Peace Signs

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How To Make 4 Inch Mosaic Coasters Using Various Tesserae - Part Two

This weekly post will be dedicated to learning how to make basic mosaics. Come along with me as I show you how easy and fun it can be.

Not all the basics will be done using coasters. I have 3 good examples and easy ways to learn how to get used to the different kinds of tess. Making coasters is the most cost-efficient and gives you all a "taste" of how fun mosaics can be.

In this post I've shared the way to make two 4 inch coasters from start to finish using acrylics paint, glitter and tempered or crash glass. Please refer to the previous post to see how to grout: mosaic-coasters-part-one

For this project you will need:

1st part:
  • Tempered glass (often called TG)
  • PVA glue or MAC Glue
  • Paint brush 
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter 
  • Tweezers
  • 2 MDF or wooden coasters
2nd part:
  • Sanded grout
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Wooden craft stick
  • Newspaper or plastic
  • Clean, dry rags
  • Painters tape (optional)
  • Felt pads (optional)
  • String or ribbon (optional)

This project is recommended for older children 8 years of age and up due to the temperament of TG. Once it's in pieces, it continues to splinter and break, often causing tiny shards to form. It must be handled with care at all times.

Art Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Difficulty: Medium

Finding tempered glass is not difficult but might take some visits to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Shower doors are made from tempered glass. You can find table tops and shelves there too. We have quite a few in our area and I'm hoping you can find one close to you. If you can't find one, let your friends and family know you are interested in this glass to try a mosaic with. If you know a local contractor who replaces shower stall doors, or a friend's car window or patio furniture table top break, you've got a lot of glass to play with if they remember you wanted it! Don't be afraid to ask.

I gave away a glass shelving system a few years ago to a family member. Over time, one or two shelves have broken due to kids and animals doing what they do so well and she sweeps it up and brings it to me. I've gotten quite a bit online from an office supply store when they have sales on tempered glass shelving.

Some TG has a green tint to it. You can't really see this looking straight on but if you hold it on an angle, you can see it.

Below are photos as to how to make these really pretty coasters. These would make great holiday gifts!


This photo above shows glitter, MDF coasters, tweezers and tempered glass. This plus acrylic paint and glue is all you'll need for this mosaic. I recommend using tweezers especially made for mosaic use. You can order tweezers like the ones I use above online. I suggest doing an search for them under "mosaic tweezers" to find the ones you think might work for you and your future projects. I use the ones offered by Mosaic Tile Mania.

Paint both sides of the MDF coasters.

Before the paint on the 2nd side is dry, sprinkle some glitter on it. Isn't this pretty?


I find it best to tilt the coasters to get rid of excess glitter before the paint is completely dry. I like to show a little of the paint under the glass as well as the glitter.


For this project I use MAC Glue as my adhesive. It is expensive as far as glue goes, but there is nothing better than using the right glue for the job. It lasts a long time and not much is needed. The amount I've poured out here is enough to cover one coaster. You can use a PVA glue (shown in the first "how-to" post) if you don't want to invest in this glue. If you think you might like to try glass-on-glass mosaics in the future, please consider purchasing this glue (Editor's Note: Buy during the summer months only - it does not ship well in winter months, especially if it freezes). For this project, the white glue I used for the first set of coasters can be used. That glue takes about a week+ to dry when using tempered glass. MAC Glue dries within 24 hours under all glass.

Find and carefully place pieces of tempered glass for your project and apply over the glue.

Only add glue to a small portion and take your time with this glass. Placement is important.
Let your mosaic sit for 24 hours or more (as explained above) depending on what glue you use.
This shows the tint in the tempered glass and explains why I like to use MAC Glue.

Once the glue is dry, you can tape up the bottoms of the coasters if you're messy with grout. I used white sanded grout for mine.



Pretty and functional.
I've added felt pads to the bottom, tied them up with some simple ribbon. I show how to do that and give sealant information in Part One at the end of the post.



Any questions? Please leave comments or send me a private message if you have anything you'd like to discuss.

Next week, Part Three is the last of mosaic coasters fun! That post shows how to use scraps of stained glass. Woo-hoo!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

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