Pet Memorial Mosaic Sugar

Pet Memorial Mosaics

Recently April Costigan sent us some pictures of pet memorial mosaics made on stepping stones and some portraits of pets still living, and they are great examples of what you could make for your loved one. April’s mosaics also show a natural progression in skill, and so they are worth showing to a wider audience.

Making Your Own

Pet memorial mosaics for marking outdoor graves can be made using thinset mortar to attach glass tile to a concrete stepping stone or a piece of flagstone. Indoor pet memorial mosaics can be made using Weldbond Adhesive on a half-inch plywood backer, preferably cabinet-grade plywood which comes with a sanded finish.

Here is how to arrange tile on a pattern and then pick it up with packing tape. Then you could spread thinset mortar on the stepping stone and mount it on the stepping stone all at once.

You could also copy your pattern onto the stepping stone and then attach one tile at a time, but that can be a little messy. Here are our instructions for copying a mosaic pattern onto a larger backer. Here are our instructions for transferring a pattern by tracing.

Before making your own, it helps to look at what others have made to get an idea of what level of detail you want to use and how you want to render certain details and attempt to capture likeness.

I really like April’s later pieces and how her andamento (working lines) suggest the direction of the different tufts of fur.


Pet Memorial Mosaic Peggy
Pet Memorial Mosaic Peggy

“Peggy was my first. I didn’t care for how her name turned out so I changed my style in later stones. She died of congenital heart failure at 4 months old. This was the last picture I took of her. I used a variety of tile, the little doggie was mostly broken ceramic dishes. She has flower patterns in her little pink ears.”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Chelsey
Pet Memorial Mosaic Chelsey

“Chelsey was next (my friend’s child-hood cat). I used tile I bought at Home Depot.”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Rambo
Pet Memorial Mosaic Rambo

“Rambo – My own beloved dog who died last February.  This is when I discovered YOUR Wonderful site with so many beautiful shades of glass tile!”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Diego
Pet Memorial Mosaic Diego

“Diego – My furry friend for 14 years.”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Blondie
Pet Memorial Mosaic Blondie

“Blondie – My co-worker’s poodle who passed after a long and happy life.  I discovered tile lettering!”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Finnagin
Pet Memorial Mosaic Finnagin

“Finnagin – My friend’s dog (still alive and well).  I entered this one into an charity art auction and the person who won also bid $338 to have a stone of her own created.  That’s where Sugar came from.”


Pet Memorial Mosaic Sugar
Pet Memorial Mosaic Sugar

Backgrounds for Portraits

Notice how the background in the photo above has a a lot of white, and that will not contrast as strongly with Sugar in the foreground as another color might. Rather than reproduce the actual background from the photo in a situation such as this, you might want to spread out some tiles of different colors and see what gives the best contrast.

Substituting backgrounds is a common technique for making portraits in all media, and you should never be a slave to your model if you can improve things by deviating from it -unless the scene itself is what you are trying to recreate. And always remember that rules were meant to be broken, especially in art.



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5 responses to “Pet Memorial Mosaics”

  1. Yvonne Ramsey Avatar
    Yvonne Ramsey

    These are great. I love the texture of the fur, even before glass tile was used. Last summer I put my own pets in in a composition and the thought did cross my mind that mosaics would be great ways to memorialize the pets we have lost. Fortunately my are still wagging and barking.

  2. Rachel Avatar

    What to use for the eyeballs? These are beautiful! Thank you.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      I like to render eyes with cut pieces of tile like the other details instead of using a different material.

  3. Sandra Staiger Avatar
    Sandra Staiger

    I love the pet memorials. What about an existing 12×12 concrete block? When u say seal your piece, do you mean grout sealer and leave it on the glass or wipe off?
    Also what is a reasonable price point to be able to sell this size. I know markets r different but ball park helpful. I tend to always undercut myself.
    Thank u

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Concrete makes an excellent mosaic backer. Mosaic sealers are wiped over the whole mosaic and then wiped off. It comes off the glass but seals the porous grout.
      I wrote an article about how to price a mosaic taking into account the buyer

      I hope this helps!

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