Flooring Options according to your needs.

Home Improvement is a time consuming task and it no longer includes just touching up the paint or buying new furniture. Home improvement now encompasses getting new kitchen cabinets along with fresh and durable counter tops, or getting a sturdy patio and vinyl edging along with designer windows. It needs to be done after considering all the important factors. The most astute aspect remains to be the requirements of the family living in the house. Home improvement considers the interior as well as the exterior of the place.

Flooring is one of the most essential attribute of the house as it is the foundation. Every piece of furniture one owns rests on the floor; hence it is crucial that the flooring be suitable to every possible need. Flooring has many options in terms of materials these days. Tile flooring includes a piece of ceramic or stone that is affixed to the floor with the help of grout. Tiling offers a glazed and strong base. It is very practical and easy on maintenance. Such Floor can be cleaned with water and any surfactant and remains fairly resistant to stains. Complete customization in terms of stone or ceramic and its shape/color can be achieved to a given degree. Tile Flooring in Chandler is hence a raging trend.

Few people wish to have a home closer to the nature and hence try to incorporate as many natural elements in their house as possible. Getting wood flooring is the best option in such cases as it gives the house a completely relaxed and cozy look. Plenty of variety is available in terms of color, texture and quality. Wood flooring in Gilbert is very popular. Here strips of natural wood are cut into narrow planks and whittled down to a given width and further treated. These planks are then fixed to the floor and then the flooring is complete. It is best if wooden flooring is done by a professional to avoid problems. Wood flooring give a warm and gentle feel to the house. They can be cleaned easily too. Only care to be taken in this case is to look out for termites as they can spoil the flooring.

Some people don’t prefer a toughened surface beneath their feet. Carpets are the perfect answer for such situation. A carpet provides a light and soft ambiance to the house. Carpet comes in different colors and textures and it can be mixed and matched with any given room. Carpets in Chandler are thus most preferred. These are the best option if the house is a host to kids and old people as it leaves no space for danger. Besides any stain can be washed off easily from the carpet and it only needs to be vacuumed.

It is better to get the flooring done from a professional team. Before finalizing a contract, make sure every detail is covered and your interests are protected. A good team will execute the visionary flooring within record time without going off the budget.

Categories: Home Improvement

Description Of Vacuum Forming Machine

It has a wide variety of uses, from creating plastic toys, to creating form-fitting packaging, to the making of prosthetics for the disabled. The process is widely used in many industries from automotives and robotics to cosmetics, athletic equipment and toy manufacturing.

The Machine:Vacuum forming machine come in many shapes and sizes. Some are big enough to fill a wall and create multiple parts, such as in the automotive industry. Others are no larger than an average table. In general, the machine works by heating a piece of thermoplastic until it becomes flexible and then pressing it onto a mold. A vacuum pump then pulls out all the air so the thermoplastic fits precisely to the mold.

Molding Methods:Creating a vacuum-formed fuselage is a cost effective way of producing aircraft fuselages suitable for any model-making activity, from remote-controlled airplane bodies to scale-model aircraft. Create your own DIY vacuum former from parts that can be purchased at any home improvement store. You can lower the costs of vacuum forming machine your fuselages by creating them in your own home using the DIY former, a vacuum cleaner and your oven.

The Materials:There are a variety of thermoplastics used for vacuum forming, depending on the finished product. Making a single-use tray for packing baked goods doesnt require much of the plastic: it merely has to retain its shape. However, making something more durable, such as a sign for a store, requires a harder plastic, one able to endure the elements. Materials may include polycarbonate (Lexan), polyethylene and polypropylene, all of which must be heated to the right temperature to become pliable enough to mold.

Three-Dimensional Objects:While containers, trays and helmets are all easily made using vacuum forming, some three-dimensional objects require more than a single piece. These three-dimensional objects require at least two sides that are then joined together. Such objects are hollow, making them lighter weight, but they can still be quite strong. Place the fuselage model centered onto the pegboard. You may form your own fuselage model by carving a piece of extruded or expanded polystyrene foam found at a home improvement store, or from model clay found at an art supply shop. Existing plastic fuselages can be plicated using vacuum forming machine as long as you have the permission of the opyright holder for the fuselage in question. Check heat tolerances of any material you’re using as a model, to be certain it can withstand temperatures of up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the forming temperature of the polystyrene sheet.

