How to make a lightweight concrete mosaic sculpture

Written by lauren vork
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Mosaic sculptures are a form of collage or found-object art featuring a cement surface covered with an arrangement of small pieces of glass, beads, mosaic tiles, plastic objects and interesting oddities. Typically, these sculptures are of solid cement, which makes for a heavy finished product. You can, however, make a significantly more lightweight version of these sculpture by coating a lightweight inner core with a solid layer of cement.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Empty duct tape roll
  • Duct tape
  • Large polystyrene ball
  • Cement
  • Mixing containers
  • Glass, tiles, other mosaic findings

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  1. 1

    Wrap lengths of tape across one of the open sides of the empty tape roll to cover the side, creating a closed, bowl-like structure. Fold and trim off any excess tape or pieces you can't fold over to preserve the cylindrical shape of the tape roll.

  2. 2

    Mix one cup of cement according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  3. 3

    Fill the inside of the tape roll with cement. Press the polystyrene ball on top of the surface of the cement to make an impression of the ball's curve in the top of the cement; this will make it easier to attach, later. Set the ball aside and let the cement in the tape roll harden and cure fully, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. 4

    Tape the polystyrene ball to the tape roll to create a stand for the ball. Use plenty of tape for a secure hold; wrap the tape both horizontally and with a few vertically-placed strips stretching from the bottom of the roll up to the middle of the polystyrene ball.

  5. 5

    Mix the concrete for the rest of the sculpture. Make one cup for every 12 square inches of surface area you need to cover on the polystyrene ball and the outside of the tape roll base.

  6. 6

    Coat the polystyrene ball and the outside edge of the tape roll in a layer of cement about ¼ to ½ inches thick.

  7. 7

    Press the mosaic items into the cement to decorate your sculpture.

  8. 8

    Use a stiff-bristled brush and water to rinse any cement residue from the surface of the objects before the cement dries.

  9. 9

    Let the cement dry and cure fully according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Add more weight to the base of your sculpture by filling the tape roll with stones or ball bearings and fill in the spaces between the objects with concrete.

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