How to Make a Mosaic Bird Bath

What You'll Need
Shallow, flat-bottomed ceramic bowl/planter
Assorted stained glass, 3/4 -inch vitreous glass tiles, old pottery, old china, beads or old coins
Tile cutters
Tile glue
Sanded grout
Grout sealant
Rubber gloves
Safety glasses

Wouldn't you like to see beautiful birds cleaning and preening in a colorful birdbath outside your home? Creating A mosaic bird bath can be a great outlet for your creativity and will add a colorful and artsy flavor to your garden.

Mosaic Tips 

  • Always work with gloves and googles and cover work area with a sheet.  
  • Be prepared for pieces of glass to go flying and for there to be splinters. Clean thoroughly after project is finished.
  • Be creative! Keep your eyes open for different materials to place in your mosaic.

Step 1 - Prepare the Surface

Clean and scrub the ceramic bowl, especially the bottom on the inside since that is where you will be applying the materials. Wipe dry, making sure that the bottom is smooth and free of dirt or particles.

Step 2 - Outline the Design

The design possibilities for your birdbath are endless. If you don't consider yourself a talented artist, there are plenty of simple shapes that look beautiful when created by stained glass. Consider a sun, yin-yang symbol, sky and mountains, or an abstract design with miscellaneous materials. Outline the design you have chosen with a pencil or marker on the ceramic bowl. 

Step 3 - Choose and Break the Materials

Once you have chosen your design, choose the appropriate materials. Stained glass can be purchased on the internet or at a specialized glass store, commonly in one foot square tiles, or you can purchase ¾-inch vitreous glass tiles at a craft or tile store. It's also possible to make a mosaic out of 100 percent recycled materials.

Search your home and thrift store for china or glass dishes that you could break and use in your mosaic. To smash a large piece, wrap it in a towel and smash with a hammer. If you are trying to make a precise shape or smashing little tiles, use your tile cutters.

Step 4 - Glue the Glass

The simplest way to apply the glass is the direct method, which means to glue each piece directly onto the bowl exactly where you want it. Before gluing, it may help to arrange all of the glass/tiles on the bowl so that you can see what your design will look like before it has already been glued. Then, pick up each piece and apply a drop of glue to the bottom and push gently onto the surface. Space tiles about 1/8" apart.

Step 5 - Apply the Grout

Once all the tiles/glass are in a place and the glue has dried, mix your grout with water and spread over the top of your mosaic with a putty knife. Work the grout into all the cracks and to the edge of the bowl. Let dry for at least 48 hours.

Step 6 - Clean and Seal the Surface

After the grout has dried, take a damp sponge and wipe away excess grout so that all the tiles are sparklingly clear! Air-dry, then add the sealant, and wait another 48 hours before adding water and placing outside in your garden for the birds to enjoy!