Friday, May 7, 2010

Mosaic Bird Bath for the Garden.

I was trying to come up with an inexpensive, yet beautiful gift for Mothers Day.  My mother loves her garden.  On any given day I will see her out there surveying her flowers, moving, dividing, adding, amending.  I can recall many a trip out to the woods and ditches as a child, to dig up interesting ferns and is a passion that she passed onto me, (and for that I am so thankful)!  So...what to make???  Enter the mosaic bird bath!
Here's how you can make one of your own, for your garden, or as a gift

a terra cotta saucer, (the bigger the better)
a large terra cotta pot to put the saucer on
stained glass remnants, glass pebbles, tile bits, broken ceramic bits
(whatever you have on hand)...I happened to have a bit of stained glass remnants left over for a project that I did in my bathroom, so we used those.
tile nippers, (optional)
hammer to break pieces of tile
Ceramic tile adhesive, (I strongly recommend getting pre mixed stuff)
Grout, (also, I recommend pre mixed)
a couple of small trowels...plastic works well, as it's a bit flexible
paint and varnish, (tole paints are fine)

If you are using tiles, start by breaking up your tile into workable pieces...I usually use a hammer and stick the tiles inside a pillowcase.  Work out all the weeks frustration on your tile...hammer hammer hammer away.  If you need pieces that are a certain size, you can also use tile forewarned though and wear safety glasses when doing do not want a smallish bit of tile stuck in your eye.  Our stained glass remnants were already broken up, so to begin we laid out our design.  Ruby did some flowers in the grass against the backdrop of the sky.  I did a bird sitting on a tree! 
Then we removed our tiles and I spread on the adhesive, covering the entire bottom of the saucer.  Stick your pieces back on, and try not to leave huge gaps in between the pieces.  The adhesive will need to dry for 24 hours...stick your saucer in a warm-ish place.

Wait patiently...

It is during this time that if you so desire, you can paint your pot...turn it upside down, (as your saucer is going to sit on top of the bottom of the you get what I mean?)  Paint it however you wish...alternately, you can also mosaic's totally up to you!  If you are painting it, you will need to put on a coat of varnish.  I usually just use a waterproof craft grade varnish...there is also spray varnish.

After 24 hours has passed get out the grout.  It is wise to wear gloves when you are isn't the nicest stuff to get on your hands, and it really dries out your skin.  If you are using pre mixed then just load up your flexible trowel and start grouting...spread it evenly in all the cracks between your tile or glass bits...when you have that done, go and get a cup of will need to wait a half hour...

  Then get a sponge and some water.  Start wiping the surface of your piece, the goal here is to get as much of the grout off of your tile/glass/whathaveyou as possible.  Don't worry if you can still see a bit of it, just get off whatever you can.  Then, you will wait again for a bit, (At least a few hours).

Get a rag and polish the may have to scrub some of the spots a bit, but wipe away until your glass or tile shines.

We also decided to paint the rim of our saucer at this point, (which you can see in the finished piece)...after painting, again, varnish it!

Get out that tile adhesive and spread thickly all over the bottom of the pot, stick the saucer on top...again it will take about 24 hours to set!

and here is Ruby's finished birdbath!!!!

Remember the Toadstool's crafting rules...don't make it too hard...the rules aren't set in stone and HAVE FUN!!!  The one I made is going to stay here at the Toadstool, and Ruby's is going to be my mom's Mothers Day gift...however, this is a great "anytime" project, and it really isn't too hard to do!

Happy Crafting!!


  1. Cheerful & gorgeous! I'm thinkin' the birds are going to have to share, as the faeries will appreciate it too.

  2. I love this and never have the nerve to just try it! I'm going to Ottawa tomorrow so may have to pop into Michael's for some materials! Love the colours.

  3. Thanks ladies! Steph, you should definately give it a go...mosaic is so darn easy, and totally addictive! I'm thinking backsplash for the kitchen may be my next project!!

  4. This is GREAT! I love it. Have you ever seen Kaffe Fassett's book on mosaic? I think you would like it, it's very inspiring. love, Beth

  5. Ooooh...Kaffe Fassett has a book on mosaic!!! I will definately check it out!
    (could be slightly dangerous though...when I get inspired I run with it)!!
    Thanks so much


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