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DIY Mosaic Nine Drawer Chest – Part 1

Hello, and welcome to Old Raven Creates.

Today I started a project that looks just like a mosaic that includes gritty textured grout and glazed ceramic tiles laid onto a flat surface…in this case a small 9 drawer chest.

But the thing is – this isn’t real mosaic and those aren’t ceramic tiles – they’re paper!

Ready to see how this works?  Let’s go!


This is a kit by Kaisercraft that, when assembled, is a small chest of drawers.  These are pretty hard to get your hands on these days but you can use any type a small chest, box or check out your local craft store for those pre-made pieces made of light weight pine.  They are usually very inexpensive and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.


My kit is a ‘do-it-yourself’ but it’s easy to build (I’ve made a bunch of Kaisercraft units over the years).


If you end up building something use good glue like this Liquid Nails.  Also, use a Q-Tip to wipe off excess glue before it dries hard.


Here’s a picture that gives you a sense of how small this little chest of drawers is going to be – barely 6 inches high.


Other kits sometimes have you build the drawers, too, so this tip may come in handy.  Once you’ve glued two sides fold up the walls, line them up properly and then don’t waste time waiting for the glue to dry before you can set each drawer down.  Just put a rubber band around the top to hold them and keep right on working.


All the glues are dry now…this is how it looks assembled.  The drawers can be turned the other way around if you want to add little drawer knobs instead of the finger pullouts.


Kaisercraft (and some of the other ‘you build’ companies) leave your project with these indentations on the sides, tops and bottoms of your piece.  I don’t like these, what ever decorative paint or paper you use on the outside of these will show these dents.  You can use wood putty to fill them in, or….


I just used the top as a template and cut out a piece of thin chipboard, covered the top with Aleene’s glue and covered up the whole surface, dents and all.


I did the same on both sides.  Now I have smooth surfaces to work with and this hardly took any time at all.


I always paint my raw surfaces, everything just lays or adheres better and it also seals the piece – just another little layer of protection.


I paint it all, too.  Once the first coat dries, I come back through and give everything a second coat.


That looks much more professional and when someone takes a drawer out they will see a nicely finished interior as well.


This is Tim Holtz’s Distress Paper Mosaic Kit.  It’s a three step process that includes the Grout, the Glue and the Glaze.


Just like the pictures…it’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.  And seriously, this technique looks SO real!  Tim does have a couple of videos out there if you want to see this stuff in action.


Step 1 is the Grout.  This paste is like whip cream with grit.  I like to use a plastic palette knife.  I’m going to cover the top, sides, back, the edges all around and the front of all 9 drawers.


You can see that it has the perfect faux texture of grout they use in ‘real’ mosaic work.  And this stuff dries in about 15 minutes.  You don’t need to put this on thick at all, just enough to completely cover your surface.  Remember, you will not be inserting the mosaic pieces into the wet grout here, we’re using  paper so it gets glued on top of the grout once it dries.


This is one of the drawers – I just cover the front of each one of them.

Well, that’s it for today.  Coming up – part 2 which covers the papers I use, decorating ideas and the glue and glaze steps.

Stay tuned!  And thanks for joining me. – Kriss

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