Finishing the ProductOnce the plastic cures, or hardens as it cools to a normal temperature, its removed from the mold. Air is pumped back in, separating the mold and the plastic, sometimes with the help of a spray on agent that keeps the two from sticking together. vacuum forming machine can create sharp details, so if the mold was shaped beforehand, there is no need for hand-shaping of the product. Also, because the color and texture of the finished product can be formed in, theres no need for painting. This reduces the costs of finishing the product, making vacuum forming machine economical.

Molds can be either male or female meaning that they either form the plastic around their shape, or the plastic is pressed into their shape by the vacuum. For instance, when a tray is made for a given product, a model of that product made of heat-resistant material would be placed in the vacuum forming machine. However, in making something like a football helmet, a female mold of the helmet could be made and the plastic pressed down inside it by formation of the vacuum.

Categories: Home Improvement

Develop Effective Modern Kitchen Management Skills

If you think that technology and management have entered only our industries and management institutes, you are wrong. These have entered our kitchen also in a big way to change life, especially for women. In fact, the modern kitchen has greatly helped in the empowerment of women.

The changeover from traditional firewood/kerosene to LPG, has revolutionised cleanliness and the environment, and the pressure cooker has helped housewives to reduce cooking time drastically. With the use of the refrigerator, mixer-grinder, microwave oven, electric chimney, etc, the kitchen has totally changed – and so has the way we used to cook and preserve food in the kitchen.

The design and layout are to be taken care of by the architect or the civil engineer while constructing the kitchen. But other things are to be taken care of by the person operating the kitchen. A safe kitchen is one of the first steps in protecting yourself and your family from food-borne illness and the potential dangers of harmful bacteria as well as protecting the person working in the kitchen from LPG leakage and subsequent explosion.

The most common problem in food safety is the attack from bacteria and contamination due to lack of proper cleanliness. To avoid this:

Wash hands often.

Keep raw meat and ready-to-eat foods separate.

Cook food at proper temperature.

Refrigerate food promptly to below 4C.

Hands should be washed in warm, soapy water before preparing foods, especially after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood. Never forget to wash your hands after switching tasks, such as handling raw meat and then cutting vegetables. Also, it is important to wash hands after taking out garbage, sneezing or petting your dog or cat, etc.

Other precautions

– Always use two cutting boards: one strictly to cut raw meat, poultry and seafood; another for ready-to-eat foods like breads, fruits an vegetables.
– After each use, wash cutting boards thoroughly in hot soapy water.
– Discard cutting boards that are worn out with cracks, crevices and excessive knife scars.
– Wash plates between uses or use separate plates: one plate for holding raw meat, poultry and seafood; another for cooked roods.
– Place raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so that the juices don’t drip onto other foods.
– Place washed produce in clean storage containers; not back into the original ones.
– Use two separate clean towels/cloths: one to dry off the kitchen surfaces and another one to dry your hands.
– Use one spoon or laddle to taste food and another to stir and mix food.
– Make sure that you use clean scissors or blades to open bags of food.
– Wear latex gloves if you have a cut or sore on your hand.

Sponges are safe only when cleaned properly. Bacteria live and grow in damp conditions. Wash dishcloth, sponges and towels often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Disinfect sponges in chlorine bleach solution. Replace worn-out sponges frequently.

In the cupboard

Clean and cool, dark and dry, are how you should describe your cupboards. Storing non-refrigerated foods in the cupboard between 50F and 70F is the smartest way to keep the bugs away.

Keeping canned foods on hand is smart and practical, but make sure that your stock is rotated. Remember the FIFO method – first in, first out. That means older cans should be up in front so that they are used first. The safest place for a can that is leaking, bulging or cracked, is in the garbage!

Once you have opened a package, make sure that the leftovers are stored in containers that are dry and airtight. This keeps insects out and the flavour in.

Store food safely. Keep chemicals and cleaning agents away from food.

Inside the refrigerator

If there is more mould on your bread than in a pound of blue cheese, or you suddenly notice the remains of last month’s pot roast at the back of your refrigerator, it’s time to get organised. Step one is to keep your refrigerator cold. Most people have no idea what the actual temperature in their refrigerator is.

