Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art

I just finished these little mosaics for the wall going from our kitchen to the butler’s pantry. It is an awkward space because it steps down from the kitchen and the wall is tall and narrow. I needed something long and narrow to fill the space and look proportional. I also knew that I wanted something dimensional, colorful and unique. I’m so happy with how they turned out.
How to Make Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art via
Huge bonus I discovered once they were done: Each little art piece is a mystery game for my 2-year-old! She loves to point out each square and guess what it is….she can point out Mommy’s cereal (Raisin Bran), Daddy’s cereal (Go Lean Crunch), pancakes, goldfish, crackers etc.
Finished Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art 2 via
I’ve been saving all of these boxes for a year. I had grand plans of cutting them all into little 1 inch squares, sorting them by color and making a huge fruit or veggie mosaic with them to decorate our kitchen. Since I’ve never gotten around to that, and we seemed to have run out of wall space I made some smaller more manageable mosaics.

Recycled Cereal Boxes and Food Boxes via
First, I cut out lots of 2 inch squares from all the boxes so that I had an interesting selection of colors. (I actually cut the squares about 1/16th larger than 2 inches so that the cardboard would hang over the edge slightly.)

Recycled Boxes cut into squares via
I made a small template to make the cutting process easier.
Recycled Boxes cut into little squares 2 via
Here is Sienna working on her own mosaic. (Sorry she didn’t dress up for her photo op)
Boo via
Then I laid out the squares in a design that I liked. For the base, I bought 8 x 8 inch cradled Gessobord (2 inch deep). You can usually buy these at your local craft store. I got mine at Aaron Brothers with their weekly coupon.
Layout of squares  via
I like to use Liquitex Matte Medium for collage glue. It isn’t sticky and spreads well.

Matte Medium via
I worked in rows…brushing on a generous layer of medium and placing the squares in place and then brushing a layer of medium over top as well.
Glue Squares with Matte Medium via
As I finished each row, I laid wax paper on top and used a brayer to roll out any air or glue bubbles underneath. This also helps to make sure that the squares are adhering flat. (Note: If you don’t use wax paper, your top layer of the cardboard squares will begin to disintegrate or peel….you’ll end up with a huge mess.)
Note: Only leave the wax paper on for a few seconds as you roll out the bubbles… will leave a waxy residue if you let it dry onto the squares. You can also use freezer paper for this step.
Flatten with brayer via
Protect with wax paper via
After the squares were completely dry, I took a razor blade and with a “sawing” motion cut off any excess cardboard down the sides.
Trim edges via
I made three different mosaics.
Three recycled mosaics via
I sprayed the top and sides of each mosaic with one coat of Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze.
Clear Varnish Three recycled mosaics via
I didn’t have to use any hardware for hanging. The boxes are so deep that I just put 2 inch wire brad nails 6.5 inches apart into the wall and hung them.



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About Ashley Hackshaw

Living a simple, creative life in #smalltownusa Bryson City, NC. Renovating a 1960s ranch house and an old train depot. Thank you for reading! Read more in my about section. 


  1. 1

    oh my gosh i loooooove these!! what a neat idea! i'm totally gonna try that!

  2. 2

    You've been saving the boxes for a year!!!?? You are incredible girl! :) they came out great, I love them!!

  3. 3
    Your cool friend Cheryl says:

    Wow! I would've given up and recycled those boxes by now! :)

  4. 4
    Mama Mel says:

    Hi from SITS! This is such an AWESOME idea! I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5

    cool, COOL! Fun idea! thanks for sharing.

  6. 6
    i love plum says:

    Fabulous idea….LOVE it! xo

  7. 7
    The Mom @ Babes in Hairland says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! What a fun & creative idea. Your daughter is darling & her hair is just beautiful! Love those curls! Have a great day.

  8. 8

    such a cute way to recycle too! :)
    found you through One Pretty Thing's DIY roundup!

  9. 9
    Aubrey Leong says:

    These are so cute! I just saw something similar to this at World Market last week as was wondering how they made this. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  10. 10

    Thanks for sharing this – what a fantastic idea.

  11. 11
    charity says:

    Totally cute! Just wondering, the wax paper is left on til it's dry or for good? Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  12. 12

    Charity – don't leave the wax paper on it….it will leave a residue! Only leave it on for a few seconds as you use the roller on top. Great question…..I'll edit my post to add that ;)

  13. 13
    MissesStitches says:

    Very cool idea! What fun, and appropriate for the wall space.

  14. 14
    Vitania says:

    My hero.. again..

    Ok – I cannot wait to try some of these.. I cannot wait to tell everyone, that i tried these !!

    Great to meet you !!

  15. 15

    These are so great! Im totally going to try it!

  16. 16

    Oh I love these! I might have to play around and do something similar. We are in a rental and it's really hard to make it feel like my own.

  17. 17

    These are so cool!! What a unique & fun idea. :)

  18. 18
    Renee•Candy Stick Lane says:


  19. 19

    What a lovely and great idea!! I will try it :) cograts and thanks for sharing!


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