Mosaic Supplies and Tools

Crafter working on a mosaic project
John Burke / Getty Images

Making mosaics can be both meditative and fun, but anyone interested in picking up the art of mosaics will need to gather together some basic supplies and tools. Once you gather your supplies, you are ready to start your mosaic project.

Main Supplies

  1. A Base: This is the item you will make the mosaic on. This can be something like a tabletop, stepping stone, or piece of plywood. It can be anything, but something with a flat, hard surface.
  2. Tesserae: Your tesserae are the small items you use to make your mosaic design. Traditionally, these are colored marbles, glass pieces, pottery fragments, or small tiles. You can, however, use anything that strikes your fancy.
  3. Adhesive: This is what attaches the tesserae to the base. Depending on the method you choose, this can be either a mosaic glue or your grout.
  4. Grout: This is a cement-like mixture used to fill the gaps between the tesserae in a mosaic project. It can also be used as the adhesive. There are different kinds of grout so make sure you choose the right one for your project. Read the labels. Some are for outside some for inside; some for smaller gaps, some for wider gaps.
Illustration on how to make a mosaic
Illustration: The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

Other items you may need will vary depending on your project and the tesserae you choose. The easiest way to make a mosaic craft is to purchase tesserae. Most craft stores sell a large selection of objects in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that can be used as-is. If you want to use items you have lying around your house as tesserae, you may need a few tools:

  • Tile Cutter: It is used for cutting down larger ceramic tiles.
  • Glass Cutter: This is used to cut down large pieces of glass.
  • Nippers: This tool is used for cleanly breaking small pieces off a tile or sometimes glass tesserae.
  • Hammer: A hammer can be used to break up pottery, china, CDs, and other items you can use in mosaics. The object to be hit with the hammer should be wrapped in an old towel or pillowcase so pieces do not fly around.

Basic Supplies

  • Work Gloves: Use these to protect your hands while breaking apart tesserae and also when working with grout.
  • Safety Glasses: Used to protect your eyes while breaking apart tesserae.
  • Latex Gloves: The use of these is optional; they can be used when handling grout. Read the label of the specific grout you purchase regarding any safety measures you should take.
  • Dust mask: This should be worn to protect yourself when working with the grout in powdered form.
  • Wax Paper and Newspaper: Use these items to cover your work surface as this can be a very messy craft.
  • Stir Stick: A paint stir stick works great for mixing grout.
  • Bucket: I use an old ice cream bucket for mixing the grout in.
  • Rubber Spatula: Use this tool, or something similar, to spread the grout onto your mosaic. For a small project, you can even use a craft stick.
  • Clean Rags and/or Sponges: To wipe grout off of the tile surface after applying.

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