Who wouldn’t love a mosaic dog tile of their furry family member? This is a great gift for any occasion and is easily achievable with a little effort, creativity and DIY skills.
I would classify the mosaic dog project as an advanced beginner project. It was a project I tried after a few months of tiling and I have tiled quite a few dogs, cats, every animal since as I am an animal lover. The characteristics of some animals can determine the ease of tiling, a silhouette is a nice choice for a beginner tiler.
First Step To Make a Mosaic Dog
Obtain photo of your dog which is suitable to making into a mosaic. The photo can be a head shot, profile or full body.
Size the image on your photo program (any free photo program such as picmonkey or photoscape) to match the size of your finished work.
For my dog I used a 6″ by 6″ square of particle board as the background of the mosaic tile. Using the tracing paper, transfer the dogs’ photo onto the particle board. Tracing paper is optional if drawing is one of your talents.
Materials For Mosaic Dog Tile
Glass Tile Nipper
Particle Board, Acrylic or mosaic friendly material which allows tiles to adhere
Grout, color of your choice
Optional: tweezers, popsicle sticks, paintbrush, toothpicks to apply glue and place tiles
Tiling The Mosaic
Assembling the tile is just like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Precutting your tiles will save time and triangle tiles always work for mosaic pieces. It is personal preference as to the size of the precut tiles as well as your personal style. The size of the tile pieces will alter the look of the tile which you will see once you begin experimenting with the different tile sizes.
For the topknot/head of the poodle, a square tile was nipped with the glass nipper to create little balls. Save all the leftover pieces when cutting glass as there is usually a use for the pieces as you tile.
How the glue is applied is personal preference as well. Some tillers lay out the tile and then go back and glue each piece while some tilers fill an area with glue on the tile and then lay the tiles in. How much glue? Practice does make perfect and the amount of glue should not be excessive, you don’t want your tiles swimming in glue. After your mosaic is tiled, put it away for 24 hours to let the glue set and then onto grouting.
Grouting Your Mosaic Dog
My philosophy is if you are a little bit crafty and have ever caulked your bathroom or patched a hole in the wall, you can grout!
The grout is the finishing touch to your tile and with a little practice, grouting your mosaic dog into the finished product is easy, gooey, but easy. The big box stores carry a selection of pre colored grout; if not on the shelves, the different colors are available online and can be delivered free to the store for pick up.
Beginner Tips For Grouting
Do not grout in white. White grout usually does not enhance the project and the mosaic tends to look washed out. Light grey is usually used when a white grout is desired.
The consistency of grout is a personal preference; the consistency of peanut butter I found works well. This is not an exact science as different color grouts also mix up differently and the drying times can differ as well depending upon the color.
Deciding upon a color for the grout is the easy, yet tough choice. Decide if you want the grout or the tile to design to dominate your piece first and then decide upon a color of grout. If your mosaic dog is black and the grout is orange, the grout will probably dominate the design.
Never dispose of grout down the drain! Grout is cement and will harm your pipes …
This is a great video for beginners which shows the grouting process.
After grouting, let the grout set for 24 hours, give your mosaic tile a final buff and decide how to finish the back of the mosaic tile. You can paint the back of the tile with acrylic paint or leave the tile bare depending on the material used. Signature and date is optional. Either way your effort will be rewarded when you see the look on the recipient’s face upon when you give a personalized mosaic dog tile as a gift.
Writer, blogger, researcher and of course, DIY enthusiast. Enjoys fiber arts, mosaic tiles and DIY projects.
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