Paper Mosaic Tray

By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

DIY Paper Mosaic Tray

If you like the look of tile mosaic work, but don’t want to go to all the fuss of glue and grout, this is the project for you!  Make your own faux mosaic tray with paper and Mod Podge.

Mosaic 2

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

  • Multicraft Wood Tray Set.
  • Scrapbook paper, decoupage paper, or other paper with a design on it that you want to use (My main image was a picture from an old calendar).
  • Plaid Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Gloss. (If you don’t need your tray to be waterproof, you can use regular Mod Podge.)
  • Scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Acrylic craft paint. (I used a cranberry color for the main part of the tray, and white for the “grout.”)
  • Craft knife.
  • Flat paintbrushes.

Mosaic 3

Begin by painting your tray.  Paint the inside of the tray whatever color you want the “grout” of your mosaic to be.  Let dry.

Mosaic 4

Decide on your pattern, and begin cutting basic shapes from your various papers.  I chose to make my mosaic look like broken pieces of dishes, so I cut circles and arc shapes.  Make your shapes slightly smaller than you want the finished design to be; when you tear apart the pieces and glue the design back down, you’ll leave gaps in between each piece to represent grout, and it will make your final design that much larger.

Mosaic 5

I suggest starting in the middle of your tray and working out toward the edges.  Begin tearing apart your large shapes into smaller ones to give the illusion of broken pieces of tile or dishes.  If you want to make your design less shabby, you could instead cut the larger shapes into smaller pieces with scissors, avoiding the look of broken edges.  Use your Mod Podge to stick your pieces down.  I suggest tearing off smaller pieces one at a time, and immediately gluing them down in place, rather than tearing up all of your shapes at once; it makes it much easier to keep track of your pieces and design, and helps you fit them together better.  Be sure to leave a small gap between each individual piece of “tile” to suggest grout.

Mosaic 6

Continue building your design from the middle out.

Mosaic 7

When you get to the edges, hold your paper pieces in place and make creases where the edges are, then use your craft knife to cut off the extra.

Paper Mosaic Tray

When you have completed your design, coat the whole surface with Mod Podge (according to the directions) and let dry.  I gave my design 3 coats (I also coated the rest of the tray to make it waterproof against spills, since I’ll be using it as a tea tray) letting them dry 1-2 hours between coat.  Once dry, you have a neat custom tray to use while entertaining, or perhaps on a dresser to hold odds and ends.  These would make neat gifts for friends and family as well.  What kind of mosaic could you make on a tray?

Happy crafting!


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