We are always on the lookout for something to mosaic, so when we saw a cute garden snail in the seasonal section at the drugstore, we bought it! And we got busy mosaic-ing (is that a word?) the shell.
Here’s our fabulous “before” picture. Our garden snail was only $3.49!
Here’s the whole project, including a video tutorial. You may not find exactly the same snail we found (he was at Rite-Aid), but you could look for any ceramic snail or a turtle.
Video How-to: Garden Mosaic Snail
How To Make A Garden Mosaic Snail
Ceramic garden snail
Mini mosaic tiles, 3/8”
Powdered grout, white
Clear silicone adhesive
Mosaic grout sealer
Disposable container (to mix grout in)
Bucket (to rinse sponges in)
Steps To Make A Garden Mosaic Snail
1. Step one: Get a ceramic garden snail. We got ours at the drugstore in the seasonal area. You could also look for a turtle and mosaic the shell. We’ve seen very nice garden mosaics on concrete mushrooms. Super cute!
2. To make the mosaic, figure out where you want the tiles and glue each one down. For the shell of the garden snail, we started with the spiral. Then filled in with other tiles to mosiac one side of the shell. We tried to keep the tiles pretty close together, about 1/8 of an inch or less.
To glue a tile, place a dot of silicone adhesive on the back of the tile. Press the tile into place. Continue gluing each tile down. If a little glue squeezes out from under the tiles, don’t fret. The grout will cover it up. Once you have all the tile placed on one side, let the glue dry for about 30 minutes. Then mosaic the other side. And let dry again for about 10 minutes.
3. When you are ready to grout your mosaic, put on your protective gloves. Place 1 tablespoon of water in the disposable mixing cup. Dry the measuring spoon and scoop 3 tablespoons of the powdered grout into the cup with the water. (Check your grout package for the proper ratio of water to grout.) Use the putty knife to blend the water and grout together. The grout needs to be the texture of natural peanut butter. If it is dry and crumbly, add a little more water. If it is runny, add a little more grout.
4. Now you can grout your mosaic. the grout stays workable for about 15 minutes. Smear a dollop of grout onto the mosaic. Smear it around with the putty knife or your gloved finger. Make sure the grout is between every tile. Push some up under the egdes of the tiles where the shell ends to make a border.
5. Use your gloved finger to wipe any excess grout off the tiles. Then repeat the process with a damp sponge. The grout will still be wet, so be careful to wipe only the tops of the tiles and not to remove grout from between the tiles. Use a clean wet paper towel to wipe any grout off the snail body and head.
6. After about 15 or 20 minutes the grout will start setting up and a haze will form on top of the tiles. Buff the haze off the tiles with a clean damp sponge or paper towel.
7. After 24 hours, your garden mosaic will be set up and ready for sealer. Paint the mosaic with the sealer using the foam paintbrush.
What do you think of our garden mosaic snail? We think it turned out super cute! Let us know what you find to mosaic. We’d love to hear form you!
Jennifer & Kitty
Love the snail. I do stained glass and want to have a mermaids tail in my new bathroom. I am working on the sketch now and the the transitional piece from my bedroom into the bathroom. Super excited about this project….
Jennifer & Kitty says
That sounds so fun!!
Cute, what brand adhesive did you use? Does it matter? Would Welbond glue work?Also how big is that snail, it’s really cute.
Jennifer & Kitty says
Hi Nancy! We used Clear Silicone Adhesive like this: https://amzn.to/3sZ2l0d
It helps to use a very thick, viscous adhesive or it will run as you are working because the surfaces are not flat. The snail is about 6 or 7 inches front to back.
Hope that helps!