Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Great upcycled Eggshell Mosaic Tiles!

These simple tiles can be used to make bracelets, necklaces or brooches. But I am making a batch today to be used as tags or insets for my art journals.

I am using the stiff cardboard "credit cards" that come so often in junk mail for this project. But you can use thin wood rectangles or whatever other surface you can think up!
1. Begin by cutting a card into eight equal rectangles.
2. Round each rectangle's corners with scissors.
3. Use a leather punch to poke any holes for hanging as tags or fastening together for jewelry.
4. Trim the cardboard that extends out the back of the hole with nail clippers, so that it is flat on the back side.
5. Give each side a light coat of Gesso and let dry.
6. Paint both sides and edges of each rectangle with a light coat of the color of your choice. I usually just use my finger to apply the paint and like to have a little writing or design of the original card showing through on back side to give it a little more character.
7. After the paint has dried completely apply a coat of TackyGlue to whichever side you want to be the front and begin placing broken eggshells in a mosaic pattern covering most of the surface, but leaving small irregular areas between the eggshell pieces.
(The eggshells I am using today have been dyed with onion skins. I sometimes use tea, coffee, black walnut shells, beet juice, dandelion flowers or food coloring to stain them. Or you can place white eggshells on the unpainted surface and stain the whole thing with ink. Even just using natural brown eggshells or plain white eggshells is fine, depending on what look you desire for the finished product. If you haven't boiled the eggshells during the staining process, you will need to boil them and then remove the membrane that lines the inside of the shell so that the glue can adhere to the egg shell itself, so that it stays intact over time.)
8. Once the glue has dried clear, carefully break off any eggshell bits that may be extending past the edge of the cardboard rectangle to make an neat circumference.
9. If you want you can coat the outer edge the rectangle with a metallic paint which gives it a little neater and more refined look. Or leave as is for a slightly more rustic appearance.
10. Finally once the glue has dried to a clear finish, apply a thick coat of Gel Medium to the entire surface and when dry push your leather punch back through any holes to be sure they are not clogged.
Now think of all the creative uses you can find for them! 

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