Project No. 3: Christmas Decoration

Posted on December 16, 2010

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A very special lady’s birthday came up and I wanted to do something special. Inspired by the upcoming celebrations and by my passion for mosaic, I decided to make some Christmas decoration for her.

The fact that I had some spheres that would have gone to charity or become the support of my mosaic, I decided on keeping them and shortly using them for the upcoming special event.

Because they had spaces through which the pieces of mosaic could fall out, I decided to cover them with an elastic material.

I decided on 2 designs, and actually 3 came out:

–          A side with letters that aligned would form her family name

–          A side with Christmas inspired design

–          And, to add a finishing touch I added the glass pebbles that I like so much on the bottom. This would become the 3rd way the decorations could be arranged in.

I started by gluing in the glass pebble on the bottom. Then, I arranged the design and letter that the specific sphere would get before gluing it up as well. The rest was filled with random pieces of mosaic in the colors used.

And so on, for each design and sphere.

The results were the following:

What I was left to do was grout them in place. I know this is the first time I show you how to do this, so I will explain it, although there isn’t much science behind it.

First, mix together the grout and water in the producer specified measurements.

The mixture should have a thick consistency, like heavy sour cream.

Then, using a brush, apply the mixture on the spheres making sure to cover all little spaces in-between the mosaic pieces. Brushes are best as they can cover small spaces as well. Try to add enough to cover all cracks, but not too much, so it is easy to remove from the tiles.

The result would look like this:

Now, this is the tricky part that you need to pay attention to.

When it starts drying up but isn’t too easy to remove, as to not wipe away everything, you need to clean the excess off.

For this step, the technique can vary. You may use a wet sponge or a cloth or an old toothbrush. I chose the toothbrush as it is the least dirt creating. It was the first time I employed this method. I just gently scrubbed away the excess and then wiped it clean with some tissue.

After the rough cleaning was over, I wiped everything with a cloth. You can see the difference between unclean and cleaned in the next image.

Don’t let yourselves be fooled; if it dries up even at the stage of the “P” on the left, it will be hard to clean!

Also, I read that vinegar is good for removing grout. I think the most important is to decide on the perfect time to wipe away and to do your job conscientiously at that ideal moment. Anything else after that is very hard work.

Due to some processing difficulties (first time trying to mix blue and white to make a lighter shade of blue – this blue I have is the strongest pigment I ever met), I had an issue to resolve. One of blue grout filled spheres was not showing off the design as well as I wanted to. So, I did some more white and tried to fix it.

The truth is I did it for the snowflake design on that back that I think deserves the perfect white that it has in real life.

After everything was finished (each took approximately 2 hours to make), I could admire the final result… Maybe not as good as I wanted or as nice my friend deserves, but still unique and special.

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Posted in: English