Introduction: Bender Mosaic

About: The name's Alex. I'm currently majoring in Graphic Design at Cal Poly Pomona. When I'm not busy with schoolwork I like to practice hockey, watch some movies, modify my Nerf blasters, play with my Yamaha DTXpre…

I'm not a huge fan of the newer Futurama episodes, but one in particular (Proposition Infinity) had these cool mosaics that Bender was laying around New New York. I figured it'd be fun to try to re-create those, even the though the episode wasn't great, but as a cool way to pay homage to my love of Futurama.

I ended up making 7 of them with the materials I ordered, but had plenty leftover to make 9 or 10.

To do this project you should have an understanding of how to do grout work. I don't go into much detail, but you could probably figure it out on your own, or with the help of some instructional videos on Youtube. It's really easy to get a hang of, and the grout work on this project is quite easy. It's just a matter of taking your time to set up the mosaic properly beforehand, to make the process easier.

Step 1: Materials

After looking around home depot and other various stores for appropriately colored tiles, I gave up and moved my search online. I quickly decided on using 3/4" glass tiles from, and was very impressed with their color selection and the prices were nice, too.

Here's what I ended up ordering: Other materials/tools you'll need:
  • Polyblend Sanded Tile Grout (White)
  • Wood Backing
  • Scissors
  • Circular Saw
  • Ruler
  • Tacky Glue
  • Grout Float
  • Acrylic Paint (black)
  • Tile Sealer (optional)
Keep in mind that this project isn't just a one day thing. I probably spent a few weeks working on it in bits and pieces after work, and during the weekends. As for cost, I only ended up spending around 30 dollars on the tile. Everything else I had laying around the house, and we had plenty of unused grout.

Step 2: Sizing

The mosaic is 7 tiles by 11 tiles. If you're just going to be using the spacing on the sheet (which I did) you can simply measure the length of 7 tiles and 11 tiles on the sheet, and you'll get the dimensions of the backing board you'll need.

If you're not using 3/4" tiles, your backing board measurements will probably not be 9 1/2" x 6 1/8" , and you'll need to measure for yourself.

Step 3: Cut Your Board

I forgot to take pictures while I was cutting the boards, but it's pretty simple. It's important to know how many mosaics you'll be making before you start hacking away at the wood you have. I originally decided to make 8 (while I was cutting wood), but while cutting out pieces of tile, I changed my mind to 7. Not a big deal to have an extra backing board for some other project.

Once you cut out your boards, sand the edges so they're smooth. I took the time here, to paint the edges of my boards various shades of grey (with some acrylic paint) to match with the color scheme of the overall mosaic. I thought it would look better than having exposed wood.

Step 4: Trim Tiles

The tiles that I ordered came with a mesh backing which is firmly glued to all the tiles. I found it easier to cut out the individual tiles rather than risk breaking the glass trying to separate the glue form the mesh.

For each mosaic you'll need:
  • 13 - Dark Grey
  • 11 - Light Grey
  • 5 - Black
  • 48 -White
Since I was making multiple mosaics, I found it helpful to count out and make a separate pile of tiles needed to complete each of the 7 I was working on.

Step 5: Glue Mosaic

On each of the boards I marked out the spacing around the edges and also the bottom line for each row of tiles. Since each mosaic is only 7 tiles across I decided to save myself some time drawing lines and just eyeball the vertical spacing between the tiles.

I started by laying out the mosaic next to the board. Using Tacky glue, I glued one row at a time, adjusting the spacing along the way. Once the row seemed aligned I moved onto the next one, until I had finished the remaining rows. Each mosaic took about 30 minutes to glue, and then I let them dry overnight before giving them a test to see if there were any loose tiles.

Step 6: Grout

The tiles for the mosaics should be completely affixed by now. Any moving tiles during the grouting process would cause a major headache. For this step you'll need quite a few of the materials (and some I neglected to mention previously):
  • Sanded Tile Grout (White)
  • Water
  • Acrylic Paint (Black)
  • Grout Float
  • Disposable Bowl
  • Disposable Mixer
  • Newspaper/Table Covering (It's Messy)
Pour some of the sanded tile grout into your mixing bowl (try to break up the large clumps). Add a small amount of water (whatever your packaging recommends). Once your grout is ready to go it's time to add our coloring. You can use whatever color acrylic paint to color grout, and if you buy white grout to start with you can just mix whatever colors you'll need for multiple projects.

Once you have your desired color mixed, you can start laying down grout . I really couldn't take many pictures here without permanently encasing my camera in concrete, but it's pretty easy. I like to do the front face first, and flatten that out with the rubber grout float. Then I usually use my fingers to smooth out the sides with the remaining slag that gets squished out from the front.

It's easy to get a hang of this pretty quick, but just remember that if you take too long, your bowl of mixed grout will start to dry up and be hard to work with. If that happens, simply add some water and that should get your mixture back to the right consistency.

Let the grouted mosaics dry overnight before the next step.

Step 7: Finish!

For this step you'll need an old sponge and a bucket of water. Wet the sponge and wipe of the remaining residue off the face of the mosaics.

Most grout you're supposed to let dry 72 hours before you actually use it, but since no one is going to be walking on these bad-boys you could hang them in all their glory.

If you're an overachiever, you can get tie/grout sealer (which is quite expensive) to extend the longevity of your mosaics. I chose to skip out on that step. I figured these wouldn't go through the normal wear of tear of a tiled counter top or bathroom, and wouldn't need the extra protection.

Step 8: The End?

Overall, this was quite a fun project, and a good learning experience for grouting. I've done it before, but never in a grid pattern. My only past experience was with broken pieces of tiles arranged together.

If you liked this Futurama related Instructable you may also enjoy my Brain Slug Plushie, or Fry Meme Gift Card.

Thanks for reading!

I always appreciate questions and comments.