Intro: Bender Mosaic
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
Here's what I ended up ordering:
- Polyblend Sanded Tile Grout (White)
- Wood Backing
- Circular Saw
- Tacky Glue
- Grout Float
- Acrylic Paint (black)
- Tile Sealer (optional)
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
For each mosaic you'll need:
- 13 - Dark Grey
- 11 - Light Grey
- 5 - Black
- 48 -White
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
- Sanded Tile Grout (White)
- Acrylic Paint (Black)
- Grout Float
- Disposable Bowl
- Disposable Mixer
- Newspaper/Table Covering (It's Messy)
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.