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Tutorial: Sun Mosaic Wall Art

I love making wall art pieces – they are so fun to make, and they let you look at your art all the time when you display them! This sun mosaic wall art was made for the Buttons Galore booth at Creativation, but now has a permanent home in my home for me to enjoy.

[Disclaimer: My company, Nally Studios, is the social media & blog manager for Buttons Galore. I am also part of blogger programs for Cricut and Plaid, who provided some product used in this article. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking.]

Sun Mosaic Wall ARt

Supplies:

This project is somewhat time consuming, but none of the techniques are especially difficult. The most challenging part is doing the cutting with the jigsaw, but if you aren’t too intimidated by power tools and take your time, that is very manageable.

To start my sun, I needed to make a pattern to cut my wood with. I found a sun cut file in my Cricut Design Space software, and sized it to 17″ across. This is too large to cut out on the Cricut, of course, so I use the rectangle basic shape tool to cut the design into quarters. Then I cut each quarter of the design out, and taped them back together to make my pattern!

Once the pattern was assembled, I taped it in place on my plywood and drew around it with a pencil. I removed the template and set it aside to use again.

sun template

To cut the sun out, I worked from the points down towards the center of the sun for each cut. Then I used the jigsaw to round off the tip of each ray.

Cutting Out Wall Art Background

After all of the cutting was done I was left with a rough sun shape. I cleaned up the edges and smoothed out the shape by sanding it with various grits of sandpaper until I got it to the shape that I wanted and it was smooth.

Wood Sun Cut Out

I wanted to seal and cover up the bare wood despite the fact that it would mostly be covered by the button mosaic, so before I started putting buttons down I painted the surface and the sides with Plaid chalk pain in a nice mustard color. This way, if any of the surface shows through (and all of it will on the sides), it will be a color that coordinates with the design and it won’t look unfinished.

The next step was to draw pencil lines approximately down the center of each of the rays. Before I started putting down the buttons, I sorted the “Mango Madness” buttons to remove the darkest orange ones. Then, using these dark colored buttons, I started gluing buttons along the lines I had drawn, stopping where the rays met the center area of the sun.

Mosaic Sun Construction

Once I did the lines on the rays with the dark buttons, then I started on filling in around them with the lighter buttons from the Mango Madness color blend.

Mosaic Sun Construction

For some of the smaller areas near the points of the sun’s rays, I used flat back pearls from the Candy Corn embellishment bottle instead of buttons. When I was done filling in the rays with buttons I was left with this:

Mosaic Sun Construction

The next step was to use more of the dark orange buttons to create a small circle in the middle of the sun. After that was done, I began filling in around it with the rest of the mango buttons. I worked one small area at a time so that my buttons wouldn’t get pushed and moved too much while the glue was drying.

Mosaic Sun center construction

To make it look more finished, I added beads and sequins to my sun mosaic. I sorted the seed beads from the candy cane embellishment bottles by color before I started. Next I started putting dots of glue into the small open areas between buttons, and pushing beads into it as filler. The orange beads went into any opening that touched a dark orange button, and the lighter seed beads went into other openings.A few openings between buttons were big enough for flat back pearls so I used those.

I also added beads to fill in along the edges of the rays in the gaps between the buttons. I used my fingers to mold the beads into shape along the edge after pushing them into a bed of glue to hold them.

Button Mosaic Sun

I thought my sun needed a little more sparkle, so for a finishing touch I added some of the dark orange sequins on top of the darker buttons using Glossy Accents.

To hang this on the wall, I plan to use Command Hook picture hangers, which will remove any need for me to attach a hanger to the back of my wall art piece.

This same technique of creating a pattern and cutting it out with your jigsaw to create a button mosaic base could be applied to any shape that you can make with your Cricut…what shape would you like to make?

