Mosaic Plant Pot Project
July 2004, by John Poetzel

Here's a description of my stained glass mosaic pot project, with pictures!

I grabbed a 10 inch terra cotta pot from Home Depot for this mosaic project. I decided to use all cement based products for the mortar and grout so I didn't do any priming or sealing of the pot. When you do a mosaic on something that will be getting wet, like a pot, you will want to use a sealer or primer if you want to use Weldbond or some other kind of glue. Since the mortar I am using is cement based I figured it would stick well enough to the clay without any other preparation.

I mixed up the mortar to a nice thick, creamy consistency and I grabbed some glass to start the mosaic project...


I thought I'd do a blue and white theme for this project.

I'll be using yellow stained glass later for the rim but I didn't know it when I took this picture.


This picture show some of the stained glass pieces which I buttered with mortar and then stuck on to the pot.


wow

And here I decided to spread mortar around the bottom rim and then place pieces into the mortar. When you do a mosaic you can do it either way, it just depends on how fast you go and which method you prefer.


starting a mosaic project

This is the bottom part of the pot with stained glass all the way around. I decided to switch colors for more contrast.


mosaic tile mortar used for a mosaic project

And here it is all done as far as mosaic glass placement goes. You should leave it for at least 24 hours to dry at this stage before grouting. I actually waited a week just because of other time constraints.


sanded tile grout for mosaics

Here are the next items I needed for the mosaic project. I always use gloves when doing grout work because the cement in the grout can really eat your skin. For round projects like a pot, it is easier to use your hands to apply the grout because of the irregular surface. For flat projects a grout float or old spatula work well.

I'm using sanded grout for this project because the spaces in the mosaic are bigger than 1/8". If you have small grout lines of 1/8" or less, you can use unsanded grout for smoother look.


mosaic tile grout

I mixed up some Oyster Gray grout to a nice thick creamy consistency.


wow a mosaic project

This isn't the dainty part of the project. You have to push the grout into all the cracks and smooth it all over the place. This is why I use my hands (with gloves) for this type of grouting.


mosaic project

Just more of me pushing that grout in...


glass mosaic project

OK, here's the ugly phase of the project. You need to leave all the excess grout on there for 20 minutes to a half hour to let the cement start to set up. Don't worry about cleaning it off the glass parts until the next couple of steps.


mosaics and grout

You can see that it's a bit drier here. It's been about a half an hour and I took it outside because this part is rather messy. Using a very wet sponge you need to just softly rinse the cement off the mosaic glass portions without rubbing it out of the cracks. The more water in the sponge the better and the less pressure the better.


mosaic stained glass project

Just letting the water run down the piece gets a lot of the excess off the glass.


mosaic tiles and flowers

This is as clean as it needs to be for the first rinse off. Don't worry about the haze and other parts at this point. The grout still needs some time to become firm in the cracks.


mosaic tile flower pot

Here it is 2 hours later. Ready for a nice wipe down with a soft damp cloth. The glass will look hazy at this point and the cloth will get it off.


mosaic flower pot

I used a towel with a little water to clean up the glass, trying still not to disturb the grout in the cracks.


mosaic flower pot

Here's the finished pot. I wiped it down and I'll let it sit overnight to continue drying. If there are any parts that still need cleaning I'll use a sponge to get it wet and clean things off the glass. This looks pretty shiny and done to me at this point and I'll just mist it with water in the morning to keep the grout drying evenly.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.


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