Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DIY Mosaic Wall Art

Inspired by Remodelaholic.

Sometime in June I picked up all the supplies and set to work. Well, let me start by telling you this is one hell of a project to take on. For days I sat at the dining room table (while watching late night Lifetime movies of course) gluing each little square on to the board. Like most projects, I quickly became bored of it and set it aside in the basement for months.

But alas there comes a time when you start another project that then fuels you to complete your unfinished projects. You see, Thanksgiving was nearing and we were expecting a house full of guests so that basement bedroom needed to get done. That meant either I finish the mosaic wall art or trash it. So I decided I can't throw anything away I might as well finish it.

The instructions posted on the link above are pretty straightforward. however, I did tweak them a little to fit my needs.

Step 1: Gather your supplies. I chose to use an artist's canvas because I found it easier and cheaper then going to the hardware store, having them cut a piece wood for me, painting it, and then having to rig framing hardware onto the board.  For this project I used:
8 sheets of 12x12 cardstock in varying colors/textures
one artist's canvas in size of your choice (it's okay to use the type with staples on the sides)

Step 2: Cut your sheets of cardstock down to 1"x12" strips, then down to 1"x1" squares. For the 24x24 canvas, I ended up only needing six 1"x12" strips of each of the eight colors.

Step 3: Start gluing! I tried using a glue stick at first, but that didn't work so I just ended up using Mod Podge. And because I'm a horrible blogger I didn't take any pictures. But I did sketch something up in paint for you. I essentially started at one corner and worked off that, like this:
One problem I did encounter was that my cutting skills weren't 100% precise. Some squares were off by 1/1,000,000 of a millimeter (total exaggeration, of course) and that would throw off the straight edge that the squares create. So instead of just cutting new squares I would search all 576 squares (I didn't actually count the squares. I just did the math and yes, I actually do know how to do math) to find one that would fit next to the stupid square.

The craft store discounted this canvas because it had a tear, but the squares covered it up nicely. Win-win!

Step 4: Continue gluing until you have covered the entire face of the canvas. Now you want to cover the sides of your canvas that are still visible. To cover the frayed corners of the canvas I just folded a square in half and glued it over the 90degree corner.Then glued over it with another square to continue the pattern.

The sides of my canvas were actually 1-1/2" wide so instead of cutting the squares to fit I just glued them on and folded the excess over the edge of the canvas. I found this method made the lines look cleaner.

Step 5: Once all squares have been glued take the paint brush and slap on a layer of Mod Podge across the entire face and sides of the canvas. Let dry.

Step 6: Hang and enjoy!

Right now it's just hanging on a bare wall, but if Craig and his List would stop trying to sell me crap dressers or extremely over priced dressers then I might be able to remedy the situation. Come on Craig, I'm counting on you!

24x24 Canvas - $10  (it was discounted due to the canvas being ripped)
Mod Podge - $6
8 sheets of 12x12 cardstock in the colors of your choice - $4



  1. I love how yours turned out. From the first picture I wondered if you used tiles or something. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to touch this with a ten-foot pole. I have such a hard time getting a straight line cut!

  2. Gaby, THIS is awesome, REALLY REALLY awesome. I can't believe you let it sit for months, and now that it's done you're like WOW, that is awesome.

    I LOVE lifetime movies, they can sure draw you in for hours, lol.

    THANK YOU so much for supporting my blog, and linking up to **Amaze me AUgust** I actually haven't seen you link up for a while, I'm SUPER glad you're back, and did you change the name of your blog, I do not remember there being anything about owls hooting, he he.

    Oh, and have you set your vote for me girl, PLEASE go vote, only THREE more days left of me bugging everyone. You can vote everyday at this link .......http://lambaround.blogspot.com/........ I REALLY want to win Best Of Show. THANKS GIRL!!!

  3. Nat, I totally understand how you feel about the cutting. I used a paper trimmer so that helped a little, but cutting them the exact same size... ugh. Frustrating!

    Bella, I was super busy with school so my blog and house projects were on the back burner until the semester finished. Now that I'm on winter break I've been churning out projects like crazy. I just need to find time to post them all! I did change the name of my blog. I have a thing for owls and felt that "After the Before, but Before the After" just wasn't representing who I am. I think the owl theme represents my personality a little better :) I'm going to go vote for you right now!

  4. I love the colors, and I've been wanting to do something like this but I thought you had to use paint color samples, and I didn't want to have to collect them. This is much easier!

  5. Hi Gina! Thanks for stopping by! Since I finished this I've seen a few similar projects done with paint chips. But I'm with you, I wouldn't want to have to collect so many chips.

  6. Wow, this is really a huge project! I think you did a great job, and ended up with wonderful art to hang on your wall. Hugs, Heidi

  7. Thank you Heidi! It sure was a big undertaking and I'm so glad I finally finished it. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. What an awesome piece of art! I love the color combination you chose.

  9. Thank you, Amy! I chose those colors specifically to match the decor of my master bedroom.

  10. Hi Gaby-
    I have an old blank canvas waiting for me to do something with - I think I just found my inspiration. It looks like a fun project to make plus looks great on your wall.

    On another note - Thanks for commenting on my stair redo. I grew up in a split level home and know the kind of stairs you are talking about. Maybe you can start with one set at a time so it won't seem so overwhelming. I wish I had not waited so long.
    My best- Diane

  11. I am so inspired to give this one a try, thanks for sharing your talent.

  12. @ Diane - I'm glad I could inspire you! I started the stairs project with the smallest sets of stairs on the split level. The demo alone took me 3 hours and it was only 4 steps!!

    @ Olivia - I'm glad I inspired. If you do try it out please share it with me!

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