Since harmful bacteria thrive in warmer temperature, it’s best to keep your refrigerator temperature below 4C. Spending a few dollars on an inexpensive thermometer is a worthwhile investment. Place it in the centre of the middle shelf for an accurate reading.

The internal temperature of your refrigerator is based on many variables – for example, the amount of food in storage, the frequency of opening the refrigerator door, and the temperature of your kitchen. The best way to monitor the inside cooling temperature of your refrigerator is with a refrigerator thermometer.

Keep raw meat containers on the lowest shelf. This helps to keep any juice from dripping onto other foods. If your refrigerator is overloaded, take the time to get rid of the unnecessary items. Cold air should circulate.

Any fridge can benefit from a thorough wipe-down. Get rid of any splatters. Once any food has passed its prime, get rid of it. Get into the habit of dating your leftovers and get rid of anything that has been stored for more than four days.

Food should not be out of refrigeration for more than two hours. Because, if it is exposed to temperature above 4C, harmful bacteria will multiply rapidly. In hot weather (above 32C), the time is reduced to one hour.

If you are not sure that an item is safe to eat, trust your instinct and discard it. Don’t taste it! If there is any sign of mould, that’s another strong reason to dispense with it.

In the freezer

The FIFO method works in the freezer, too. Make sure that your foods are rotated so that you use older items first. An organised freezer makes it easier to find things, too.

Always be prepared

You never know when you will need a little extra on hand. So, stock a supply of non-perishable foods for unexpected needs. Canned fruits, soups and vegetables, peanut butter and nuts are simple staples. Make sure that your emergency stash gets a review every now and then.

Drinking water

Drinking water is the major cause of disease. Full care should be taken. Water for drinking should be boiled as boiling kills all the bacteria and virus. Instead of boiling, ultraviolet water filter can also be used for purifying drinking water in the kitchen.

To ensure safety from LPG leakage:

Use ISI-mark LPG tubes.

Always keep the cylinder in a vertical position.

Regularly check for cracks in the LPG rubber tube.

Keep the kitchen airy with cross-ventilation.

Place the gas stove on a raised platform because LPG is heavier than air and tends to settle on the base.

Do not operate a stove near or facing a window.

Switch off the regulator when cooking gas is not in use, especially at night.

Do not repair the gas stove or cylinder yourself. Whenever required, call the expert from the gas agency.

When it leaks…

Do not operate any electrical switch if you smell LPG leakage.

Never use a lighted lamp to locate the leak. Use soap water solution.

Open all doors and windows.

Call your LPG distributor or Emergency Service Cell.

Close regulator and burner knob.

How to make your kitchen fuel-efficient:

– Organise your cooking. Keep all ingredients ready for cooking. This will help you cook without delay and thus save gas.
– If you have to stop cooking for a short while, shut off the gas.
– Use a pressure cooker to save gas and reduce cooking time.
– Use the small burner. A large burner consumes 15% more gas.
– Always use flat and shallow vessels.
– Cover the vessel while cooking
– Use the required quantity of water while cooking. Surplus water requires more heating and, therefore more gas.
– Bring out frozen materials well in advance to reach room temperature before cooking.
– If the flame is blue, everything is fine. If the outlet holes are blocked and the flame is yellow, clean the burner or get your stove checked by a mechanic.

With the increase of solid waste generated in the kitchen, it becomes a major source of pollution. Solid waste disposal is also becoming a part of kitchen management. Try kitchen manager (the olden days title of ‘cook’ is obsolete for the new housewife) has to take care of solid waste disposal also. For this, the waste generated in the kitchen should be segregated in the kitchen itself into the biodegradable and the non-degradable. The non-degradable should be put in a separate bin. The biodegradable part may be used to produce bio-fertiliser/organic fertiliser in a pit for the kitchen garden. If the facility does not exist, the biodegradable part may be separately handed over to the garbage collector who will use the same for vermiculture to produce organic manure. With water becoming a scarce commodity in the cities, the kitchen manager should also take care to recycle the waste water generated in the kitchen to be used in the kitchen garden, flower beds, etc.

SALIENT FEATURES OF MODERN KITCHEN MANAGEMENT

Scientific design and layout of the kitchen for light, cross-ventilation etc.

Better arrangement of kitchen appliances like gas stove, fridge, water filter, racks, cabinet etc.

Good housekeeping.

