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Making Your First Stained Glass Mosaic
If you are someone who has ever wanted to try traditional stained glass work, then you may well have felt daunted  by the price and the difficulty of getting started. That is quite  understandable,  when you consider  expense of the large number of tools and equipment needed. Equipment such as  glass cutters, heat proof mats , a soldering iron, solder, lead came, zinc came, safety goggles, not too mention the cost of full sheets of glass!. 
Well why not try out the much easier and cheaper craft of stained glass mosaic?
The great thing about a mosaic, is that you need much less specialist equipment , less training and most of all you can break as much glass as you like!. In fact because you do not need to buy full sheets of sandglass, you can save a lot of money, by buying broken pieces and scraps from suppliers at a knock down price. Another benefit is that working with small pieces is a lot safer than large panels

Glass nippers
Glass mosaic pieces
hand cut glass tiles
Glass grinder
Mandala Template
glass strip cutter
Finished Stained Glass Mosaic Mandala
You will need:

-Clear drying glue  e.g. Welbond
-Glass cutting nippers
-A  clear glass as a base e.g. picture frame glass
-Dark tile grout and application spatula
-Damp Cloth
-Stained glass precut mosaic tiles or sheets of stained glass

All This can be purchased from Delphi Glass Suppliers (US)

A. First
you will need a supply of glass pieces, you can either cut your own from full sheets of stained glass using special glass nippers. This is easier than it sounds and the glass breaks off quite easily. Always wear protective glasses when doing this.

B. Second
, you sketch  your design out  and put  the sketch under the clear glass which you will be gluing  the mosaic pieces too. Make sure you can clearly see the design beneath the glass. When starting out simpler designs are the best. Don't have any small fiddly areas on your first attempt. You can get some simple free designs here which you can use for your first stained glass mosaics.

C. Third.
Once you have your design and mosaic pieces assembled, you can  easily follow the outline and begin sticking each mosaic piece down using the weldbond. Don't worry if the weldbond glue  appears white, it will dry clear. Leave a few millimeters gap  between each piece,  the grout will go here later.

D. Forth.
Once you are finished  gluing the glass pieces down, step back and check they are all evenly spaced and  you are happy with the appearance. Now check
all the pieces are well fixed to the glass. After 24 hours the glue will be fully be set and clear. Now you can apply the grout.

Choose a dark coloured grout e.g. black or brown, this will make the stained glass stand out and look much better than standard white grout. You can use either sanded grout or unsanded grout.(sanded grout is the type you use on floor tiles, unsanded what you use on wall tiles)
Sanded grout is stronger but can cause little scratches when you apply it. The unsanded grout is better to use on smaller pieces of work,is easier to apply and wont cause scratches. You can special buy premixed, colored wall tile grout  which is really easy to use. Applying  grout is the really messy but fun part, you simply take some  using a grout spreader and push  it into you mosaic, firmly pressing  it into all of the gaps. Continue doing this till the whole of the piece is covered, then carefully wipe of the excess grout off, with a damp cloth.

. As the grout dries out  you need to monitor it and  gently wipe the mosaic periodically till the majority of excess grout  has been removed from the stained glass. Be careful though,  you do not want to remove too much grout from between the glass mosaic pieces. You will learn how to do this best by trial and error.  Just remember never let  it dry totally on the top surface of the s glass or else it will tricky to remove. A small amount of grout 'ghosting' is fine and can be removed using a soft damp cloth, when the work is fully dry . If there are gaps in the grout you can always reapply more grout later.

When the piece is dry,  you can frame your work. If you used picture glass, then you can reuse the old frame and pace it around your mosaic. Framing your glass mosaic will make the work look more professional.

The secret to successfully displaying  a 'glass on glass mosaic' is to have light coming through it, so hang the piece up in or by  a window and i should be a real eye catcher.

Creating your own mosaics and stained glass mosaics is a great hobby and not as difficult as you may think.

For a great range of mosaic and crafting supplies check out Delphi Glass , for all the equipment you need, great instructional books and information.

You can also download a range of Free Patterns from them
stained glass pieces
Stained Glass Top 100
Stained Glass Mosaic Instructions
Best Arts and Crafts Supplies
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