Mosaic Mirror Pieces

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How to break a mirror into pieces for a mosaic. This technique covers the basics, you can practice the technique to expand the range of shapes you can create for making mosaic pieces.

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Step 1: Score the Glass Mirror

Align the straightedge and press firmly on it, or clamp it firmly. Then press firmly and evenly with the glass cutter to draw a line across the face of the glass.

  • Draw only once, avoid sawing motions.
  • If your wheel sticks, then add a drop of cutting oil.

You can make other shapes, I chose strips for simplicity.

Step 2: Preparing to Cut

Align scored glass along top of broom handle.
Cover it carefully with cardboard so that the mirror doesn't slide off the score mark. This is the only tricky part, from here on you have to know by feel if you are on or off the score mark.

Then cover with your wood or other firm board.

Step 3: Cutting

Apply pressure evenly along the score mark,
and push/lean towards the small side, it should snap right off.

If it doesn't then check the alignment of the score mark along the broom handle. Then try again.

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    16 Discussions

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    hierarchy

    11 years ago on Introduction

    very smart! can these be done with sheets of acrylic pieces as well? if not do u know how to cut acrylic without actual sawing?

    2 replies
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    aryanahierarchy

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    without sawing, a press break (shop tool - for sheet metal) would work on less than 1/8" inch - I saw that work last weekend. Personally, I have no experience with acrylic, I have some at the studio, I will try the score n snap method above on it & get back to you:) If you have two pairs of locking clamp pliers & 4 strips of mdf or other strong board, I imagine you can make a handled break-like thing. Again, I will take pix of this also and post here.

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    fishhead455

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks aryana...I shall go and try this method. you have been very helpful.

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    fishhead455

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Good Ible...thanks. Got any ideas on how to cut long, one-inch (wide) strips from regular mirror stock ? (just some extra mirrors laying around). I need the strips to glue onto a parabolic solar reflector. I seem to be breaking more than I should. Thanks.

    3 replies
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    aryanafishhead455

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    One more thought - if the mirror is longer than the broom handle, and your board - you can get a wood dowl longer than the mirror, and use a longer board. If you are still getting an uneven break when applying even pressure at the middle of the board, then try this: Apply light pressure evenly over a foot or two at one end of the long mirror, by pressing on the board over the cardboard that is on the mirror. Then move your hands over the board to apply pressure evenly down the length of the score mark. These breaks will have a different sound, instead of a pop, you will hear a sound like ice cracking. I would imaging it is really hard to cut a length longer than 3 feet, but do-able once you get the feel of it.

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    aryanafishhead455

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Also, when you glue the mirror, be sure to use a mirror-safe adhesive. Some adhesives peel the mirror backing off.

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    aryanafishhead455

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Hi- I used this technique to cut both 1" wide, and 1/2" wide strips. If you are breaking more: 1. Are the score lines deep enough? 2. Are you putting pressure right along the score mark? 3. When is the piece breaking? When you go to break the piece off? It could be that you are using too much force as well. Pressing at the right place, there should only be a small pop as the slice separates off. Also it might be a factor if you are scoring too many lines at once. You might want to score one and break it, instead of scoring a bunch of lines. Sounds like a fun project,

    The business with the broom handle and such, seems a little complicated to me. I just sit my glass on a nice flat table, with the score a little proud of the table edge, then give it a good bonk. Make sure to not use tempered glass. I was cutting a mirror one time, and realized, about 0.2 seconds before I got little glass cubes all over my Mom's basement floor, that I had a piece of tempered (safety) glass.

    1 reply

    Good point, tempered glass usually has a slight green tinge to the glass - and it's usually a bit thicker than non-tempered glass.

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    flio191Bran

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Haha, its breaking it into even smaller pieces so its more like... 7 times "n" number of breaks! :P

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    canida

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Sweet, I definitely need to try this. I bet a 15-sec video would really help explain the delicate business of matching up with the broom handle - if you get inspired I'd love to see one.

    1 reply
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    GorillazMiko

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Cool, I always throw away mirrors (well, sometimes), and I might do this for pieces and stuff. Thanks!