Recycled Art: Eco-Mosaics (10 Projects with Video)

Mosaics may have been one of the earliest examples of eco-art. Mosaics embody the same theatrical decorative effects as many other pattern work DIY projects – knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, quilting, graphic textiles and stonework. Mosaics can be created using recycled broken tile, shells, buttons and glass, making them an eco-conscious art form from the get-go.

Functional and decorative home decor projects can be beautifully embellished with mosaics. Broken pottery, pieces of glass, tile, jewelry, shells and stones, are materials that can be used to dress up a ceramic urn, tabletop, bowl, sink, birdbath, walkways or even a wall or backsplash.

Creating mosaics requires a keen eye for detail, as the items take on a puzzle-like quality. The use of lots of colors makes making mosaics an interesting art form. I’ve dabbled in mosaic-making, and have even shamelessly admitted to dumpster diving to collect materials. A few years ago, I wrote about creating mosaic flower pots with kids here for Family Fun magazine. On a trip to Barcelona, I was highly inspired by the Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi’s use of broken tiles on decorative building facades.

History of Mosaics

“Thousands of years ago, mosaic art was created with the help of basic tools combined with creativity. Splendid works of mosaic art have been found in various periods of different civilizations. The accurate origins of mosaic art have been difficult to trace. In the earliest seen examples, historians mention pavements that made use of mosaic art. This design was created with the technique of raised pebbles. The pebbles were placed in a particular manner to create geometrical patterns and shapes. The Greeks particularly used this technique in 4th century BC.”

Read more mosaic history here.

Making Eco-Friendly Mosaics

How to Eco-Mosaic:

What You Need:
Bucket
Small trowel or knife
Natural tile adhesive – Here is a water-based commercial product and a natural tile adhesive.
Grout Care2′s homemade grout recipe

What To Do:
1. Mix adhesive to form a paste. The paste should be somewhat dry so that the crockery pieces don’t slip off the vessel.
2. Apply a layer of adhesive about 1/8″ thick to the back of a piece of the mosaic piece, and hold it in place on the vessel until it sticks.
3. Cover the vessel with mosaic pieces, taking care to keep to leave spaces between the pieces.
4. Allow the adhesive to dry for 24 hours.
5. Grout the entire piece and wipe off excess.

Next: 10 DIY Eco-Mosaic Projects

10 DIY Eco-Mosaic Projects

1. Mosaic Mirror

2. Mosaic Table – simple and more difficult

3. Mosaic Wall

4. Mosaic Tray

5. Mosaic Flower Pot

6. Mosaic Lazy Susan

7. Mosaic House Numbers

8. Mosaic Outlet Cover

9. Mosaic Birdbath

10. Mosaic Water Fountain

73 comments

Frances G
Past Member 2 months ago

thanks

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Gino C
Past Member 4 months ago

thanks for posting

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson5 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson5 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson6 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson6 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson8 months ago

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson8 months ago

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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thanks.

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William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

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