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Scarlett Lovitt : How To Make Your Own Mosaic Tables

How To Make Your Own Mosaic Tables

By Scarlett Lovitt

Mosaic Table TopRemember those paper collages you made in art class at school, fitting together pieces of colored paper to form a picture? That same technique is the basis for making a mosaic of any kind, including handsome mosaic tables for the home.

One of the great things about mosaics is the wide variety of materials that can be used. There are ready-made kits containing mosaic tiles, but one of the creative satisfactions that comes from making mosaics is choosing unusual materials to make simple designs or patterns. Items that have been used for mosaics include river stones, seashells, pottery shards, pieces of broken dishes and tiles and more. The key to these mixed media is to choose flat items that have the same approximate depth so that the surface of the table will be flat.

Another great thing about mosaic tables is their colorful variety. Even with a simple mosaic pattern, it's possible to choose other accessories that will complement the mosaic. Depending on the colors in the mosaic, choose solid-colored yellow rugs, red rugs, blue rugs or even black rugs to harmonize with your one-of-a-kind work of art.

Homeowners who are interested in creating their own mosaics will find a wealth of information both online and at their local libraries. Following are the basics of the indirect method of mosaic construction, in which the crafter places mosaic tiles upside down on an adhesive paper placed inside a mold. With this method, any design (especially any lettering) is placed upside down and backwards, so that it will turn out correctly when the project is completed. Once the design is down, the mold is then filled with quick-drying cement and allowed to dry completely before flipping it over to see the artwork. This method is used to created very smooth finished surfaces, the ideal result for tables used in home decorating.

To begin, you will need:

  • A mold
  • Adhesive paper
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cement


Arrange pre-cut pieces of glass, ceramic or other material onto the adhesive paper in the design that you've chosen. Next, roll over the backs of the tiles with a brayer in order to make sure that all the edges of the tiles are down.

Once you're assured that all the tiles are properly in place, the next step is to mix up quick-drying cement with a powder dye (to give the concrete a color other than cement gray). When the concrete is properly mixed, pour it into the mold over the design, but don't fill it to the top of the mold. Tap the mold on the surface on which it's placed in order to remove any air bubbles that may have formed inside the cement. Leave this to dry for one hour.

After an hour, check the mold to see if the cement has dried thoroughly. If not, leave it until you're sure it's completely dried. Your creation will be ruined if you rush to see your mosaic before the cement has dried completely. Once the cement has dried thoroughly, flip the mold over so that you can peel the adhesive paper off the top of the mosaic. Use some water and a scraping tool to remove any excess concrete that may be sticking to the design on the mosaic top.

Finish the cleaning and polishing, and the mosaic tabletop is ready to be coated on top with a sealer to protect the finish of the tiles in its design. Then the tabletop can be attached to a wrought iron base and given a place of honor in the home.

With practice, a mosaic artist may find himself or herself making all kinds of mosaic tabletops, wall art and even lamp bases. •

© 2010 Scarlett Lovitt. All rights reserved.

Scarlett Lovitt has extensive experience in home decorating and interior designing. More »