When your kids are climbing the walls and you are ready to throw in the towel, start a craft. Although mosaic crafts work well for kids who have an artistic side, they are flexible enough for kids of any age and level of artistic talent. Typically, when working with mosaic tiles, you need to work fast to get each tile in place and the pattern correct. But when working with kids, you need all the time you can get; this is where contact paper comes into play. Contact paper will help you set up the design before you adhere the tiles, giving your child the ability to concentrate on his masterpiece.
A mosaic plaque makes a great decoration, ornament, stepping stone or paperweight. Gather disposable baking tins in the shape of your choice, contact paper, mosaic tiles and plaster of paris. After your child traces the shape of the baking tin on to a piece of contact paper, cut the shape out. After removing the backing from the contact paper, lay the paper with the sticky side up on a flat surface with the sides of the paper taped down to prevent curling at the edges. Have your child stick the tiles to the contact paper in the design of her choice with the colored side of the tiles face down on the sticky contact paper. While your child is letting her creative side out, mix the plaster of paris according to package directions. When the design is finished and the plaster is mixed, lay the contact paper in the bottom of the baking tin with the sticky side facing up; pour the plaster into the tin and jiggle slightly until smooth and even. The tin will need to dry for several hours -- check package directions -- before you can slide the plaster out of the tin and carefully peel back the contact paper. If you want to use the plaster as an ornament, use a skewer to poke a hole in the plaster during the drying process.
A mosaic picture created by your child can add a personal touch to any decorating scheme. For this project, use a piece of craft board, a shadow-box frame, acrylic paint, contact paper, mosaic tiles and universal mosaic adhesive. Use a craft knife to cut a piece of craft board and contact paper to the size of the shadow box. Let your child paint the craft board in the color of his choice. You can make the entire piece of art using mosaic tiles or you can use a favorite photograph and place the tiles around the photo. Peel off the backing of the contact paper and tape it down on a flat surface. If you are using a photograph, cut a piece of plain paper to the size of the photo and place the paper face down on to the contact paper. Have your child add tiles around the paper in the design of his choice with the colored side of the tile face down on the contact paper. While he is arranging the tiles, mix the adhesive to the package directions and apply the adhesive to the dry craft board. Place the photograph into the adhesive and then place the contact paper on to the craft board with the back of the tiles in contact with the adhesive. Allow the adhesive to dry according to the package directions. When dry, carefully peel off the contact paper and place the craft board into the shadow box.
What child doesn’t love a good treasure? And what good is a treasure if you do not have somewhere to put it after its discovery? This craft will give your child a beautiful keepsake box for storing all of her finds. You can find plain wood boxes at your local craft store and depending on your child’s preference, you can leave the box plain or paint it with an acrylic based paint. Measure the top and sides of the box and cut a piece of contact paper to match each of the areas you want to mosaic. You can use the tiles on the top or cover the entire box in tiles. Tape the contact paper, sticky side up, and let your child arrange the tiles in a design of her choice. Apply the universal adhesive to the areas of the box that you are adding the tiles to and firmly press the contact paper in place with the back of the tiles coming in contact with the adhesive. When dry, remove the contact paper and add grout in the color of your choice or leave the tiles ungrouted.
One of the great things about using contact paper when applying mosaic tiles to any craft project is the flexibility and design freedom your child has. If your child wants to make an intricate design or has a particular design in mind, you can trace an outline of the design -- flower, ladybug, frog, etc. -- on to the non-sticky portion of the craft paper before taping the paper on to a flat surface. Your child can then follow the outline to create the design of his choice.