Cleanliness and hygiene.

Safety (food safety and personal safety).

Preparation of food without destroying its nutritious values.

Preservation of vegetables and cooked food.

Good cooking habits and conservation of fuel.

Proper disposal of solid waste generated in the kitchen.

Recycling the waste water from the kitchen in the kitchen garden.

Categories: Home Improvement

Garden Stepping Stones – The DIY Concrete Mold Way

How often have you disapproved of somebody as they stroll on your perfectly laid greenery enclosure grass? Yet, is it truly their shortcoming or do you require garden venturing stones so that your children and any other individual strolling through your patio nursery can make the most of its excellence without ruining it. Garden venturing stones can be an extraordinary approach to safeguard your greenery enclosure grass alongside adding a touch of class to your greenhouse also.

In any case, getting garden pavers from the business sector can be a costly business. You may wind up spending a considerable measure for a couple stones and getting them settled too will cost a great deal. Particularly if the reach you purchased are ended. You may likewise have an extreme time additionally finding the right sort of stones that may suit your greenhouse or way of life.

There however is a simple way out. Simply make your own patio nursery solid items at home. Yes, don’t be frightened. It is an extraordinary approach to get your sort of solid items without spending much. Making your own venturing stones can be an incredible leisure activity and you can even get your children included and have an extraordinary time with them. Your molds will be utilized to shape the stone as indicated by your style and outline at the top of the priority list. Furthermore, you can create as much as you prefer and at the same time realizing that you can simply promotion to your current clearing or venturing stone ranges. Likewise your stone or clearing reach will never be stopped, as you possess the clearing shape or venturing stone solid molds.

There are different assortments of molds for cement accessible in the business sector and they change extraordinarily in shapes, sizes, material utilized etc. Diverse examples to suit everybody’s taste are accessible in the business sector and new plans are made by the day. You are certain to locate the kind you are searching for. Whether it’s a leaf outline, a fish example, some elegant example, rock design, sun, moon or stars or anything that your creative energy may have is accessible in cement venturing stone molds.

The two sorts for the most part utilized are Polyurethane and Plastic. Favorable circumstances of Polyurethane Molds are that it gives greatly high detail in your solid mold item and are of the hardest material around. You can utilize Polyurethane Rubber cement venturing stone shape an incredible number of times throughout the years and is awesome worth for cash. It’s a sound venture. Plastic then again my be the less expensive alternative for the time being however will cost you over the long haul as it falls apart quickly with age, taking care of and presentation to the components. Making you possess garden venturing stones with Polyurethane Rubber Stepping Stone Molds is by a long shot a superior choice as to purchasing costly venturing stones from the business sector which may stop whenever.

So simply ahead and purchase yourself some Polyurethane Rubber solid molds. You will perceive the amount you can try different things with the different stone molds plans and will discover making your own solid stones and clearing adds extraordinarily to your feeling of achievement in the way you make you decorate your pathways and patio nursery.

Do It Yourself-Repair Sliding Glass Door Rollers

Is your old patio door becoming more and more difficult to open? Does it take a lot of effort to pull open? Does it no longer slide like it used to? If so, it could be time for the rollers on the door to be changed.
Eventually every sliding glass, or patio, door will need help. They get harder and harder to open and close over time and the most common problem is that the rollers they slide on simply wear out.
Sliding Glass Doors are ideal for allowing sunlight to enter and keeping intruders out. If you find that sliding your glass door open is difficult or that the door makes a screeching noise when sliding, there’s no need to replace the door.
Most aluminium sliding glass doors use single-assembly rollers. Most are steel, although some use nylon.
There’s not even any need to call a repair guy. Follow the simple steps outlined below and learn how to quickly and easily repair your sliding glass door rollers.
The most obvious first effort should be to clean the track out – remove any debris, small rocks or gravel, etc. Vacuum the track thoroughly and see if there is any improvement – this is sometimes all it takes and is quick and easy to do.
Step 1- Take the door off
Step 2- Remove the wheels
Step 3- Clean the parts
Step 4- Install the new wheels
Step 5- Put the door back on
Tips & Warnings
Replace both rollers at once, even if one of them is in better condition. Using one old roller with one new one makes the new roller wear out faster because it must compensate for the lower performance of the old roller.
Adjusting the rollers for a snug fit improves home security by preventing would-be burglars from lifting the door off of its frame to gain entry to your home.
Always take the roller with you to the hardware store to avoid purchasing the wrong piece. If your door has a top and bottom roller, purchase two new rollers.
Always have a friend help you lift the door(s).
Highly recommend getting a helping hand in order to lift the door out, and avoid injuring yourself!
Sliding Glass Door Repair is relatively easy to do yourself and much cheaper. Siding is to your home as the appropriate jacket is to your body. A really essential element in patio would be the outdoor patio door. Also, sliding patio door s requires significantly less space when kept wide open. Having a patio is the perfect way to bring some outdoor elements closer to your home. When it comes to patios, sliding doors are a popular choice for providing access.

