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Picture of Super Mario Mosaic Table /Table Cover
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I was looking for something to do with some of my spare time and also to cover two of my tables that had water stains and other cosmetic problems. I have decided to build two mosaic table covers. This tutorial is for the first cover I made - Super Mario.

You can turn it into a new table or make it the size that fits your table.



Hardware you will need:

-Sealant gun
-Utility knife
-Wood saw
-Small hammer (1-0.5 pound)
-Measuring tape

Materials:
-2 Tubes of white silicone sealant (That's what I've used - you can use the clear type)
-Black spray paint
-20 Small wood nails (1" lenght)
-37" * 37" Plywood (0.5" thick)
-4 x 37" * 1" Plywood for frame (0.5" thick)
-0.8" Glass mosaic stones - ~1498 Black ~153 White ~310 Blue ~340 Red ~8 Yellow - Total of 2209 stones.

** I don't know the prices for these materials in the US but I paid about 70$ for the mosaic stones, 20$ for the plywood and already had the sealant, nails and spray.

** You can use different kinds of materials to glue the stones - plastic glue, mosaic adhesive or other types of glues.

** Yellow and red stones are more expensive than other colors.

** It is not recomended to use MDF instead of plywood because of its weight and poor water resistance.
 
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Step 1: Choosing an image

Picture of Choosing an image
This is the hardest part! (:

I suggest you google images and look for the words "pixel art" combined with a name of a character or an object you would like.

You can also use photoshop to modify an image- I will show you how. It is important not to choose an image with too many of details.

Consider the number of stones that you will need according to the size of the stones and the size of the surface.

For example - to cover a 40" * 60" surface with 0.5" stones you will need 40/0.5 * 60/0.5 = 9600 stones.


REMEMBER - 1 PIXEL = 1 MOSAIC STONE (You can use smaller stones or more pixels but I find 2209 stones is close to my limit of patience)

You don't have to use photoshop, you can draw your own pixel art or look for pixel art tutorials.

http://piq.codeus.net/draw
 

Step 2: Modifying the image for the mosaic

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If you chose an image which is already pixeled- you can skip this part.

1. Open your image in photoshop

2. Go to Image --> Canvas size: make sure that ratio of the image is the same as your planned mosaic, dont worry about the size.

3. Go to Image --> Image size: first make sure all boxes are checked. Then choose "Nearest Neighbor" as the re-sampling method. In document size change height and width to the number of mosaic stones in a row (width) and in a column (height) in pixels/inch choose "1". For example, my mosaic was about 37" * 37" and my mosaic stones were about 0.8" so 37 divided by 0.8 = about 47 stones in a row and in a column. Because every stone represents a pixel - we choose one pixel per inch. Apply changes.

4. This part is the hardest in this step - pick the pencil tool, change its size to 1 pixel and start working on the lines and colors.

As you can see from the images I deleted mario's sideburns, painted the background in black and had to remake the M on his hat - it's trial and error until you will get it right

Step 3: Praparing the image for print

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This part is for making the image easier to understand when you do the actual work, if you feel it isn't necessary for you, you can skip this part.

1. Zoom in until you see the white pixel grid lines.

2. Print Screen, Paste it in a new window, crop around the image.

3. Image --> Mode --> Greyscale

4. Image --> Adjustments --> Invert

5. Filter --> Stylize --> Find Edges

6. Save and print

7. Write the names of the colors in their places according to the real image.

Step 4: Making the frame

This part is easy- 

Place the plywood "strips" you made for your frame on each side of the large plywood sheet and use the saw to cut it to create a full frame.

I placed it in the exact middle so it sticks out from both ways so when I lay the mosaic stones I can use the frame as a support and when I'm done the down part helps to stabilize the cover on the table.

I used 5 nails on each side, when the frame is ready - spray paint the frame black (Or whatever color you chose for your background).

I'm sorry about the angle of the photos - I couldnt find a way to rotate them after I uploaded them.

Step 5: Laying the stones

This is the most relaxing part, it took me about 7 hours - straight - no food and no breaks!

A few tips-

*Consider that the sizes of the stones are not always accurate - start with the part with the more important details - in that case if you don't have enough place left for the last row/column it's not such a big deal.

*Start with one of the bottom corners and use them as support for the stones.

*Try to avoid using too much sealant - it will cause the sealant to come out to the surface and you will have to spend time cleaning it later.

*Try to avoid pressing the stones too hard against the plywood - for the same reason.

*Make sure stones are straight all the time (not tilting sideways).

*Make sure stones are always exactly above the stones beneath them (to avoid shifting).

*Keep your hands clean from sealant so it won't cover the stones when touched.

*Always look at the printed page, you can mark your place every few rows.

*It is recommended to do the job in an open place or properly ventilated to avoid inhaling the sealant fumes.
 

Step 6: Finish line

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When you are done, allow your mosaic dry outside for a day.

Use the utility knife and clean the dry sealant leftovers from between the stones.

Good Luck!
wow a lot of work, but the result is amazing . great job.
ooterman2 years ago
Looks great!
Did you put any kind of clear coat on top to make it water proof? I understand the tiles are waterproof but water could get to the plywood underneath and cause it to warp.
Tzabary (author)  ooterman2 years ago
Hello,
I'm going to put a coat of mosaic tiles sealer. It's a clear coat used mostly for ceramic mosaic tile for bathroom or kitchen use but I already have it so this is what I'm going to use. You can use all kinds of varnish or a special glass varnish. I have also seen people who have used Enamel paint or Epoxy coating which are more expensive. Good Luck with your project!
Yeah, one thing I've seen used for this type of application is "bar top" epoxy. It's a clear, pourable epoxy. You end up with a completely level, smooth, glossy surface, which may or may not be what you're after.
Awesome!
letterladyz2 years ago
If you don't have Photoshop, you can download GIMP (an alternate photo editor) for free at gimp.org.

Thanks to my wife for letting me hijack her account to comment on this. We may have to do one with Link. :)
Tzabary (author)  letterladyz2 years ago
Hello,
It looks like a great free alternative for photoshop!
I googled GIMP Pixel Art and there are lots of tutorials.
I also found this-
http://karnakgames.com/wp/2010/10/gimp-for-pixel-art-shortcuts-setup-and-tips/

Thank you for your comment!
dpiccine2 years ago
That's wonderful job!
A question... I tried to convert but I want to make sure... the glass mosaic has size of 2cm X 2cm? We use centimeters here in Brazil. :) Just want to make sure and buy correctly!
Thanks mate!
Tzabary (author)  dpiccine2 years ago
Hi dipiccine, where I come from (Israel) we also use the metric system. I just converted the sizes because I think that's what most people in this site use.. My table was 94.5x94.5 cm and the stones I ordered were 2x2 cm although they were a little bit smaller than that in reality (as you can see there is like 1cm free on the side and on the top)
Thanks again! very inspiring job! great
Tzabary (author) 2 years ago
Thanks everyone!
Absolutely Brilliant !!
Look's Like Ya Did A Good Job, But It Looks Like Somethin' Lamont Would Watch.
the_ice_man3 years ago
Great work Tzabary !! ;)
Awesome! Perfect design choice :)