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Floral Keepsake Box

Posted by Administrator on 2/13/2015 to Mosaic Projects
    Materials Needed
  • 1 - 1-pound bag of Turquoise
  • 1 - 24-tile bag of Turquoise
  • 1 - 24-tile bag of Dew
  • 1 - 24-tile bag of Jade
  • 8 oz. jar of Premixed White Grout
  • 4 oz. bottle of Adhesive
  • Mosaic Mercantile Applicator Set

Step 1 - Designing
Begin by cutting out white paper and taping the pieces to the outside of the plastic box and lid. Sketch the design along the sides and top of the box. Our designer, Elizabeth of Tesselation, chose a climbing rose motif. Gently remove the pieces of paper from the outside of the box and tape them inside the box, with the design facing outward. This will be your guide to gluing the tile to the outside of the box.

Step 2 - Nipping
Put on a pair of latex gloves, and gather together the Dew and Jade tiles. Carefully nip the Dew tiles into the precise little shapes that will match the flowers in your drawing. Nip the Jade tiles so that they will fit the narrow lines of the climbing stems.

Step 3 - Gluing
Dab a little glue on each of the pieces and carefully place on box, using your drawing as a guide. See illustrations for details.

Step 4 - Placing
While the adhesive is still wet, tiles can be shifted with a craft stick until you are satisfied with the positioning. The adhesive will begin to dry within 5 to 7 minutes. Do not attempt to reposition the tile after the adhesive begins to set.

Once the flowers and stems are covered with your nipped pieces of tile, allow the adhesive to set up for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5 - More Placing
Next, begin filling in the background with the Turquoise tile. Some of these can be left whole, while others should be nipped carefully to fit beside the flower design. See illustrations for details.

Mosaic Maestro Tip: take time to study the metallic patterns on the tiles, and place them in the direction that seems to "flow" in the best way. And remember: an even, narrow interstitial space is the most pleasing to the eye!

Step 6 - Drying
The adhesive dries clear and can be peeled off, so don't worry if you get a little on the visible side of the tiles. Make sure to keep your hands clean and free of adhesive while applying tiles. Wash hands as needed.

Allow the tiles to dry for at least 12 hours - we recommend overnight.

Step 7 - Grouting
Fill a container with water and have handy plenty of paper towels. Run strips of masking tape along the inner sides of the pot to keep off the grout.

Using the red plastic Grout Spreader Tool, scoop out grout and spread it over the tiles and into the 'crevices' between the tiles.

Mosaic Maestro Tip: Be gentle - you don't want to loosen tiles. If a tile should become loose, apply more adhesive to the tile and reapply to the base. Continue grouting around the repaired tile, making sure not to dislodge it again.

Work the grout into the crevices until it becomes smooth and level with the tile surface. The best way to do this is by spreading the grout in one direction and then spreading it in the opposite direction. Don't allow grout to build up in the crevices along the sides of the tray. When you have finished applying grout, wait about 15 minutes for it to harden slightly.

Step 8 - Cleaning
Dampen the yellow Grout Sponge with cool water and squeeze it. The sponge should be damp, but not soaking wet. Gently wipe the dampened sponge across the tile surface, removing excess grout from all surfaces. Wash out the sponge periodically while cleaning the tiles, as it really soaks up the grout.

Allow to dry overnight. Gently loosen any remaining excess grout from tile with a wooden craft stick. Gently polish tiles with a paper towel or cloth. For extra shiny tiles, polish with a small amount of vegetable or olive oil.

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