Categories: Home Improvement

Winterizing Your Pool

When the cold breeze starts to blow in and summer time comes to a halt you’re forced to say goodbye to poolside leisure and fun. Unless you’re brave enough to take a plunge in the cold water then it will remain a distant memory until the warm weather decides to return.

When the warm weather returns and it’s finally time to jump back in, will your swimming pool be ready? There are important steps to take during the winter months to ensure your swimming pool is safe and ready for the summer time air.

Location matters the most when considering how you’ll tackle your pools winter maintenance. If you live in the north odds are you’ve already winterized your pool already but if you haven’t there are a few things to keep in mind. Draining and covering your pool and adding antifreeze to your pipes can save your pools life. If you’re someone who lives in an area where winter only occurs for a short period then there’s not much you have to do. Most pools are installed with freeze-fighting equipment that can handle short time winter months.

Down here in the south true winterization isn’t completely necessary, says Dominick Pizzuto, owner of On Time Pool Company. “We install a two-speed pump that allows for chlorination and filtration year-round, as well as a freeze protector in all of our pools.”

Chlorinating your pool year round really isn’t that much work. In the winter your chemical usage will be a fraction, up to 1/3rd, than you would use during swimming season. It is still best to clean your pool thoroughly, shock and clarify your pool before closing up shop for the winter. If you decide to cover your pool then you can limit the chemical usage even more! By investing in a safety mesh cover you won’t have to drain your pool to prevent the water level from rising. This ensures that leaves and people stay clear of chilly water. If you want the best protection for your pool a LOOP_LOC Model is highly suggested. These can withstand an elephant’s weight so all children, pets and clumsy adults will all be safe and accident free.

In warm environments you’ll be able to install freeze protectors. The freeze protectors act to shift the pump into the highest gear when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. The max speed allows for an optimum flow during freezing temperatures and prevents any damage to the pools pipes and plumbing.

If you aren’t sure about the process involved to ensure your pool is preserved this winter call your san antonio pools and accessories company. With the proper tools, winter maintenance will be a breeze. Discuss winterization with your local pool company on what steps a pool owner might take to prepare for the winter months in your area. Freeze damage is the last thing you’ll want to take care of when it’s below freezing outside.

Categories: Home Improvement

What To Do When Your AC Freezes

If youve ever returned home on a summer day to a hot, sticky, stifling situation, you know theres nothing cool about a frozen air conditioner unit. The concept behind a frozen AC unit continues to perplex homeowners. How can something freeze when its nearly 100 degrees outside? There are simple explanations (and fixes) for your frozen AC unit.

First, why did your air conditioner freeze up?

More often than not, a dirty air filter is the reason your home is giving the sauna at your gym a run for its money. When you forget to check and replace your filters every month, they can become clogged. Clogged, dirty filters restrict the airflow to your intake. Without enough air moving through the unit, it can freeze. Restricted airflow also leaves the dust and allergens (that a clean filter would remove) in your homes air.

Another common reason for a frozen unit is being low on coolant (commonly referred to by the brand name Freon). This could be due to a coolant leak or mean your system is simply due to be recharged.

How to Fix Your Frozen AC Unit
Thawing out your AC only requires three easy steps.

First, head to your thermostat and switch it from COOL to OFF.

Next switch your fan from AUTO to ON. This will start defrosting the evaporator coil (sometimes called the A-coil), found inside your home. You should give your unit a few hours to fully defrost. Might we suggest an impromptu trip to the movies or an ice cream outing?

