Whether you collect your own stones or have a few bags sitting in the shed, one great way to use stone pebbles for the garden is to create a pebble mosaic. With a handful of supplies and a few easy steps, this DIY project leaves you with a masterpiece that looks professionally done!
What can I use a pebble mosaic for?
This is meant to be an eye-catching decorative stone piece that sets your garden apart from the rest. Here are some ways you can implement a garden stone mosaic into your landscaping design.
- Pebble mosaic garden path
- Pottery decorations
- Wall art
- Stone garden
- Concrete bench decor
- Concrete patio decor
- A centerpiece for an outdoor sitting area
What kind of pebbles do I need for a mosaic?
The short answer is: any pebble or stone will do. You might want to contrast black pebbles with white pebbles for garden areas, or even add glow in the dark pebbles to a walkway for a glowing guide to help visitors tread safely at night.
No matter what type of pebbles you decide to use, the first order of business is to sort them by size and color, storing them in buckets.
Pro tip: Wet your garden stones first to really bring out the colors and patterns.
How to make a pebble mosaic
Here’s what you’ll need besides the landscaping pebbles you’ve already sorted.
- Scrap plywood
- Paver base
- Stone dust
- Dry concrete mix
- Topping mix (grout)
Start by drawing out your mosaic design. Set out the scrap plywood to make a box shape (it should be the size you envision for your mosaic).
Fill this box with 3 inches of sand (this is for support). Layout your pebbles in the design you want. Make sure the stones are packed tightly together and are set in different directions (laying/standing).
When satisfied, take a picture of your pebble mosaic and jot down the dimensions.
It’s time to prep the area or pathway where you wish to create a pebble mosaic. Dig at least 1 foot wider than your original dimensions on the sides and up to 8 inches deep.
Pro tip: Choose an area of your garden that is slightly raised, so when it rains the water can drain instead of pooling where your stone mosaic is set.
After you’ve cleared the area, layer 6 inches of paver base, then 1 inch of stone dust. Add the dry concrete in the center of the area and use a flat piece of plywood to smooth out the concrete to make a 2-inch layer.
Mist the concrete with your garden hose until it is a crumbly texture, resembling dirt. Layout your garden pebbles, burying at least ⅓ of each stone in the cement.
Remember to pack them together tightly, just like when you practiced the design in the sand. After finishing a section, lay plywood over the top and tap it with a mallet to set the pebbles in place.
Once you’re finished, fill the gaps with dry cement, mist the entire area once more, cover it with a tarp and let it sit overnight.
Use a topping mix (grout) to cover the surface of the mosaic, using a paintbrush to spread it out between the stones. Once finished, mist it with your hose and let it cure for 30 minutes to 1 hour. At this point, you can use a stiff brush to shape it further.
Pro tip: Add more grout to parts of the mosaic that will receive a lot of wear and tear. The more you add, the harder the stones will set.
If you are happy with your mosaic, cover it with a tarp and let it cure. It can take up to 2 weeks to fully cure, at which point you can uncover your beautiful pebble mosaic.
Finally, you’ll need to know how to clean your garden pebbles mosaic before you can enjoy it in all of its splendor. Use a damp rag and wipe away excess cement to bring out the color and natural sheen.
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