We used a pack of pre-nipped mirror tiles for this mosaic mirror project, so there wasn’t an awful lot of cutting to be done, which is just as well because it’s not as easy to cut mirror as it is to cut most other tiles.
You will need:
- A wooden candleholder
- Square pre-nipped mirror tiles
- Tile nippers
- PVA or wood glue
- Tweezers (optional)
- White grout
- Grout applicator
- Firm sponge
- Lint-free cloth
1. Lay the candleholder on one of its sides and begin gluing down the mirror tiles. Work from the top to the bottom, alternating every two rows (apart from the first one) by placing the tiles diagonally. When working on the diagonal sections, you will have to cut some of the tiles to complete the pattern. You may find it easier to stick some of the smaller pieces down by using a pair of tweezers to place them.
2. Now move to the next side and repeat the process, ensuring that you line the tiles up at the edges so that you have a continual pattern flow. Before moving to the third side, ensure that the first side is dry, otherwise you could end up shifting the tiles that you have already glued down when you place it down to work on it.
Technical tip: When working with strong geometric patterns, it is important to keep your lines and angles straight, so be sure to use pieces of the same size.
3. Once all four sides are done, complete the top of the candleholder. We had to cut a couple of tiles in half to be used on the outer border to make it work. All the tiles that surround the central candle hole had to be cut to fit, and in some cases the pieces were tiny, so we used a pair of tweezers to put them in place.
4. When finished, leave it to dry overnight. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply using the applicator. Remove as much grout from the tiles as possible and then leave it to dry for about an hour.
5. Take the sponge, dip it in water and squeeze it until it’s almost dry. Wipe it gently over the top of your work in order to smooth the grout and also wipe the excess from the surface of the tiles. Keep rinsing the sponge as you work, but ensure that you squeeze out as much water as possible each time you rinse. Leave the grout to dry and then buff with a lint-free cloth.
- If you prefer to use silicone as an adhesive, you can do so. Apply it to the back of the tile with a toothpick, rolling the toothpick in your fingers so that the silicone transfers easily onto the tile.
- It’s not easy to cut glass precisely with nippers, so rather try to buy pre-cut glass tiles. Most glass-cutting outlets will do it for you using their off-cuts.
Extract from Just Mosaics — projects for your home by Tracy Boomer and Deborah Morbin (R175, Metz Press).