Defrosting means dripping water. Before you leave, make sure your condensate pan is in good shape and draining properly. This is important to avoid costly water damage repairs. For easy condensate pan maintenance, purchase cleaning tablets at any local home improvement store. Simply dropping one or two into the pan will eliminate any odors while preventing buildup that could lead to overflows.

After giving your A-coil plenty of time to defrost, switch your thermostat back from OFF to COOL. If delightfully cool air is once again flowing from the vents, youve properly thawed your air conditioner.

If you have to consistently thaw your air conditioning unit, it may be time to call in the professionals. Air conditioning maintenance is an important part of being a homeowner. Most HVAC companies offer inexpensive tune-up packages to check for leaks, clean coils and inspect your connections. Picking up the phone for a simple tune-up could save you the trouble of paying for AC repair or replacement in the future.

Categories: Home Improvement

Give Your Home A Fresh Look With Wall Mural Images

In the event that you need to redesign the general appearance of your home inside, brightening your dividers with painting pictures is an extraordinary thought. By profiting divider paintings establishment administrations in Canada, you can take your obsolete, antiquated home back to life. There are numerous organizations in each town and city that offer divider wall paintings establishment administrations. Have found any such organization? If not, search online for a simple access to every that is situated in your city.

What happens when your divider hues dismiss to blur because of unnecessary dampness, soddenness and cruel climate conditions? It absolutely ruins the general appearance of your space. Be that as it may, there are numerous approaches to breath life into your blurred dividers back. You can shading them with energetic divider paint, attach eye-getting divider papers or introduce in vogue divider wall paintings, contingent upon your assessed spending plan and home style. Yet, don’t give value a chance to be the main component to change your enthusiasm starting with one then onto the next. Rather, consider what has a more prominent visual effect whether paint, divider papers or divider wall paintings. There is most likely, it’s divider paintings. Utilizing wonderful divider paintings is one of a few approaches to expand the visual request of your home.

There are numerous approaches to change your home’s insides. One of the fastest routes is to get prepasted wallpaper paintings. They are accessible in various shading choices, examples, outlines and styles to suit each space. They additionally come printed with various pictures, characters and subjects. Intended to flawlessness utilizing best in class printing strategies, they include an abundantly pined for touch of uniqueness and style to the home insides. Additionally, they give your home a crisp, in vogue look.

The way you brighten your home has a significant visual effect on guests. It likewise portrays your taste, style and expectation for everyday comforts in the most ideal way. Flooring, furniture, roof and lighting, all have influence in inside embellishment. Be that as it may, you have done well with every one of these things, you can’t accomplish the coveted look in the event that you neglect to work with your dividers. In the event that you need to keep pace with the common patterns, purchase divider wall painting pictures on the web. In nowadays, divider wall paintings are to a great degree prevalent among property holders. Much the same as your taste and decision might shift, divider paintings additionally come in different plans, styles, examples and hues. You can pick the best that matches your home style. Likewise, don’t bargain with the quality. They include durable sparkle, dampness resistance, alluring hues, in vogue claim and one of a kind outlines.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art Make Mosaics With Stained Glass Patterns

Looking for something new in your mosaic art? Heres a fresh idea. Make mosaics using large stained-glass pieces as if making a stained-glass window, instead of using small pieces cut to the stale, standard shapes of squares, rectangles, and triangles. After following that traditional practice for so long, I grew bored with it and wanted something different. I removed my mosaic-artist hat and donned my stained-glass-artist hat for a nice change of pace. After making a few stained-glass hangings, it dawned on me. Why not combine mosaic art with stained-glass art? My first piece turned out beautifully, better than expected, and I havent looked back since. Lets discover how you, too, can make these wonderful mosaics.

The first critical thing I learned when making mosaics from stained-glass patterns is to cut the base material to the exact size of a standard ready-made open-back frame. This avoids having to pay five times the price for a custom frame. I wait for my favorite hobby store to put their ready-made open-back frames on sale for half price so I usually pay about $25 for an attractive frame, including the installation, paper backing, and hanging hardware. My favorite size is 18-inches by 24-inches. My preferred choice of base material is plain 1/8-inch hardboard, which you can get at your favorite home improvement store. I usually get the sheets pre-cut to 2-feet by 4-feet for about $5. So, for a measly five bucks, I have enough base material for two mosaics, which is good if youre a starving artist on a tight budget. Its important to know that 1/4-inch is about as thick as you can go in terms of the piece fitting properly into a ready-made open-back frame. The base material is 1/8-inch thick and the stained glass is about 1/8-inch thick, which makes the finished piece about 1/4-inch thick.

