LEGO Mosaics are fairly easy to build – depending of course on the size and complexity of the picture, image or pattern you have in mind. (You might want to read the Introduction to Mosaic Building section.) If you are trying to build something more complex, like a portray from a photograph, you might find the information here useful.
LEGO MOSAIC SOFTWARE:
One of the best resources I found for LEGO mosaic building is Pictobrick. Pictobrick was crated by two university students as part of their studies in computer science. It is a software to generate mosaics from digital pictures. And it is available as a free download! (Download here: DOWNLOAD) The software is very easy to use. Trust me on that! If I can use it, you can too! 🙂
I recommend following the tutorial when you first use the program. (See tutorial here: TUTORIAL) It will walk you through all the features. You will get the hang of it in no time! To be honest, I was a bit lost at the download page at first (the only part I got stuck), as I didn’t understand all the tech-jargon and what I needed to download exactly. Finally I decided to try as I was really curious about the software, as I heard only good things about it.
I use Windows, so I downloaded the zip file under the section called “Download practicable EXE-file (only Windows)”. I opened the “exe” file and voila! The software was there and it worked like a charm!
Pictobrick is optimized for LEGO; meaning all the LEGO brick and plate sizes and colors are already uploaded. By default all bricks and/or plates are used to generate a mosaic in all LEGO colors, and the software will use the best combinations. But you can change this according to your preferences and available pieces. (For example to create a black & white LEGO mosaic, eliminate some colors, or to use certain size bricks and/or plates.)
You can use the Pictobrick software to build both studs-on-top (with elements stacked on each other) and studs facing out (attached to a baseplate) type LEGO mosaics. You can even optimize your mosaic according to the cost of parts! Just playing with this software is a lot of fun! 😀
Once you are done, the software will generate a part-count and instructions that you can save and print out.
WHERE TO SHOP FOR LEGO MOSAIC PARTS:
You will probably need lots of bricks and/or plates to create your LEGO mosaic (depending on the size you have chosen). One of the best places to get a good quantity is LEGO’s own Pick-A-Brick selection. If you have a LEGO store near you, you can use their Pick-A-Brick wall, or you can also order online at the Online LEGO Shop Pick-A-Brick Wall
Your other best option is BrickLink. Make sure you generate a BrickLink Wanted List for all the bricks and/or plates needed according to the Pictobrick parts-list generated for your LEGO mosaic. This way you can find the sellers who have all – or at least most – of the parts you will need and save on shipping.
I have found for basic bricks LEGO’s own store is cheaper. BrickLink however tends to have a greater variety and selection, also it is a great resource for the large, discontinued baseplates.
LEARN FROM OTHER MOSAIC BUILDERS:
You can also check out the websites and blogs of other LEGO mosaic builders. They often share pictures and how-tos of the LEGO mosaic-building process. LEGO-fans are friendly folks, and I’m sure they would respond if you need a little help with your first LEGO mosaic.
If you go to the Mosaic Gallery, you can click on any of the pictures and it will take you to the LEGO mosaic artist’s own site. You will see more of their work, and you might contact them with questions. In addition, here are some websites you may find useful:
- LEGO Mosaic Group on Flickr: Lots of pictures!
- MosaicBricks: The only blog dedicated to mosaic building!
- Brickworkz: No time to build a mosaic but you still want one? Maybe as a gift? You can order custom mosaics here built by LEGO artists!
If you know of any other websites or blogs that are a great resource for LEGO mosaic builders please let me know and I will update the above list. Thank you, and have fun building your first LEGO mosaic! 😉