free to email me with pictures, I would love to see them! 

This beautiful stained glass rose mosaic is lit from behind and can be hung anywhere, not just the window! This rose is inspired by the one from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and uses five different kinds of glass, as well as glass marbles.

Although the finished piece looks expensive, it’s really not. It’s also not that hard to make. Unlike traditional stained glass, which is made with lead came or copper foil, mosaics are made with glue and grout. If you make your mosaic on top or a picture frame or old window, the sun or a backlight will shine through it just like stained glass.

To make this mosaic, you will need:

Prepare Your Picture Frame

Before you can think about making your stained glass piece, you must first prepare the frame. Take the backing off and throw it away. Pull the glass piece out of the front, put some of the silicon glue on the inside of the frame, and press the glass into it to secure it. Let dry, and then you may use the silicon caulking to seal it in and protect it, go around the whole edge of the glass on the inside and outside of the frame and allow to cure for as long as the tube says, typically about one day.

Print and Prepare your Picture

After your caulking is set, print the image and cut it to fit the inside of the frame with the scissors. Then tape it to the inside of the fame with your scotch tape. Never just lay it on top of the glass, because you will have to move it and rearrange your pieces when you wish to glue them down to the glass. Once your image is stuck to the back, wipe off any fingerprints, dirt or dust that have gotten onto the glass surface with Windex and a cloth. 

Starting on the glass

Use your nippers to nip off little bits of dark green glass and lay it out over the stem and the small piece of the rose leaf that has the stem. From my mistakes… glue down the pieces as you go instead of waiting. That way if your piece gets bumped, you wot have to rearrange the pieces. Do the light green glass on the leaves and the red on the rose. For the rose I tried to follow the pattern as best as I could to make it look more realistic and less like a blob.

The glass beads

Now it is time to place the glass beads. Set one big bead at the very top of your frame and glue it down, and then make the shape of the dish that contains the rose. Glue them all down and let the glue cure for a few hours.

Background

Then the clear glass needs to be nipped into squares, use your scorer and breakers to score and break some strips of glass and then nip them into squares. Glue them as you go along in neat rows. Do the same for the outside, tucking triangles around the glass beads. Make sure to leave little gaps for grout, as shown in all the pictures. Glue all of your pieces down and let it set for a minimum of 24 hours.

Stay tuned for Part 2!