beads image by Gina Smith from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Bead mosaics don't use tiles and grout like traditional mosaics, but otherwise they work on the same basic principle. Hundreds and even thousands of individually placed beads decorate solid surfaces like picture frames and mirrors. They can also create images for custom artwork. the process requires time and patience but yields impressive, ornate results. These instructions are for bead mosaic images. If you're using the technique to create colour blocks without images, like on a picture frame, omit the information about adding and colour blocking images.
Choose an object to mosaic. Use a poster board, sheet of card stock, painting canvas or any other surface to which you can apply glue.
Sketch the image you'd like to mosaic onto your object. Print out an image, use a stencil or purchase a loom pattern if you're not comfortable sketching or if you require more precision.
Rough up the surface a little bit with sandpaper if it's very smooth, like wood. This helps the glue adhere.
Block in the colours you want with markers or coloured pencils to help guide you as you glue down your beads.
Cover a small, 1-inch section of your image with a thin coat of bead cement, which is glue specifically designed to tightly grip beads.
Use your fingers or tweezers to press one bead at a time onto the bead cement. Use the colour blocks you made as a guide for what colour bead to use.
Work in small sections until you've covered your entire surface.
Let the bead cement dry overnight. Cover the design with a thin layer of clear spray varnish. Let the varnish dry according to the package instructions, then apply a second coat.
- beads image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com