Measure and then carefully and safely cut the hardboard to the exact size of the open-back frame you plan to use. Lets assume you like the 18-inch by 24-inch size. A table saw enables you to make more accurate cuts than trying to guide a circular saw by hand. If a circular saw is all you have, then it can be done, just take your time and dont rush the cut. Heres a tip. I found a refurbished Skil table saw online that cost only $80 including shipping. When it arrived, it looked and functioned like brand new. I got a fantastic $250 saw for only $80. The key is to search online for a refurbished unit instead of brand new. After measuring and marking the hardboard (measure twice and be accurate), ensure you align the saw blade to cut on your cut-line so the resulting piece is exactly 18-inches by 24-inches. In other words, dont cut directly on the line because the resulting piece will be something like 17.8-inches by 23.8 inches, which may be too small to fit properly in the frame. Every ready-made frame labeled as 18-inches by 24-inches that Ive bought has been within a hair of 18-inches by 24-inches. Theres not much room for error when cutting the base material, so measure twice and align the blade properly on the cut line. If the resulting base material is within a hair of 18-inches by 24-inches, itll fit nicely into the ready-made open-back frame.

When your base material is cut to the perfect size, paint it white. I use bright white ceiling paint primarily because its a lot cheaper than standard wall paint. I usually use two coats so the dark-brown hardboard is bright white. The whiter the base material, the brighter the glass will look when you adhere it to the board. If you dont paint the base material white, the glass will look dull and dreary against the dark-brown board.

Now that your base material is ready, simply transfer your stained-glass design to the board. If you have no drawing skills, find a lovely stained-glass pattern online or at your favorite hobby store and transfer the pattern to the base material. You can find transfer paper at your favorite hobby store for less than $2 a sheet thats big enough to cover the 18-inch by 24-inch base material. The good thing about transfer paper is that you can use it several times before its no good. Ive eked out as many as nine transfers (i.e., nine mosaics and stained-glass works) before the paper no longer transferred the tracing well enough for me to see the lines clearly.

Measure and cut (and grind the edges if you have a grinder) the stained-glass pieces as if you were creating a stained-glass window. I always use highly translucent or opaque glass colors to ensure you cant see through it to see the glue when adhered to the base material. For your mosaic, instead of joining the pieces using lead came or copper foil and solder as you would with a stained-glass work, you simply glue the pieces in place over the pattern on your base material using plain white PVA glue (e.g., Elmers Glue All or Weldbond), leaving about 1/16-inch spacing between pieces. The spacing can vary up to 1/8-inch, but I wouldnt go any wider than 1/8-inch spacing because I believe the wider spacing looks amateurish compared to narrow spacing.

When all the pieces are glued in-place and the glue has dried for at least 48 hours, fill the spaces with your favorite grout color, just as you would if the mosaic were done with the standard small pieces of square or triangular shapes. I mostly use medium-gray grout, but my latest preference is charcoal (black) grout. The more mosaics I do with black grout, the more I like it. Grout color can make or break the final look of your mosaic, so if youre in doubt about what grout color to use, your best bet is to use medium-gray.

When the grout has dried overnight, take the mosaic to your favorite hobby store when theyre having a sale on ready-made open-back frames. My favorite store has a 50% sale every other week, so if its an off week, I simply wait a week. Pick several frame styles and colors, and place them over your mosaic, one at a time. Dont settle for the first frame you find. Ask the clerk which frame he thinks looks best with your mosaic. See which frame helps highlight the colors in your mosaic. I often ask other customers in the immediate area what they think, and theyre always eager to give their opinion. Once you have the perfect frame, the clerk will install your mosaic, apply the paper backing, and install the hanging hardware and wire.

Now you have a beautiful mosaic to hang on your wall or give as a present. The neat thing about it is that its usual, not the same boring mosaic style weve seen for centuries. Its basically a stained-glass window installed in a frame with grout in the spaces instead of solder. You wont see that too often. Well, not until all the mosaic artists in the world read this article and switch to this technique!

Categories: Home Improvement