Paper & Mosaics

I found this technique online a few years back and really loved how it looked, so I thought I’d share it with y’all. It’s a mosaic style project, except you use paper for the tiles and some texture paste to make the background look like grout.img_1368

Sadly, I have no picture of this finished project; only the close up. It was the cover of a journal that was kinda old and the original artwork had faded from use and age, and I decided it needed some type of fancy refinishing job.

To start, tape off the spine of the book so you will have a nice clean line and a clear place to work in. Paint the whole cover with gesso, and let it dry. While you are waiting, cut up bits of paper for your ’tiles’. They don’t have to be any particular shape, but they do need clean edges; punched squares, cut triangles and even circles all work fine:


This is a wooden cross I did for a school fundraising auction awhile back. All the students contributed 3 ’tiles’ with tiny designs to the project, and I added little square snippets of quilling paper to outline their artwork. But back to the journal…

Now that the gesso is dry, smear texture paste all over the cover. No need to be overly careful at this point – just keep it slightly smooth so you can lay paper on it. You need the gesso first because texture paste isn’t completely opaque. It helps with hiding places that the paste may be a little uneven.

Next is the fun part: after the paste is dry, grab some Mod Podge or other decoupage-like medium and give the whole thing a coat. Start laying down your paper pieces. You may gently press them in if you like, but be careful not to make the paste squish up over the sides; the paste and the pieces should appear flush. Once you have all the pieces in place, let it dry. Apply another coat of decoupage medium. Again, don’t worry about the finish at this point – you just want to make sure your pieces are going to stay put.

The last step is the tedious one, but it’s what makes this look so good. The secret weapon?

Glossy Accents.

You are going to carefully cover each of your paper pieces with Glossy Accents, avoiding the ‘grout’ in between them. This is why I said about having clean edges on your paper ’tiles’. The surface tension is what keeps the Glossy Accents from spilling over, and it makes your paper pieces appear like glass or enamel. Wait for it all to dry and carefully peel off your tape edge.

This is so much fun to do, and it will work on many different porous surfaces. I hope you will give it a try!


Thanks for stopping by!

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 9.22.07 PM





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