Provo Craft Transfer Tape

Reported by Jessica Ripley

Every so often I run across something in a craft store that I didn’t realize I needed until I saw it. For quite awhile now, I had a supply of Provo Craft Adhesive Vinyl just waiting to be played with, but I was a little intimidated about using it. Though it came with adhesive already on the back, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about applying it to a project in the best way. Then, while perusing new vinyl colors I happened across something I hadn’t noticed before, Provo Craft’s Vinyl Transfer Tape. After a short “Ah-ha!” moment I left the store with my new find in hand.

I am so glad I did. After using it with the adhesive vinyl I’m not sure the two should ever not be used together. The instructions that come with the adhesive vinyl in fact recommend it, and there is a “For Best Results” disclaimer about using the transfer tape on the vinyl packaging, I just hadn’t noticed.

The following is my experience with using it for a wall project that I’ve long been wanting to tackle.

Step one is to simply cut the vinyl using a Cricut machine. Though I’m not reviewing the vinyl in particular I have to mention that it is very easy to work with. It comes in 12″x 24″ sheets, in an array of eye-pleasing colors that will go with just about any home decor.

Once my design was cut, I set about using the transfer tape. Like the vinyl, the transfer tape comes in 12″x 24″sheets. There are 4 sheets to a package, and they are easily trimmed using a regular paper trimmer or scissors to fit your project.

Each sheet has a grid style backing which I thought would be very helpful, until I discovered that the part of the tape you actually use doesn’t have these grid lines. I found that a little odd. I wished that the helpful grid was actually on the tape itself so I could utilize it when laying out my design. Instead the instructions say “For best results use a ruler to make sure image is straight.”

I also found it difficult to use in large pieces. When it is peeled away from its backing, it tends to curl in on itself and become stuck. Due to this I trimmed it down to a more manageable size and that worked fine, but if you wished to create one large design at once (like they show in the example photo at Provo Craft’s Website here) it might be a little tricky.


Here’s an example of how it curls in a bit, even on a smaller piece.


That aside however, the tape worked wonderfully at allowing me to arrange my vinyl pieces. If a letter was a little crooked, I could easily peel and place it again until it was just right. Without the tape, I probably would have gone through a few ruined letters by having to remove them from the wall and start again.


Once the vinyl letters were applied, the backing to their adhesive is removed. And then the design can be placed on your project (in my case a wall in our hallway).

Using the tape made it easy to move my design around until it was the way I wanted it. The sticky side doesn’t lose any adhesive as it’s being moved around, and there is no worry about damage to the paint either. It is a very gentle adhesive when stuck to a hard smooth surface like a wall or glass (but it would not work on paper, it would stay stuck!).


Once the design is finalized, you must burnish the letters onto the wall with something like a rub-on tool (one actually comes with the package of vinyl). And then the tape peels very easily away to reveal the finished project. I had no issues with the letters staying stuck to the tape instead of the wall.


The completed design:


When all was said and done I was so happy I ran across Provo Craft’s Transfer Tape in the Cricut aisle at the craft store. Could you use the adhesive vinyl without it? Well, yes, but I would highly recommend using the two together. At a MSRP of around $10.00 for 4 sheets, it’s a wise purchase in order to use the vinyl you have in the best possible way.

Pros:

  • Facilitates using adhesive vinyl in your design placement, there is less of a chance of ruining a letter and having to cut it again.
  • Doesn’t harm the project it is applied to, adhesive is just strong enough but easily removed.
  • Stays tacky after use, could probably be reused at least once, stretching your dollar even further.

Cons:

  • Large pieces can be difficult to work with. If it gets stuck to itself, it’s almost impossible to un-stick without needing a new piece.
  • I wish the grid-lines were on the actual tape, this would be very helpful in placing a design. Instead you must use a ruler to make sure your design is straight.
  • You might not know you need it until you’ve started a vinyl project! I’m hoping you read this review first.

What about you? Have you used this tape in any of your vinyl projects? Or are you now inspired to do so? Let us know what you think!

Disclosure

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