Crafty Things I Do: Skull

So I am going to start sharing some of the craft projects I start. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a huge project so I like to visually document it. Gives you perspective and allows you to see where you’ve come from. This project wasn’t too bad. Although it has taken me 2-3 months but I’m a busy girl!

This project is actually pretty simple.. I was fairly surprised! You start with a clean skull like this:

And you take some beautiful tile which can be picked up at your local Lowes or Home Depot BUT I was not satisfied with our local selection AT ALL. So I found an amazing source online at: http://www.mosaicartsupply.com/ They seriously have every color tile you could possibly want and they ship fast (to CA at least! 😉 )

Now before you get too excited, it always helps to pre-plan. Jump on Pinterest or a simple Google image search to see what other people out there have done. There is some pretty amazing mosaic skulls out there I must admit. BUT not too many OF them. I also looked up some Youtube videos on how to “nip” tile (that contraption shown in the photo above) which basically clips the tile. I knew starting out that my color scheme wanted to be red, turquoise, and yellow. I hopped onto my newly found site and ordered what I thought was going to be the right colors… Turns out I got 2 out of 3 correct. NEXT TIME I should order just one sheet of each to be sure they are the color I had in mind. The site, however, does a pretty good job of representing the tile color on screen.
I was worried about the tiles adhering to the skull directly. Bone is a rather porous substance so I was worried the bone would take all the glue and the tile wouldn’t stick. SO I puttied my skull. I used a simple dry wall putty and covered only the areas in which I wanted to mosaic. You can see the putty in the first photo. Once my skull was ready, I had all my tiles, and I sketched out a few ideas, I began laying some designs out on the skull.

It didn’t take long while laying out some design ideas that my initial idea is what I liked so I was able to begin gluing. This process took a couple good weeks, only because I work full time so I spent nights (when I had time) doing this. You could easily bust something like this out in one day if you consider yourself a die-hard crafter. Or maybe a few days. And if you do please let me know how it goes! 🙂 So.. here’s the fun part, my progress! Each time I’d get a little more excited once more tile was glued down.

Some tips I found were it is easier to work on one area at a time. Don’t skip all around because if you need to rotate tiles, etc. you can do it gradually while you progress out. I did find it easier to glue down my most complex designs first and then work the field color around them. I also did most of the border first as well. No reason for that really except maybe that it gave me boundaries of where the tile would start/stop.

I also found that the glue I was using (which can be found here: http://www.mosaicartsupply.com/weldbond-mosaic-adhesive.aspx ) adheres better to itself than it does to the putty or even the skull itself. So I would put down a thin layer on the area I was going to work on and then start gluing the tiles down. As the glue dried, the tiles would stick to the semi-dried glue way better than if I just tried to glue the tiles directly to the skull. Also, it is SO important to make sure your glue WORKS. The very first night I only glued down a few trial pieces and tested their strength the next night. We were good, that glue is STRONG. We could barely rip them up without using pliers, etc.

It is also important to give your skull plenty of drying time. I spaced out in between gluing sessions just to make sure the tiles really stuck on there. I really didn’t want any of those little buggers to pop off, that would be a tragedy! Almost finished… Are you excited!?

TA-DA! Stage TWO is complete! All tiles are glued down! Now the skull is ready for grout… Which I have yet to do. To be honest, I am kind of nervous to grout it. It’s so beautiful as it is so I’m afraid to mess it up! But everyone tells me the hard part is over, grouting is the easiest. We shall see! Stay tuned for grouting photos and the finished product!

And feel free to use my idea (given to me by the talented miss Meg featured in the previous post) all you wish, you fellow crafters out there! I LOVE to see what other people can make! So please share your progress with us as well! And I look forward to seeing what other people come up with! I think someone who is talented at painting should try this! You could make a GORGEOUS painted skull! Also I think adding some semi-precious stones to the mix would be a great idea too! Agates possibly!? The ideas are endless and I CAN’T wait to start another one! Happy Crafting!

 

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