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How to make a simple mosaic planter

Follow these easy steps to create a colorful mosaic planter. It's an easy weekend project the entire family can enjoy.

Turn inexpensive clay planters into colorful masterpieces; just add a few mosaic tiles or broken ceramic pieces. Let your imagination run wild with patterns or just start gluing on the tiles and make a free-form design.

Follow these easy steps and your finished product will be perfect as a gift or for your own home.

You will need these supplies:

-Clay pot
-Tiles, old china, any type of pottery
-Household glue (in a tube)
-Rubber gloves
-Tile nippers

Any size pot will do. Just make sure you have enough tiles to cover it. You may choose to cover only certain areas such as a flat area on the rim. You might want to cover just the base of the pot and leave the rim in its original form and glue on a ribbon later.

For planters that will be sitting outside, purchase bathroom tiles at your local home improvement store. The colors may be somewhat limited, however. If you want vivid colors, visit local tile shops and ask if they have odd leftover pieces.

If your plan to keep the pot indoors, or will bring it inside during the coldest months, you can shop garage sales and discount stores for china. Plates, bowls, any ceramic piece, with colors or patterns you like will make a pretty mosaic pot.

Purchase inexpensive tile nippers at home improvement stores. They are easy to use and an asset when you are trying to chip off sharp edges.

Remember, you are dealing with glass products; always be careful when handling broken objects.

Break up tiles or pottery by placing the pieces in doubled plastic bags. Tap them with a hammer. You want most of your pieces to be about one inch or so in diameter; some should be larger, some a bit smaller. This range will give you plenty to work with. To fill any tight spaces that occur near the end of your project, you can always tap some of the larger pieces.

For freeform designs, begin by gluing pieces randomly onto the pot. Squirt out a glob of household glue onto wax paper and dab each tile on the back. Press onto the pot and hold in place for a second or two so the tile will stay in place. Repeat the process, carefully positioning each piece near the next, leaving small spaces in between for grouting.

If you are working with a pattern, use a charcoal pencil to mark the design on the pot. Then fill in between the lines with the appropriately-colored tiles.

Once all tiles are in place, the glue should dry thoroughly - about 48 hours.

You are now ready to mix grout and fill in the spaces between the tiles. You can use a rubber-gloved finger for this or a rubber grout float.

You will find grout in an array colors - from light to dark. Mix according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Spread the grout around on top of the tiles and begin pressing into the gaps. Go over each gap several times pushing grout in as you go. You want to eliminate any air pockets by compacting the grout. Do not worry about getting grout on the tiles; it will wash off as long as the grout does not set up too long. Build up the grout around any rough or sharp edges.

After about thirty minutes, you can give the pot a light sponging with clean water. This will remove most of the grout film on the tiles. Do not use too much water, as the still-soft grout will come up with the sponge. Wait another few hours to remove the last bits of film.

Grout should set up for about ten days. Give the pot a light misting twice a day for the full ten days. This process "cures" the grout. After ten days, seal the grout with a water-repellent. Some varieties are brush-on and some are spray-on. Re-seal once a year.

Your mosaic art pot is now ready to fill with flowers or plants and put on display. Isn't it beautiful?

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