Mosaics : a new challenge

10 Feb

I’ve always liked mosaics, the more inventive and colourful the better. I dream of having loads of colourful mosaics in my garden and took a lot of inspiration from my trip to Barcelona back in October.

My trip also made me just get on a book a workshop I had been pondering doing for some time, so the same day I got back from my holiday I booked a workshop with Lily Mosaics & attended a day later!

It was a lovely relaxed day, I loved picking out colours and seeing all the different mosaic bits n bobs on offer to work with. I went with the intention of making a small plaque of an owl/bird, that I might have hung in my bathroom, but then on a whim started creating a bold geometric design on a small tray.

It is quite a time consuming activity, (well it is when you do something far from simple as a beginner), I found it very relaxing cutting and playing around with different pieces. I got most of my larger motifs done in the workshop and then took a few spare bits to continue at home. I had already acquired several mosaic tiles myself and I ended up incorporating several of these into my patterns at home, as my design evolved.

I had originally planned to do a grey background, however a went for a lighter white, as I thought it’d make the colourful tiles standout more and match the already white tray.

I rather like my finish tray and found the grouting less arduous than I expected, though some of the really tiny pieces I used were a pain in the bum (lesson learnt).

mosaic tray - nettynot blog

mosaic tray close up - nettynot blog

I have since covered a simple picture frame, I’m not a huge fan of the finished result, I didn’t think enough about the edge where the tiles meet, but it looks alright in situ and still an improvement on the boring pine (fortunately I’m not too much of a perfectionist)!

I also made a set of Rennie Macintosh inspired coasters for part of my parents Christmas present. I really enjoyed making them. It was one of those rare occasions where the idea in my head worked out exactly as I imagined!

macintosh ungrouted - nettynot blog
macintosh grouted coasters - nettynot blog
The only thing I’ve not figured out, is what’s the best way to seal them, I didn’t want to make the lovely matte tiles shiny, but equally don’t want them to end up tea stained. I gifted them as they are, but keep meaning to do further research, does anyone what any suggestions?


I’m eager to do more now & started collecting ideas on a mosaic & garden board on Pinterest. Just need some warmer drier weather now.

Thanks for reading!


4 Responses to “Mosaics : a new challenge”

  1. Lis February 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm #

    Hey, lovely to see the finished tray, well done you! It looks great, as does your frame. And I LOVE your coasters. Try experimenting with black grout next time – it makes such a statement. There are so many sealants on the market. The one I’ve used for years isn’t made any more. I’ve Googled it for you and B&Q seem to have a good range. Unglazed ceramic tiles are porous so some people seal them BEFORE they grout. I have a spray can of clear sealant which I spray on Mosaics and paintwork. It’s not a gloss finish, it just leaves a slight sheen. That was about £7 from B&Q and Willis. Hope that helps a bit. Lis x


    • nettynot February 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm #

      That’s fantastic, thank you for the recommendation, I had come across several, I had no idea which to go for. I’m really looking forward to trying lots of different things (& definitely dark grout)! 😀


  2. thecraftersapprentice February 14, 2018 at 12:06 pm #

    Lis’s workshops are brilliant, aren’t they? Did you go to her house? Her studio is just amazing, I tried to move in but she wouldn’t let me! I love your finished tray, it’s fabulous! The Mackintosh coasters are fabulous! I’ve been busy doing up my house, but in the summer I’m going to start mosaicing my garden!


    • nettynot February 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

      Thank you! It was after yours and your Mum’s recommendation that I looked her up! Yes, it was at her house, very envious of Lis’s studio! I have to stop myself from drooling over all the lovely mosaic bits! Can’t wait to see what you mosaic in your garden, hopefully they’ll be lots of pics on your blog 😃


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