Quick & Easy Way to Make Mosaic Pins

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What are Mosaic pins? All a mosaic pin is, is different sizes of brass, copper, aluminum, and steel tubing or wire inside one another, then filled with an epoxy, they primarily have a decorative purpose. (disclaimer) I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I have dabbled a little... and all that makes a person an expert in a craft is practice, so lets practice.... The tubing can be anything from round, square, or you can use wire as a filler. Here is a picture I pulled off Google, to give you an idea of different patterns.

This is a list of the supplies I used.
  • Easy Cast. This can be found at Michael's or most craft stores.
  • Tubing. I don't remember the sizes, you really have to play with this part of the project and just see what fits.
  • Latex gloves.
  • A drill
  • Wax paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Acrylic paint. color is your choice
  • Hacksaw. or something to cut metal with. A dremel with a metal cutting wheel works perfect.
  • and a metal file and fine grit sandpaper (250 to 500 grit)
  • Once you have all the supplies, you can start assembling the pins. I found that working in 6" sections was ideal. It made lining up the top and bottom inside tubes easier.
  • First drill the holes in a scrap piece of wood, don't drill all the way through, that way if there is a leak it doesn't drain the epoxy from your pin. ( I made that mistake)
  • Use the wax paper as a kind of plug, also it keeps the pin from being epoxied to the board. Once you have the pin in place, cut off the excess paper and hot glue the pin in place. This just keeps it from moving around. 
  • The next step is to mix the epoxy. It's really simple, equal parts from both containers. Now that you have them mixed in one container, you can add some color. There is probably 100 different ways you could do this with dyes and pigments, but I have a lot of acrylic paint on hand. The amount of paint you use varies, If you want a dark color mix more, for lighter mix less. But it really doesn't take a whole lot.
  • There are 2 ways you can fill the pins. This is where your going to want to wear your gloves.
  1. poor the epoxy directly into the main cavity, then insert the inside tubes or wire.
  2. insert the tubes or wire, then drizzle the epoxy over the top of the project. 
either way will work, but I think the second way makes more internal air pockets. Also this is going to be messy, but any epoxy on the outside of the pin can be sanded off easily once it dries.

  • Once the epoxy has set (give it 24hrs) then peel off the hot glue and wax paper. There is your Mosaic pin. The only thing left to do is insert them in to something. They look great in knife handles or in the place of a dowel rod pin (where it will be visible)  
  • To insert a mosaic pin in a piece of wood, just drill a hole the size of the outside diameter tube, cut the piece to size, then add some epoxy to the hole, and insert the pin. Once the epoxy has dried, file and sand flush. 

That's it!

This is one I put in a brewing mash paddle. It was a last minute addition, after I had already stained it so I couldn't file it down as much as I would have liked. That's why you can see some rough edges. This is why its important to plan the project out from start to finish.

I hope this was helpful, Have fun creating!  Thanks.

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