DIY Pebble and Shell Mosaic

Jessica Byrnes
by Jessica Byrnes
This is a fun project for someone with no experience. Anyone can do this - the key ingredient is wanting to do it for fun.
A blank wall - shells and pebbles. Make sure your pebbles have great contrast - black and white, or brown and white. This ensures you can see the images against the wall.
Shell and Pebble assortment
Then you get a bag of Versabond from your local hardware store. (50 lbs for $15). A little goes a long way. If you don't want to deal with mixing the powder and water, buy ACRYLPRO ready-mixed tile adhesive - at great expense. $8 a small jar
A bucket with some water and something to mix the Versabond with. Keep adding a little water to get the right consistency. If you are working in the hot sun, keep in mind that the Versabond will dry quickly, so just spread small amounts at a time. If the weather is cold and damp, the Versabond has to be a thicker consistency, because it takes much longer to dry. Experiment with the consistency til you see that the Versabond will stick to the wall, AND hold a shell. If the cement adhesive is too thin (too liquid), the shells and pebbles will start sliding down the wall.
Blank Wall
Take a pencil - a contractor's thick pencil is best - and do a rough outline of what you want on the wall. I selected fish because they are easy to draw.
You take a small amount of mixed Versabond and smear it on a small section of your picture. By small, about a cupful amount. Spread it thickly with some kind of spatula. Simply take the pebbles and the shells and stick them into the Versabond mixture. You may want to plan it, but I just stick the items in any old way. Have a few black small stones for something like an eye. Here I added a blue bead.
The Left Side
The Right Side
The project looks time-consuming but it took about 2 days. Working with these materials goes quickly. The Versabond dries and is ROCK HARD. I don't know how it would hold up in extreme cold temperatures with expansion and contraction. So a warmer climate is best.
The finished product.
I am not a mosaic artist. I am a farm-girl and my mosaic project can be found on my Pinterest Board The fish mural below was after I did the first bone above. Someone saw the first one and asked me to put some fish up on his pool garden wall.
Another one.... same technique.
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Beth Beth on Jun 27, 2024

    I am a renter. Do you think this could be done on a board and then hung up for display?

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