Mosaic Garden Porthole




About: ♫ Basking in sunshine ☼, creating new dishes... growing zucchini and swimming with fishes. Rattlesnake hunting the desert in Spring; these are are a few of my favorites things. When the wind flies, when the...
The inspiration for this project came from two sources I want to thank and credit from the get-go.

It was alisonb and her Submarine-style Door Wind-cheater that inspired the initial project.  It was Creativeman who sealed the deal. ;-)

I've always loved mosaic art, but was a little intimidated by the prospect of it.  Being somewhat of a perfectionist, sometimes I don't begin a project because I don't want to ruin it.  Creativeman took away all my silly fear with his wonderful tutorial on Tile Art.  Who could possibly ruin styrofoam? Especially recycled styrofoam?  Not me! ;-)

This is a mini photo tutorial on my Mosaic Garden Porthole.  It's the window to my heart's content... my little oasis on the beach in Baja.

Tools and supplies I used:

  • a wire foam cutter ($7 cheapie from ebay)
  • recycled (free!) styrofoam to-go containers, plates and bowls- washed well 
  • a salvaged wood frame- obviously homemade, but not by me ;-)
  • wood glue
  • latex and assorted acrylic paints
  • clear fingernail polish
  • paint brushes
After deciding on a flower garden design, I began cutting and gluing the small cobblestone border. The project just progressed from there.  The preformed curves of the styrofoam worked nicely as flower petals and such. It gave the mosaic added dimension.

Halfway through the gluing process, some of the petals started popping off.  I painted a coat of off-white latex paint over the glued pieces to better seal them to the frame and it worked like charm.

After the design was complete, I gave the entire porthole another layer of latex paint, then began painting with my acrylics. After painting the "tiles" to my liking, I gave each one a painstaking coat of clear fingernail polish for added shine... and my mosaic porthole frame was ready to be mounted.

Author's Note's: This was the funnest art project I've made since completing the Turtle Shell Mosaic Scone last Summer.  Rest assured, you'll be seeing more mosaic work from me in the future. ;-)  I strongly urge you to give tile art a try and create something uniquely your own.  I'd love to see and hear all about it, too!

I'd like to advise against buying the $7 cheapie foam cutter from anywhere.  I loved that it's handheld. (I basicly kicked back and did all the cutting while sitting on my rear. ;-) The drawbacks?  It uses a C battery which seemed to drain pretty quickly, and it's a good thing I was cutting thin styrofoam... because I doubt it would cut anything much thicker than that.  

Since finishing this project, I went ahead an ordered a more expensive electric foam cutter. There are also numerous DIY tutorials right here on Instructables to make your own hot wire foam cutter, including the Mighty Goliath
 The search engine is your friend. ;-)  

If you're short on skill or ideas, be sure to check out all the work Creativeman has shared here.  He's a master of mosaic work. All of his tutorials are easy to follow and downright beautiful! 

Thank you for stopping by! ;-) 




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    10 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic! It really is a nice piece of art, bajablue. Thanks for the plug as well. I think you have out done me! Hope to see more of your work.

    1 reply