Friday, September 9, 2011

Pieces of a Pretty Cross

My sister celebrated the big 2-2 this week about a month ago (I got a little busy!). I decided to make her a mosaic cross for her birthday (I have apologized over and over for not having it to her yet!). Sorry about the long post- there were a lot of steps!

I learned how to make the crosses earlier this year and have enjoyed giving them as gifts and keeping a couple for myself. They are easy and fun to make and also are not too hard on your wallet. I made three for Mother's Day and they were all a hit!
My sister had given me a broken glass bowl that she had had for a while and said I could use it on a cross. I thought that would make a great birthday gift!

To make the form of the cross you will need:
3 pieces of rectangular floral foam 
1 small dowel rod
knife and cutting board
hot glue gun

Take one piece of floral foam and cut it in half.
Keep one half for the project and put the other aside for your next cross project! I like to trim just a little off the newly cut half just so the cross looks more proportionate.
Next put the dowel rod in the middle of all three pieces and add a little hot glue for some extra support.

Now comes the fun part! I have shopped at thrift stores, garage sales and even T.J. Maxx (I make sure they are on clearance) to get colorful plates, bowls, and mugs to get just the look I am going for. I have a little collection going now after making 5 crosses. 
Collect all of the plates and bowls that you want to break. There is a "special ceramic breaker" tool that is sold at craft stores but I find they a hammer works just as great and it is a little more therapeutic! : ) and safety glasses are a must! (Ok... I know these aren't "safety" but they work!) Then SMASH AWAY!! 
This part is so fun! But very sharp so be careful! 

Next layout all of your pieces and just play around with the look on the cross until you get something you like. I like to find some type of "focal point" in the center of the cross or some kind of pattern over the cross. This one started with the blue and brown bowl that my sister gave me so I wanted to use it as the focal point and went from there.
Once the focal point is found, it is like a puzzle. Just find the the few colors you want to use (I didn't use all of these colors- I just needed them all out to play with so I could find the look I was going for) and place them until the cross is covered. 
When you figure out the pattern, you will hot glue the pieces in place.
Now it is time to get messy!!

I chose a sanded grout in a biscuit color. Mix the grout with water until it is a pancake batter consistency. I would rather have it more wet or runny than too think. You have more time to work with it that way. 
Using your hands, spread the grout all over the top and the sides. You don't have to worry about getting the grout on your mosaic pieces. We'll get that off later! 
Taking a wet paper towel or sponge, gently rub off the grout from each piece. 

Let this dry completely, maybe a couple of hours? Then flip over and add a layer of grout to the back and touch up the sides. After the back dries, clean up the "grout dust" and leftover chunks by scraping of chunks and then wiping down all of the mosaic pieces with a water vinegar mixture. This will wash the dust off and keep it off! 
 These crosses look heavy but are actually light weight! To hang, I just place a small nail on either side under the "arms" of the cross. 
 And my sister loves it!!!
Sorry again for the long post but I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if you decide to make a mosaic cross or mosaic anything!
Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Soooo cool! I have to try these - I collect crosses & it would be fun to have some homemade ones added to it. You are talented! :)
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  2. So pretty!! Would LOVE it if you would share this project at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!!

  3. You didn't cut your fingers or hands doing this? They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. No cut fingers or hands!! To apply to grout, I just made sure to add a little extra to fill in all the gaps and just be careful!

  5. Hi, thanks for sharing. I'm not a big craftsy person but this looks fairly simple. Where do you buy the grout at? Just a Lowe's or Home Depot or is this something you get at a craft store?

    1. I just bought sanded grout from Lowes or Home Depot. You can find it in the flooring department and it comes in a variety of colors. This project is super easy! I know you can do it!


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