Tile Mosaic

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • Wood base (~1/2" x 7.75" x 9.75")
  • Light-coloured grout
  • ~ one hundred 1” x 1" tiles, mixed colours
  • white glue
  • soft cloth
  • nitrile gloves
  • Optional Extras

  • outdoor glue
Tool list
  • Tray to work on
  • Pencil
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • dust mask
  • putty knife
  • Kitchen scale
  • Sheet of scrap paper


  1. Lay the wooden base on a sheet of paper and trace around it. This will be your working space to try out designs.
  2. The wood dimensions in the materials list fit 8 x 10 tiles, which means you will use 80 tiles. If you have a different sized piece of wood, make sure you have enough tiles to cover it, plus a few spare, before you begin.
  3. Now it’s time to make your design. Use one of our prompts below, or just create your own design from scratch! Lay your tiles out inside the rectangle you traced. Keep moving them around until you like the design.
  4. Gluing

  5. Once you have a design you like, it’s time to glue it on to the base.
  6. Glue one tile at a time. Use your ruler or measuring tape to make sure you leave a space between the tiles of approximately 1⁄8 of an inch space or less.
  7. White glue is for indoor use only. If you want to use your mosaic outside, you will need to use an outdoor glue.
  8. We recommend that you glue your corner pieces first, then glue on all the side tiles to make a border. Make sure your tiles are lined up right to the outside edges of your base. This gives a nice smooth border all the way around. The glue takes enough time to dry that you will be able to move the tiles around a little bit to get the space between them as even as you can. Once the first tiles have dried enough not to wiggle around, fill in the inside of your design.
  9. Let the glue dry for at least 24 hours. Since it’s water soluble, once the glue has dried, you can wipe the surface of your tiles with a damp cloth to rub away any smudges.
  10. Grouting

  11. Grout is the materials that fills in the cracks between the tiles. If you are using grout powder that needs to be mixed with water (such as what is available in the kit), it's a good idea to do this part outside, or in a dedicated work area., and to wear a dust mask
  12. The ratio of grout to water is about 1 to 1 in weight. Start with measuring about half of the grout with an equal amount of water (by weight, if possible, if not, then measure by volume). This should be plenty for your project, but allows you to mix more to get the right consistency or more grout if you need it.
  13. Add the grout to the water (never the water to the grout) and stir well for 3 to 5 minutes. The consistency should be like smooth peanut butter. If it is too stiff to squish, add more water. If it drips from the trowel, add more grout powder.
  14. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Stir again for 1 to 2 minutes.
  16. With your gloved hands, spread the grout over your design, squishing it into the cracks between the tiles. If the outside edges of your work are uneven, you can use the grout to make a smooth line. When you think you’ve got all the spaces filled, use the yellow putty knife to scrape off the extra grout and put it back in the mixing container. Check your work to see if there are any spots that didn’t get filled, and fill those with a little more grout, scraping the extra off again with the knife. When you have a well-filled mosaic, let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  17. With a very damp cloth, wipe the surface of your mosaic gently in one direction, keeping the cloth as flat against the surface as possible. Rinse your cloth with water and wipe again in a different direction. Continue this process until your tiles are clean of grout. Be careful not to wipe the grout out of the cracks: be gentle and go slow. Don’t forget to wipe around the edges of your project too, and perhaps even the back if it got messy.
  18. Let your project dry for at least 24 hours before using it. You should wait at least three weeks before letting the project get wet.
  19. Congratulations! You are now a mosaic artist! What will you make next?
Extension Challenges
  1. Apply a grout sealer to the grout, especially if your mosaic might get wet or splashed.
  2. Wearing gloves and eye protection, break up larger scrap tiles with a hammer and use the pieces to create your mosaic.
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