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Interested in becoming a NO Days Featured Artist?

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mosaic Holiday Ornaments with No Days Groutless

No Days Groutless Upcycled Mosaic Jar Lid Ornaments
It's that time of year when gift giving is sneaking up on us, and everyone is looking for ideas for homemade or handmade gifts to give. It's especially meaningful for the littles to be able to make something to give to their family members. If you're looking for fun, quick, and fairly inexpensive gifts for the kids to make for moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, aunts, uncles...basically everyone on their list; then you'll want to check this out!

Tools & Materials needed:
  • No Days Groutless Mosaic Adhesive
  • metal jar lids
  • hammer & nail (to pierce jar lids)
  • sturdy wire (16 or 18 gauge brass, copper, steel)
  • round nose pliers / wire cutter (to cut and shape wire)
  • scissors (to cut groutless)
  • tweezers (helpful for placing tiles)
  • warming device (This can be a griddle, toaster oven, oven, candle warmer, heat gun, or heat embossing tool.)
  • tiles for mosaicing (or beads, baubles, sparkles, etc.)
  • mosaic nippers to cut tiles
  • safety glasses

Not only is this a nifty way to upcycle jar lids and make some beautiful gifts, this is a great project for the kiddos, as well as for working with more advanced mosaics. The process is simple and quick!

To begin with, you'll need to save your lids. Wash them in soap and water. Next, you'll need a way to hang them, so take them to the work shop and get a hammer, some small nails and a block of wood. Hammer the nails through the side of the lid to create 2 holes, like this:

Create a wire hanger with round nose pliers.
 After bending a length of wire into a U shape, fit the ends through the 2 holes in the lid. Then, using the pliers, bend each leg back on itself to secure it in place and prevent it from falling back out of the lid.

Insert the wire and bend it to fit inside the lid.
And here's a video for you visual learners :)

Once you've got the lid prepped, you can cut some No Days Groutless Mosaic Adhesive to fit the inside of the jar lid. You don't need to cut it exactly, and you can use scraps if you have them, too.

A candle warmer works great for setting the No Days Groutless into the jar lid.

I find that it's easiest to prep the adhesive by heating it and then letting it cool before using. That makes it lay flat against your substrate and turns several pieces into just one. If you need to cover any spaces that go bare after heating, you can spread the groutless around the surface of your lid like the video below shows:

After heating, it's best to let the adhesive cool down again before laying your tiles. I'm using a candle burner / wax warmer that is the perfect size for working with jewelry and small projects that conduct heat (like the metal lids). 

Here, you can see that once you turn the heat on and the heat transfers through the metal to the adhesive and then the tiles, you can move the tiles into place by sliding them or pushing them with tweezers. The tiles in the middle were placed while the adhesive was warm, but that tends to make a mess. If you wait until the adhesive is cooled, lay your tiles and then heat the whole thing, it tends to make less clean up of adhesive that has covered the surface of your tiles.

Below you can see my first attempt (top right) and second attempt (bottom left).  The tiles on the first star were laid while the warmer was on and the adhesive was liquid. The adhesive tends to get on your tool and the top surface of your tiles this way, leaving more clean up. The second star was laid after the adhesive had cooled and then heat set all at once, making much less of a mess to clean up.
No Days Groutless Starmen:
the star on the top right was laid in liquid Groutless, while
the star on the bottom left was laid on solid Groutless and
then heat set after all tiles were laid.
The adhesive that covered some of the surface of the tiles can be scraped at with a sharp tool, like a razor or small screwdriver. 
Close up shot of No Days Groutless Starman
This project works great for children's projects, too. Square tiles can be cut with nippers to fit in the lid in simple designs.
No Days Groutless Mosaic made with nipped squares.
Side note: Pixelated images are perfect for mosaics, and my niece is really into Super Mario Bros. (IT"S BACK!!!!) My brother (her father) and I used to play this game for hours when we were kids. I mostly watched him play. I used to design game levels with pencil and paper, but now you can do that with the new Mario Maker game!!! What?!? So, that's my inspiration for making the Starmen above :)

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