Mosaic Garden Sign

The Mosaic QR Code that I made for my garden needs some text with it because most people assume the sign is for some realtor or other commercial service.

I decided to make a mosaic sign with the text “About This Garden” that could be displayed with the QR Code Mosaic.

Mosaic Letters

I made the letters quickly using Morjo™ brand Outliners Mosaic Sticks™.


I drew the lettering on paper free hand and taped clear contact paper over the pattern with the sticky side up to make a temporary mosaic surface.

On this temporary surface, I laid out my design using a process of trial and error to work out the color scheme.

Easy Temporary Surface

The beauty of working on a temporary surface is that it allows you to lay out the design without committing to anything and casually make changes, even major changes, without much effort.

The process is very forgiving, and it allows you to see what things look like before glue or mortar is ever involved.

If fine-art oil painters have to work by trial and error, repainting and changing things as needed, how can a fine-art mosaicist work any other way?

If you are serious about making figurative mosaic artwork, you have to try using a temporary surface at least once.

I tried a temporary surface once thinking of it as a one-time experiment, but afterward I couldn’t think of making a mosaic any other way.

It makes that much of a difference.

Design Process Video

I made a video showing how the design evolved as it was laid out on the temporary surface:

Notice in the video how I made even more changes after the mosaic was covered in Mosaic Mounting Tape and lifted off the temporary surface (contact paper).


Quick Color Study

I discovered that I wasn’t done making changes even after I pressed Mosaic Mounting Tape to the face of the mosaic.

The monochrome Indian Yellow around the lettering didn’t have enough visual interest in my judgment, and so I thought I should make the color field more complex by variegating it with a lighter yellow.

As a quick color study, I laid a few light yellow tiles on top of the mosaic to see if I like the variegation.

I did, and so I flipped the mosaic and swapped out select tiles from the back side.


Materials and Methods

The Mosaic Mounting Tape I used was 6 inches wide, and so 2 strips were used to cover the mosaic (17.5 x 6 inches).

The tile used for this mosaic was our Morjo™ brand 12mm Recycled Glass Tiles, and the lettering was made from Morjo™ brand Outliners Mosaic Sticks™.

The backer for the mosaic garden sign will be a reinforced mortar stone made from hardware cloth and Versabond brand thinset mortar.

Outdoor Mosaic Backer

Plywood and adhesives cannot be used for uncovered outdoor mosaics, at least not if you want your mosaics to last more than a few weeks or months.

For outdoor mosaics subject to precipitation and dampness, a backer of stone or or brick or concrete is required, and the mosaic is mounted with thinset mortar not adhesive.

I make my own backers using hardware cloth and Versabond brand thinset mortar, which allows me to make any size or shape backer that I need.

Here is a photo of two backers being made:


I use deck screws to hold the layers of hardware cloth flat on a sheet of plywood covered in wax paper to prevent the mortar from sticking to the plywood.

After the mortar hardens, the screws are removed. A second coat of mortar will be required to fill the screw holes and voids in the edges:


The edges might need to be cleaned up a little before the second coat of mortar is applied. A Diamond-Grit File is used for this work, and for smoothing and cleaning the finished backer.

I will publish an additional blog article when the mosaic is mounted and displayed.





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