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How make large mosaic art with your PC and printer.

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Old 12-17-2006, 09:49 AM
The Dude The Dude is offline
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How to make large mosaic art with your PC and printer.

How to make large mosaic art with your PC and printer.

Hi I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the tutorials section because it has to do with both. I have been doing this for several years now and I find it very rewarding. Mosaics make great gifts if you’re strapped for cash (which I am this Xmas), but not only that you can really personalize a gift.

First of all to do this you will need a program called Picture Window. You can dl and use it for free of the first 30 days. If you have another program with the same capability that’s fine.

If you have a print preview option built in to you printer software I suggest you turn it on.

Start picture window and open picture file. Depending on the aspect ratio if your image is wider that it’s height go to > File > Print Setup and select Landscape. Click OK.

Now select > File > Print
You should see the standard printer dialog box > Click OK.

Look down on the left side of the dialog box for Vertical Tile and Horizontal Tile. Using the arrows adjust the amount of tiles you need depending of the proportions of you image.

Setting your Tile Overlap:

Depending on how picky you are you may want the tiles to overlap slightly so you get no missing bits (I’m picky).

For photos, I use an overlap of 1.5 but for canvases and tapestries I use 1.75-2.00. Click OK and print your project. Make sure the Print Pages field is set to print all pages not just the first.

For mosaic photographs: Great for panoramics and easy to do.

You will need the following

Photo printer paper
A combination square/ruler (a T-square will do)
A pencil and eraser
A display board (foam rubber is good as is wood)
Photo mounting tape
A can of acrylic spray or other such sealant (you can get very specific types for printer photos)
A cutting board or a surface to cut on and a box cutter (you may or may not need this depending on the size of the board you want to mount your mosaic photo)

This is the easiest way to make your mosaic; foam rubber is cheap and easy to work with. Get what ever photo-printer paper you can afford it’s fairly reasonable. Once your pictures are printed, seal them with the spray and let them dry. YOU NEED TO DO THIS IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA! I just cover my bathroom floor with newspapers and turn on the fan.

While the sealant dries you can mark your display board. Using the ruler find the center and mark it with a cross (this is for mosaics with 4 pages for 6 pages or more you must find the spot where the corners will meet and not the exact center). This is an important step so take your time. Once dry, place the mounting tape evenly on the back of each photo. Using the lines as a guide lay down your first photo make sure it is straight place the photo from left to right, and then add the bottom photos. *

For canvas pictures: Great for historic maps and like, but takes a little practice.

You will need the following

Canvases (the flat kind not stretched-of proper size for the hardcopy)
Heavy linen paper
Removable tape
Podge (any brand you like)
A sponge brush
A combination square/ruler (a T-square will do)
A pencil and eraser
A small roller
A can of Acrylic spray or other such sealant
A cutting board or a surface to cut on and a box-cutter

Once your image is printed seal with acrylic spray. While drying mark the center of your canvas lightly using the square and pencil. Once the tiles are dry, trim off an excess paper using the box-cutter and the cutting board. Use the square to make the edges straight and the corners even. Lay the tiles face up and arrange into an image. Line up carefully and tape together using removable tape. File a cup with water and dip your sponge-brush into the water. Dip your sponge-brush into the podge and spread onto your canvas until the entire area is coated. Take you taped images and place it onto the wet canvas. Be careful to keep it straight and centered. Use your roller to flatten your image to the canvas so you don’t get any air bubbles. REMOVE THE TAPE! Now coat the entire image with podge. Let dry for about 4 hours or over night.

For tapestries, curtains, or cloth banners: This hard to do but very cool.

You will need the following

Heat transfer paper (remember you must make a mirror image for this to work properly)
Cloth medium for the mosaic (preferably cotton or cotton blend)
An iron and a large flat surface (covered in cloth before you iron)
Removable tape
Cloth tape (first aid kit tape for instance)

Iron the cloth for your banner/tapestry/curtain flat. You can get heat transfer paper at most department stores, (Hanes is the most popular kind) and it’s used almost exclusively for making custom T-shirts. Make sure the image is backwards (In Picture Window select Transformation > Geometry > Mirror/Rotate > Click on the Mirror Image button > Click OK.) After printing your image, arrange your tiles on a flat surface and line up carefully. Tape the edges with the removable tape. Turn the image over and now tape the edges with the cloth tape on back. Remove the removable tape carefully. Place the image face down on the canvas and estimate the approximate center by making sure the distance is even distance on all sides. Once satisfied tape the corners to hold them image in place and iron as directed.

* The reason you need to do it this way is that Picture window over laps slightly more vertically than it does horizontally.

I hope someone found this useful Happy Holidays!

The Dude

Last edited by The Dude; 12-18-2006 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:23 PM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Location: Mid-South
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Re: How make large mosaic art with your PC and printer.

Clever, resourceful, and creative. Thank you for sharing.

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Old 12-18-2006, 12:55 PM
The Dude The Dude is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 16
Re: How make large mosaic art with your PC and printer.

Thanks Janet.
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