Mixed Media Mosaic Ideas: Thinking Outside the Art Box

300+ Mosaic Tips, Techniques, Templates and Trade Secrets300+ Mosaic Tips, Techniques, Templates and Trade Secrets

Get Far Outside the Art Box with these Mixed Media Mosaic Ideas!

Hey guys…if you really get into the dimension and depth of mosaic work then you are really going to love these mixed media mosaic ideas!

There is no reason why you can’t combine various materials like glass, beads and gems together to create a visually stunning piece of work.

Think of this as mosaic art “on steroids”:)

Why Combine Mosaic Work with Mixed Media?

I always enjoyed combining materials together, I am a firm believer that there is every bit as much technique involved with collages and mixed media as there are other “classical” techniques.[toc]

Anything that requires some serious thought, perspective, and elements of design, involves technique and you can’t just put this thing or that here haphazardly šŸ™‚ A mixed media mosaic certainly fits that definition.Ā 

Regardless of what you’re combiningĀ  together…it is the way all these things are combined that will make people go “wow”!

The examples below are great examples of mixed media mosaic art as I’m explaining; notice how the colors blend together into one another smoothly; and how there is so much to look at without the wrong kind of “busyness”?

mixed media mosaic artĀ  Ā mixed media mosaic ideas

Creative Commons Photo Attribution: First image courtesy of MosaicsbyChris
Second image courtesy of Robyn Jay

mixed media mosaic ideasMixed Media Mosaic Ideas

Your choice of objects to arrange together can be as wide as the day is long, but do consider strongly the use of smaller objects and those that are two dimensional.

In other words choose objects that are flat on one side so they will adhere to their surface.

Going for a Theme or Message

Something like love, peace, a political statement,etc., can be expressed visually in the elements chosen. You can add physical elements that represent that theme.

Another good strategy is to spell out words (e.g. use of alphabet beads) to make it clear to others what your message is about.

Combine Mosaic Design with a Classic Medium (e.g painting)

Below that is my own work; in which I used painting and incorporated mosaic work with the use of faux flatbed rhinestones into this image of the Virgin Mary. I guess I was really going for the “bling” back then!

mixed media mosaic art

At the risk of showing off, I’m sure I put a lot of work into this one (but it was fun work, which is where it counts!)

Mosaic Rainbows and Gradients

Two of my all-time favorite effects – nothing like incorporating rainbow colors into a piece of art to make a drab room fab, and gradients are hard to beat for their appeal. The way the colors bleed into one another with ease can be really striking!

I ended up creating one of my own after admiring some pieces I discovered in social media.

Create a Realistic Scene or Scenario

You can put together something that looks like a real-life scene like a portrait, a beach, landscape, farm setting, etc., using different materials; which may take a good deal of time and effort but the effects would be really stunning!

The image below is a great example of a striking sea scene. Wow she nailed it! A lot went into this one clearly:

mixed media mosaic art ideas

Image Attribution: Image Courtesy of Diana Maus

What Are Some Good Materials For Mosaic Art with Multimedia Combos?

Again the sky is the limit…(you knew I was going to say that, right?) Items to incorporate that work well includeĀ flatbed gems, beads,buttons,and sequins.

Blulu Gems Acrylic Craft Flatback RhinestonesBlulu Gems Acrylic Craft Flatback RhinestonesEfivs Arts 1125 pcs 0.35 Crafting BeadsEfivs Arts 1125 pcs 0.35 Crafting BeadsTiny Sugar Star Fish Mini Starfish Art Craft Sea ShellTiny Sugar Star Fish Mini Starfish Art Craft Sea Shell

As I have mentioned in my previous mosaic post you can use similar backdrops like canvases, masonite, and wood. I think wood and masonite are the best choices as they will support the objects best being firm and supportive, but I like canvas too.

In my rainbow mosaic piece below, I used a small 11 by 14 canvas, adhesive glue, and multitudes of beads, gems, and also paint for the background, as I wanted the best effect and no white show-through from the canvas I used.

mixed media mosaic

Because I was using lots of little bitty items I thought I’d save time by dispensing the glue in segments…brushing it on in the space for the red, the orange, etc. I kind of took a little “lazy” approach…I poured the objects down and then spread them around with my fingers.

Prior to this I had sorted the objects by color in little Ziploc bags to make the steps easier – the only “tedious” part:)

In the demo video below I go into a little more depth about this piece and how I added color to it after it was finished:

I was using teeny tiny bugle beads in addition; they are made for jewelry and wouldn’t recommend something that teeny for this; but I really wanted to fill in all the spacesĀ and not have “gaps” showing. .

But it was fun to do and I think that is one of the very best mixed media mosaic ideas I have found. (Of course, my bead and gem supply is tapped out now!)

I would strongly urge you to start with some kind of color transition piece too. Gradients are not only simple to do, but they look great too!

Remember what I said about getting and thinking outside the box, like I mean, the “box” does not even exist in this world.

About Jennifer

Hi all, I'm just a humble arts and crafts blogger who also enjoys aquariums, goofball comedies, and sushi. In addition to art I am also owned by 3 pampered cats.


  1. Kate Gartland says:

    I am not crafty. At all. But I was recently very seriously ill and when i “woke up” my world had changed. Friends and family had pulled together to make up for my absence… meals, love, security, time, prayers… all given freely for me and and my family and this has left me humbled and grateful beyond words. i experienced something very spiritual in this process (besides crying out to God to save me and He did) and visualized each deed done for me as a jewel from someone. I want to create some sort of permanent mosaic to honor this – but as I said, I am NOT crafty. i dont want something that weighs 700 pounds…that looks like it was done by a 5 year old. I dont even know where to start.
    I loved your work of the Mother Mary and the rainbow, too. I am also really into shells and sea glass….

  2. Thank you Kate for your kind words! I’m glad that you have been able to recover from what was no doubt a traumatic experience.

    I know how important it is to have a plan when it comes to art, but sometimes you just have to get into the flow. Don’t overthink it, sometimes I have started with one “plan” in mind and it turned into something else:)

    The rainbow piece didn’t take as long as my Virgin de Guadalupe. ; one reason being that it’s smaller, and another is that it was a simpler technique. I strongly suggest you start with gradients like that one. They are so much fun, and can be very therapeutic too.

    You could focus on warm tones (orange, yellow, red) or cool (green, blue, purple) and create a gradient mosaic very similar., using beads and faux gems (it might take a large quantity of them depending on how big the picture was)

    Let me know how it goes and feel free to get int ouch if you need additional ideas! Good luck to you!

Speak Your Mind