Mosaic Mirror with Magnetic Flowers

A mosaic mirror with a magnetic surprise
Author: Laurie Glynn, Uster, Switzerland, [email protected]
Laurie Glynn works as a mosaic artist and sent us these instructions for creating a small mosaic project with a magnetic surprise.
Required Materials and Tools:
  • A piece of wood 30 x 30cm, for example particle board
  • a round mirror, 20cm in diameter
  • a square mirror tile, 30 x 30 cm
  • Flower magnets as well as counterparts (S-08-03-N) to build into the mosaic
  • approx. 200-250g grout
  • approx. 30g pigment (optional)
  • a glass cutter
  • a glass breaker
  • a wheeled nipper
  • glue (e.g. Weldbond and silicone)
1. Position the round spiegel in the middle of the piece of wood and glue it in position with silicone. In my example, I surrounded the mirror with ball chain from the do-it-yourself. You could also use another type of bead chain, or simply leave this step out.
2. Use silicone to glue the counterpart magnets (S-08-03-N) around the mirror, as many as you like, wherever you like. But be careful! The magnets should not be placed too closely to each other or they will collide (despite glue) uncontrollably. Until the silicone has dried completely, make sure that nothing magnetic is placed closely to the countermagnets.
3. Cut four pieces out of the square mirror tile to exactly fit the sides of the wood, then glue these pieces to the frame with silicone. I filled the corners with a bit more of the ball chain but this is not a requirement!
4. Cut the remainder of the square mirror tile into smaller pieces of various sizes. I generally don't cut everything at once so that I have some larger pieces which which to cut precise pieces where needed.
5. Begin in any corner. Spread a thin layer of glue (Weldbond or silicone) over a portion of the wood - small enough that you feel you can complete within about 5 minutes. Place the outer edges first and ensure that the edge is as straight as possible. I have laid the surface glass over the edge of the wood to meet the mirror pieces that were glued on earlier.
6. Working piece by piece, lay out and glue the pieces that form the outer edge. Afterwards you can use the remaining pieces of glass to fill the gap between the outer edge and the round mirror. Where necessary cut smaller pieces of mirror to fit the spaces between larger pieces. Try to lay the pieces so that the distance between each one is approximately the same and relatively small. But make sure that there IS space between each piece! No piece of glass should touch its neighbor!
7. When the surface is completely covered, let the mosaic dry for at least 24 hours. The glue must be completely dry before beginning the grouting process.
8. Mix approximately 200g. grout with water in the ratio of 3:1, grout:water. The mixture should be somewhat thick, like youghurt. Too much water makes grouting more difficult! You can color the grout with pigments if you choose. Let the mixture stand untouched for 5 minutes.
9. I use a kitchen spatula to spread the grout. Spread the mixture with the side of the spatula, not with the end. This requires less strength and is more effective as well! Remove excess grout on a regular basis, again using the side of the spatula. Only then can you control the crevices to know if the grout has completely filled them. The mirror will look pretty messy at this point but don't worry about it!
10. When you have finished grouting, let your work sit for 30-60 minutes, depending on temperature. Use a dry cloth to rub out the surface of the mosaic - if the grout smears rather than turning to dust, wait a bit longer.
11. The flower magnets can now be placed on their countermagnets, as desired. Finished!
Further Examples
Here is an example using mosaic tiles (15 x 15 mm) rather than mirror.
As countermagnets I used the small cubes W-05-N .
Here is another example where the flower motive is both in the mirror design as well as on the mirror.
And a third example using mirror and stained glass with Winter Flowers.

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