At the dump, on a regular jaunt a few days before, I had picked up a cute vintage mirror. It had some nice details, but was not an antique in the least. The mirror was in almost perfect condition, so I snatched it up. This project could begin my interest in mosaics.
Later, at one of my favorite stores, Home Goods , I checked in the clearance section for mismatched china. Low and behold, I found two Oriental dinner plates for $5.99 a piece. I know it's difficult to believe, but those two dinner plates completed the mosaic on this entire project.
Back to the basement. I had placed these two dinner plates, tags removed and washed and dried, into a paper grocery bag. Next, a towel was draped over the bag. I took a hammer and started banging the bag. Forgetting that the little one was upstairs napping, I hear, "Mom, Dad is going to be soooo mad at you! You are in trouble!" I was laughing so hard from her comments. I put down the hammer, and brought her closer to the project. I let her look in the bag of now china plate fragments. I explained to her that we were going to do a project with those pieces.
From what I had read about mosaics, I needed some tile adhesive to adhere the china pieces to the frame and some grout to complete the project. First, I removed the mirror so that I would not damage the surface. Then, I painted the entire frame white.
I came up with the idea that if I placed the border edges of the plate around the border of the frame, I could contain the pieces in some type of pattern.
After I had temporarily placed the pieces on the frame, I started gluing them using a putty knife and the tile adhesive. Make sure to get enough of the adhesive on the bottom of the mosaic so it will adhere to the wooden frame. When all the pieces were glued on, I let the frame sit overnight.
Take your redi-mixed white grout and using a finger, start to smooth it into all the cracks. On this piece, a finger did the trick in making all the grout lines very smooth. Clean your hands with soap and water when finished. Following the label instructions, use a sponge to gently clean off excess grout as directed. This needs to dry overnight also. Pop the mirror back into the frame and instant mosaic.
Originally, I had placed three blue transferware dishes above the mirror. In the present house, I didn't have the space, so I hung two plates directly above the mirror.
In this next picture, you will see a part of the door frame looks to be warped because of a imperfection in the mirror.
This mirror has set the tone for the blue/white decorating in the great room.