Clever, recycled, & cheap mosaic frames & bases

A few months back I did a post on a mosaic made almost entirely from recycled materials – a little bit of a passion of mine as I love the satisfaction of creating something beautiful from things that would otherwise be thrown away. I was so pleased when the blog post was  published as an article in the last copy of Grout magazine, published by the British Association for Modern Mosaics!

Here is another way that I use recycling in art making which, happily, also involves a trip to Ikea 🙂 Have a look at this mosaic – Four Seasons – which I made in November (and sold in December).

The base and frame are actually the fronts of kitchen draws. The inner panel is a recess which makes a natural place to mosaic and the rest of the draw frames the finished work beautifully.

In this case, the inner panel is frosted glass which  added an extra special effect to the pieces, as it picks up light and reflects it through the gaps in the tiles. It looked so good I decided to leave the pieces ungrouted.

The back of the draw

These bases cost around £1.25 from Ikea’s bargain basement – the stuff that is destined for the rubbish heap. You can also get end of line kitchen doors as well as draws and use them to make larger pieces.

I have a couple lined up which are clear glass doors with a frame – using stained glass as the mosaic material, there are some lovely effects to be had, particularly if they are hung as large sun catchers in windows. And as with all bright ideas, before you all think I am an original genius (which sometimes I am!), the maxim on originality that I hold to needs to be stated here “There is nothing new under the sun” by which I give credit to Brooks Tower, awesome mosaic artist (and king of Opus Sectile for you mosaic officionados).  His mosaic, Busy Signal, (which I am proud owner of) inspired this clever use of old kitchen draws as I swear, when I inspect it, that it is made on an old draw front, though hard to tell for sure as its a pretty solid bit of wood!

And if you are not up for mosaic making with old kitchen doors and draws, you can use them as frames for collage or stained glass painting too.  Let me know if you have any other ideas…

Art and recycling – such a wonderful combination.

18 Responses to “Clever, recycled, & cheap mosaic frames & bases”

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  1. Mosaicista Appassionata says:


    I once used the same material, I recall it was green and it was such fun cause there was no base preparation involved. not easy to find though…

    ps: did you join me on the new location from which I blog?

  2. AG Ambroult says:

    gorgeous! You have such a creative eye, to thin of using those drawer fronts! I'm glad you got some recognition for you blog post on recycled materials. I too love the challenge of making something completely from my scrap pile.

  3. Jude says:

    Those are beautiful – I love the idea of the light shining through them – I could see them working especially well as a panel in a door or internal shutter, where light might shine through.

  4. cbmosaics says:

    Love these! What a great idea. Wish I had an Ikea nearby… 🙂

  5. Dana Barbieri says:

    Gorgeous! I love them. No wonder they sold so fast. We have a Materials exchange (new and old stuff from businesses) here and years back in a class we created collages and paintings on cabinet doors. The doors were super cheap and the point of the exchange is that all the stuff was saved from the landfills and reused.

  6. get stuff done says:


  7. Marika-Hilde says:

    Hello Concetta
    A long time I follow your blogs and I love the way to show and write about mosaics. You are very inspiring. I used many tips already!
    A short time ago I started my first blog and like to become a real "follower" :-))
    greeting Marika

  8. Phyllis says:

    I have blog awards over at my blog for you.

  9. sonyamacdesigns says:

    very kool panels. luv em!

  10. Concetta says:

    Thanks everyone! Not every day I get called a genius! And thank you Marika – its good to know this blog is inspiring some people. Mosaicista, yes I came over to your new blog home last week and left a comment…hope you got it! Phyllis, thank you so much for the blog award – just hopped over to yours and will link back when I get a chunk of time (just passing through this morning!).

  11. tanglefrost says:

    Truly gorgeous. So wonderful to see their creation step by step too! Any excuse to have a sneaky wander around Ikea, aye!!
    hugs xxx

  12. Linda R says:

    Happy Weekend! These are beauuuuutiful 😉 I guess I need to get to IKEA…it's been a long long time since I've been there. There is so much there, I get overwhelmed and can't instantly decide what to purchase LOL…but your post has definitely made me add IKEA to my list. I always enjoy seeing what you've created, you are so gifted. Congrats on the recognition!!! very cool.

  13. Concetta says:

    Linda your words are so lovely. Thank you 🙂 Hope you get your ikea trip soon! xx

  14. Suzanne says:

    That is so clever. I love the colors you used to denote the different seasons.

  15. Michele at A House Called Nut says:

    Beautiful, Concetta! I love these! So inventive and creative!

  16. Concetta says:

    Thank you both for your encouragement 🙂

  17. Sarah C says:

    Love this idea! In fact I loved the idea so much i’ve just treated myself to an old B&Q cupboard door for my next piece (a bargain at £1). Can’t wait to get started.

    Thanks for the great tips Concetta, I only recently discovered this part of the website, there’s some really lovely, inspiring ideas here.

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