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We have some superb examples of Roman mosaics at Verulamium Museum. These intricate mosaics show both images of people and animals as well as decorative patterns.

They were made by carefully arranging small colourful tiles and cut stones and then grouted with mortar.

For our half term challenge we would like you to make your very own mosaic masterpiece!

Paper mosaic and wax rubbings


To complete this challenge you will need the following materials:

Coloured card, paper or magazine pages, scissors, a glue stick, paper and a pencil (for the extension activity you will need some wax crayons, a candle or some oil pastels, watercolours and a paintbrush).


  • On paper lightly sketch out a section of a mosaic, this could be a pattern or an image that you find interesting.
  • Cut your paper, card or coloured magazine pages into small, equal sized squares and other suitable shapes.
  • Look carefully at how colour was used within the design and begin to glue down the squares onto your drawing leaving small spaces between each shape to create a mosaic effect.
  • Continue until you have completed your design and leave to dry.

Want to do more?

Wax rubbings of paper mosaic

Once completed you can use your design to easily create another piece of artwork by making a rubbing or by using a technique called wax resist.

  • Lay another piece of paper over your mosaic and use either a lead pencil, coloured pencils, a wax candle, oil pastels or wax crayons to make a rubbing (the raised texture of your collage will allow this to work)
  • If you used oil pastels or wax crayons you can then paint over the top, the waxy surface will resist the watercolours like magic and create a colourful background (this works most effectively if you use contrasting colours).
  • Experiment and try out a range of different materials, colours and techniques and see which works best.

We would love to look at your wonderful creations so please post some photos of your work for us to see!