Mixed Media Mosaic Ideas: How to “Artify” Your Outdoor Space


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 what I have in store here.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”:) Then include it as a element in your backyard patio or garden. Can you picture stepping stones, clay pots, and patio tabletops done like this? I can. So let’s dive into this one…

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mixed media mosaic ideas

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.

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 🙂 A mixed media mosaic certainly fits that definition. 

Regardless of what you’re combining  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 The left image looks to be on a flat substrate (could be masonite or wood, I’m not sure) But the right image, clearly a traditional terra cotta pot. So you can make this work with three as well as one dimensional surfaces. too.

mixed media mosaic art   mixed media mosaic ideas

Also 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”?

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

Mixed 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.

Going for a Theme or Message

Garden-themed messages, you could include your name to personalize it, and words than are an embodiment of life “out here”.  Another good strategy is to spell out words (e.g. use of alphabet beads or tiles) to make it clear to others what your message is about.

And you can’t go wrong with a single letter or initial, as sen here….I think the addition of the polished silver bling meshes well with the glass tiles …


img credit: Image by DeandrasCrafts

Combine Mosaic Design with a Classic Medium

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!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!)

mixed media mosaic art


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.(more on that shortly…) Here’s another piece of mine that used 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.

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!

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?) You could use materials that are readily obtained like small glass and ceramic tiles, cabochons, flatbed gems, along with reuse items (think seashells, eggshell fragments, if you’re careful, old CDs broken into pieces) Of course, be sure they are weather-proof…some things will NOT hold up long term outdoors.

Genuine mosaic glass pieces are great to use too, like these… don’t forget to return to the classics every now and then, when planning out the objects in question.

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As I have mentioned in my previous mosaic post you can use similar backdrops like plaster, masonite, clay, and wood. I think wood and masonite are the best choices as they will support the objects best being firm and supportive,and with clay you can just push the objects in and they should hold on their own.

==Just be sure you use the kind of clay that can hold up outdoors. Not all of them do.

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 my 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 spaces 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 and ombre effects 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.

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Post Updated: 2/24/24

4 thoughts on “Mixed Media Mosaic Ideas: How to “Artify” Your Outdoor Space”

  1. Kate Gartland

    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!

  3. Robert Sparacin

    I am working on a test turtle tile for a wildlife preserve. The panel will be outdoors in Alabama USA. I will adhere it to concrete backer board ( NOT Hardiboard which has cellulose in it). I will use cut up glass pool tile for larger pieces. Seed and tube beads between in grout lines adhered with Soft Acrylic Gel mediun (Golden brand) I also intend to use gold and colored beading wire and copper wire, 12-24 gauge to create desligning champleve walls. I do have a rolling mill to flatten and texture the copper wire, but think it might be best to submerge all wires in the clear gloss Soft Acrylic soft gel to avoid tarnishing or falling out.. I am a bit worried about differences in coefficients of expansion between glass tiles, versaobond substrate, and metal wire. With heat and cold, will they crack the acrylic o the r versabond subase? Acrylic is used for outdoors murals on cement and brick walls and is archival. I will have to make experiments.. Perhaps only small pieces of wire cut into short lengths, or metallic tube tiles would be safer? Long wires would expand as a unit and create high pressure at their ends and at the bends.. perhaps? I was also thinking of using acrylic colors on the base of acrylic soft gel to make the whole thing, using acrylic colored paint as well, which would filter through the glass mosaics adhered above .. kind of an acrylic and glass painting mixed median? What do you think?


  4. Sounds like you’ve got an interesting project in the making! I’d love to see a photo of the work in progress so I could better gauge what materials are compatible 🙂

    From what I’ve read about Golden soft acrylic gel (apologies as I have not tried it) a lot of people enjoy using it for collages; it seems like a more professional version of Mod Podge. It works great in building up textures and creating dimension with art projects; one downside is that it doesn’t permanently stick to glass without a protective outer finishing material.

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