Hi Muse Kits friends!
I don’t know about you, but fall is a time that I want to retreat inside, make the house cozy, and take up a new hobby. That is why this month’s medium mosaic is the perfect choice for the season!
Mosaic is an ancient technique, with some of the oldest existing examples being from the third millennium BCE. From stunning mosques tiled from floor to ceiling to small hand-sized tile mosaics, anyone can make them on any scale.
In this month's box, we‘ve provided you with a complete kit to create handmade tiles that you can mosaic into a small decorative piece. But once you’ve got used to making your own tiles using these tools, the bug will surely bite you! From this starting point, there are many great ways to use this technique using different types of tiles, perhaps on a larger scale. Today, I am going to provide you with five ways you can use your new mosaic skills to decorate and personalize your space.
So, let’s grab our supplies and dive into some mosaic inspiration.
Finding the Tiles to Mosaic
Before we dig into how to use mosaics, we need to look at our materials more closely. What can you use to mosaic?
The supplies in this month’s box give you the incredibly unique opportunity to make your own clay tiles. This gives you a lot of freedom with shape and color, so you can choose the colors and design that speaks to you. This epitomizes this medium for me because no two mosaics will ever be the same, even when you use bought tiles, but even more so when you make the tiles yourself.
But if you want to expand your mosaic horizons and try different types of tiles, there are plenty of options! You can buy small tiles designed for mosaicing at your local craft store or simply order some online. This is a great option when you want a specific color scheme and finish that requires uniform tiles. The tiles don’t even need to be ceramic; they could be glass or even mirrors.
However, my favorite way to source mosaic tiles is by upcycling plates and other ceramics. I am both a sentimental and very clumsy person, so I tend to have broken crockery on my hands occasionally that I can’t bear to throw away. Making a mosaic is the perfect way to immortalize these pieces while making a new piece of art. A cheap way to stock up on more crockery to break down is through thrift stores, where you should be a good deal, especially if the piece is a little banged up.
As you can see, there are many tile options, but did you know you can also experiment with grout to make your pieces pop? Instead of regular grout, you can mix in colorants or even glitter to fit the look you’re going for in a creative way.
Right now that we know our options when it comes to tiles, how can we put this medium into practice? Let’s take a look.
5 Ways to Decorate Using Mosaic
So now it's clear that you have a lot of flexibility and space for personalization in this medium. We love combining handmade tiles with found or bought tiles to make something unique to us. The tiles you create using the technique described in our brochure are beautiful pieces that can be hung up on a wall, but there are so many other ways to use mosaics to decorate your space.
Here are five ways to use your mosaic skills in your home:
Lately, I’ve gone down a TikTok rabbit hole watching user Holly Auna mosaic an old banged-up table to look like a whimsical toadstool. Watching a complete beginner create a totally unique piece of furniture with a simple mosaic so effectively made me realize how doable this actually is!
You can pick up an old table cheaply from a thrift store or even choose one you already have at home that needs a makeover. A flat tabletop is an excellent place to start when you’re a beginner, but as your skills grow, you can try more ambitious projects to breathe new life into old furniture. All the furniture you use will need to be cleaned, primed, and maybe even sanded before you start, depending on the condition it is in.
Stunning Tiled Stairway
This is a great way to personalize run-down outdoor steps to create a focus piece out of your staircase. The risers on stairs are often looked over as you go about your day, but they provide such a unique canvas to make a space truly your own, especially in stairwells and hallways, which can look a little lackluster. Each step design could follow the same theme for a cohesive look, or each one could be unique for a more eclectic style. This is also an easy project to break into small, manageable pieces, so it's not so intimidating for a beginner.
If you are doing this outside, I recommend waiting until the weather is clear so your tile adhesive and grout have time to dry thoroughly. If you’re really ambitious, you can mosaic your whole doorstep to create a dramatic entrance, but you will need to use more durable, professional-level materials for that project.
Now, we don’t want you to put pressure on yourselves and spoil the fun, so we urge you to be loose with this idea. One day you may have the time to sit down and really get stuck into an intricate piece, while other days, you might only be able to bash out a quick sketch, an impression of the moment. Both of those pieces are just as valid as the other; as long as you are creating out in the world, you are completing the challenge.
Mirrors are cheap and easy to pick up in various sizes, so they are ideal for trying out a new craft like mosaic. You can work with a framed mirror or buy one separately to mount on some wooden board. Once you’ve adorned your frame in your chosen design, you will need to clean up thoroughly and polish the mirror to eliminate any grout marks.
If done right, these mosaic mirrors can be focal points in a room that brings the whole space together. Imagine tiling a mirror frame in mirrors to create an entire disco ball statement piece. It would make such a dramatic aesthetic impression while being completely DIY.
Jazz Up a Simple Lamp
Like the upcycled furniture, you can also use mosaic to make a plain lamp into a beautiful, functional decoration that fits your home decor perfectly.
I recommend starting with a ceramic lamp because this is the perfect surface for your mosaic to adhere to. This is a slightly more advanced project because many lamps have curved plains of their bases. But don’t be intimidated; start from the bottom, go slow, and you should be able to mosaic yourself something stunning to spruce up your house.
Personalize Your Backsplash
This is an ambitious project that, if done right, will create a lot of bang for your buck in your kitchen.
Instead of regular store-bought tiles, you could create a series of handmade tiles like the ones described in the brochure and use those to create a gorgeous backsplash that you crafted with your own hands. Alternatively, you could cut your mosaic pieces into petals, stems, and leaves to create a field of flowers growing behind your sink. The style and colors you choose depend on your home aesthetic and the skills you’ve developed so far.
As you can see, mosaic is a medium that is super versatile and has the power to transform a space. These are just five ways that mosaic can add spice and color to your living space using mosaic. What other ways have you found to use mosaic? We would love to see and try them for ourselves, but for now, happy creating!