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Mosaicing a Square Vase

Updated on October 5, 2016

What Is Mosaicing?

Mosaicing is the art of creating a design made of little parts eg glass, stone, pottery, sticking them on a surface and surrounding the edges with grout.

This lens covers the process I used to mosaic a square vase using broken cups and plates which broke during a couple of major earthquakes which rocked Canterbury New Zealand in 2010 and 2011. I enjoy being creative and it was a great opportunity to learn mosaicing with materials already on hand!!

The top left plate and the blue rimmed plates feature on my mosaic.


Materials like glass , stone, pottery and more to create a design

Shape to mosaic on like a tile, vase

Tile Nipper or hammer

Safety Glasses


Notched Trowel


Rubber Gloves


Step 1: Choose the Shape To Mosaic

I chose a flat surface square shape because I thought it would be easiest to learn on.

However after buying the square vase I realised that cups are roundish and so were some plates. Therefore the finished surface would not be flat.

But I decided to flow on with this and proceeded.

Step 2: Create The Design

This is where you design a picture, pattern, whatever you like. This part took a while because I had to look at what plates and cups I had and to figure out what could work.

Firstly I decided to cut out a piece of paper to cover the 4 squares I would be mosaicing. This way I could lie it flat and play around with the pieces.

I had a couple of saucers with edges on it and came up with the idea of the round theme filled in with patterns from a couple of cups, a chinese bowl

and the saucer.


An assortment of glass and ceramic tiles which you can buy if you don't have any broken cups and plates around , courtesy of an earthquake or two.

Step 3: Cut The Shapes

Use a tile nipper to shape your pieces and safety glasses to protect your eyes

Take a grip of the larger piece to cut eg saucer, with the tile nippers and force the edges of the nipper together in a cutting motion..... get

Repeat until you have finished cutting the larger piece(s).

Step 4: Place on the paper

All The Cut Up Pieces

The Flower Saucer

The cut up pieces of the blue and white rimmed saucer .....

......placed on the paper

The Cups

and Chinese bowl used...

cut into shape and placed on design.

I decided to fill in the round shapes with white broken plates and bowls I had.

Step 5: Glue The Pieces Onto The Shape

I used Mosaic Cement as seen in the photo, purchased from my local craft shop.

Mosaic Cement

You can also buy mosaic cement online

Mosaic Mercantile Applicator Set
Mosaic Mercantile Applicator Set

This helps in the application of cement and grout


I followed the instructions on the pottle by applying the cement onto the dry surface free from oil, dust, grease, wax or any other loose contaminant, with a notched trowel ....

Don't forget to wear gloves for this step.

Mosaic Mercantile Gloves Latex, 2-Pair
Mosaic Mercantile Gloves Latex, 2-Pair

You need to wear gloves for mosaicing


...and smoothing over with the other end.

Then I applied the pattern on one of the 4 surfaces before the adhesive began to skin- ( usually within 10 minutes )

I repeated this step 4 times allowing a good drying time between each application of at least an hour or two.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
two sidesthe last side on paper...then cemented onthe third and last sides
two sides
two sides
the last side on paper...
the last side on paper...
then cemented on
then cemented on
the third and last sides
the third and last sides

Allow the tile adhesive to cure for at least 12 hours before proceeding to step 6

Step 6: Grouting

Grout is a ceramic tile joint filler which can come in a variety of different colours. I used white.

You can purchase this from a hardware or craft shop or online ( see below ).

Grout should not be applied outdoors if rain is expected within 48 hours or at temperatures below 50 degrees F.


You can choose from a variety of colors but I used a white grout.

Stir grout into clean, cool water and mix to a thick, creamy consistency. Use the ratio of 6oml water to 100 g grout. I mixed up grout several times for the 4 surfaces and used smaller amounts of about 30 mls water to 50 g grout. I used white. But if you want a colour you can mix acrylic paints to white grout or try to find a coloured grout.

Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes , then restir. Apply to surface by spreading diagonally using a rubber glove or spatular to fill all the joints.

Grout remains workable for about an hour and you can re-stir periodically.

Remove excess grout from the surface with a sponge.

Allow grout to become firm , at least 15 minutes, before cleaning tiles with clean, cold water.

Use a soft,clean, dry cloth to polish off the haze.

Voila. You have a finished article. Enjoy!!

Voila. You have a finished article. Enjoy!!
Voila. You have a finished article. Enjoy!!

You can always get further information from a book or try mosaicing from a kit first.

Take a look below for options you can buy online.

Will You Give Mosaicing A Go?

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