Bryan Malley/istockphoto


This gift giving season I'm all about doing-it-yourself. It's not just because the economy is sinking fast. It's because it really does mean more to people than a gift that you just absent mindedly went to the store and picked out. Taking the time to put some thought into the gift giving season makes it tons more special than being the last one to knock out your list the week before Christmas.

Why not get started early and make a mosaic? Make a mosaic end table, mirror, or picture frame. Or just make a plane old mosaic to put up on the wall.

Here's how:

1.Pick out your tesserae, these are the cut up old tiles you use to make the mosaic. Reuse any old tile that you have laying around the house or have friends donate their old tiles.

2.Draw your sketch on paper and then copy it to the surface on which you'll be applying the tiles. In my case, a small table.

3.You can either spread eco-friendly glue on each piece of tile or you can put a small amount on the base surface (enough for around seven pieces) where you can then put the tiles on top of the glue.

4.Once all the tiles are in place and you have finished creating your mosaic, you will usually need to create the smooth finish by applying grout to the mosaic. Grout is a paste made when grouting powder is mixed with water.

5.Once the grout is dry, wipe off the excess and you're good to go.