Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
edited May 2011 in Building and Techniques
Hi, wonder if anyone can help me regarding this, had an idea floating around in my head for some time about making a LEGO mosaic of one of my wedding photos. Basically a way of combining my love of my wife, LEGO and artwork and also partially to subliminally show my wife how wonderful LEGO can be :)
I did a bit of research and didnt get too far, found a couple of websites that convert your photo, but they only used a handful of LEGO colors and therefore the picture ended up really poor.
I also understand that this is potentially a really expensive project (so I hear).
So wondering if anyone here has done something like this and can shed some light on the subject, i.e. what size plates, how many, what brick shapes, any recommended software that helps, etc.

All thoughts and comments very welcome. :)


  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    I think there was a mosaic of Harry Potter made at STEAM or GWLS last year, I know @Huw was there so perhaps he could provide more info on it.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    I made a mosaic a few years back for a nearly identical purpose. Our wedding incorporated some LEGO elements, one of which was a LEGO mosaic instead of the traditional bride and groom portrait that typically is in a reception area outside a ballroom.

    I started -- but didn't finish -- a blog post about the process which you should find helpful. I'll finish it now and publish it.
  • davee123davee123 Member Posts: 852
    Well, the limitations of LEGO colors make it difficult, unless you're making something really large. How big of a mosaic do you want?

    If you're up for spending the time, you can also try doing things with printed tiles, like Eric Harshbarger did:

    That can give you an excellent resolution, although it's very time consuming, and possibly very expensive depending on which tiles you need and have access to.

  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    There's a lego app on the iphone that turns your pic into a lego mosiac, you could try that and then match the colours brick by brick? I suspect it also doesn't do anything that realistic.
    I'm kind of planning to do something similar. Having boards velcro-ed to the wall and pots of pieces nearby for friends to play around with making pictures
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited May 2011
    Heh, finishing the blog entry took a little longer than expected. Here it is, though:

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Nice pic rocao.....
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    That brilliant @rocao and now we know a bit what you look like ;-)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ You'll know even better if you check out his blog posting !

    Many thanks for sharing, @rocao - a nice, clear description for anyone looking to do something similar.
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    @rocao thank you so much, that is VERY helpful. So did you use all 1x1 bricks even when the same color bricks are side by side (that is the way it looks from your pictures).
    I assume if you did that it would be more expensive.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ Yes and yes, I would assume.......
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    You're welcome. It's a fairly simple process but one which still can be made easier with tips and pointers. Unfortunately many of the truly accomplished mosaic builders are not sharing techniques because they have made lucrative businesses from commissioning work.

    And yes, we went with 1x1s and it was more expensive, but we wanted it to be unmistakably LEGO which I think is best achieved through uniformity. PicToBrick has options to minimize the element count by using larger bricks and even cost optimization using both large and small elements if you enter price parts. Best of luck!
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    I'm pretty sure this will a) count as a mosaic, and b) be impressive to Lego fans!
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    ^ that artwork is amazing!
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    wow, amazing. Maybe I should make my wedding mosaic 3D haha
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    edited May 2011
    I've done all the mosaic designs for our shows at STEAM, some of the earlier LEGOWorld Copenhagen images and the world record-breaking Star Wars picture at the Dorling Kindserley event. I use a different method from @rocao - I use GIMP (free graphics software) but you can also use Photoshop Elements for example.

    PicToBrick is good and in some cases more powerful as it allows you to build studs up as well as studs out. I still prefer GIMP though, for its ultimate flexibility.
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    Holly cow!!! Prop's to you Martin, that Star Wars mosaic is unbelievable. Can I ask how many bricks?
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    384,000 2x2 plates on 1500 32x32 baseplates. It was an event managed by DK but I did the mosaic design (based on a SimonZ image) and produced the building instructions etc as well as helping out with the logistics. It was great fun and the public built in in just three days.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited May 2011
    ^ I'd love to see a writeup on the planning and logistics of that build!

    1) How were the parts sourced? Any estimate on the total cost?
    2) What has become of the mosaic?
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    edited May 2011
    It was a fair amount of work, but great fun. As I've organised quite a few public mosaic builds before, it was similar but just on a bigger scale. That brings its own problems but nothing that can't be overcome by planning, e.g. visitor flow to get people into and out of the venue without cause log-jams. Talking of the venue, this was the biggets challenge - getting somewhere big enough for the finished mosaic with enough space to have sufficient people building concurrently. Of course, you also need to be able to see the work in progress and ultimately the finished article, so a high-level viewing gallery is essential as you need to be reasonably far away to take in something 15 metres wide. There are venues with these facilities but most are very expensive to hire. Finding somewhere affordable in central London (the desired location) was a challenge. Shoreditch Town Hall was the answer and after visiting the place two months prior to the event, we knew it was perfect for our build.

    As for your questions:

    1) LEGO UK were supporting the event and therefore allowed DK to purchase the bricks direct. After having agreed on the design, I produced the shopping list. I also went to DK when it was delivered and checked it all (by weight) to ensure it was all there (it would be very embarassing to be unable to complete the build!). As for costs, I do know but it would be inappropriate for me to share that here. It was a fair bit less than LEGO PaB online though - which would have been pushing £50k!

    2) Almost all of the finished mosaic was given to Kids Company - a UK-based charity working with vulnerable children. DK kept the top left section containing their logo and the LEGO logo.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu Member Posts: 368
    ^ that is fantastic! It looks very impressive considering the 'resolution' is 2x2, albeit on a massive scale.

    It makes me want to make a mosaic of 'just' the LEGO logo for my office wall ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Interestingly enough TLG made a pair of mosaic sets (called Mosaik in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) way back in 1955-56. They were small Mosaik 1300 Set, adn larg Mosaik 1301 Set. They were not popular sellers (when you see the pics, you'll see why)... and it nearly another 1/2 century before TLG got back into anything at all remotely mosaic style.

    The first image was the 1955-56 brochure for the 1300 & 1301 sets (1300 had 1 10x20 baseplate, 1301 had 2 10x20 baseplates).

    The 2nd image is of a 1300 Mosaik box.

    The 3rd image is a 1955 image from a Goteburg Sweden department store LEGO display, showing the 2 Mosaik sets on the far left. The other sets and display models had the "tall classic" LEGO windows/doors (1954-56) that were each 1 brick taller than the classic LEGO windows/doors of 1956-86.

    These images are all from my LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide on CD....
  • Jern92Jern92 Member Posts: 889
    Hi guys,

    My friend is celebrating his 60th birthday in December, and I thought it'd be fun to make a Lego mosaic of a picture of him and give that to him as a birthday present, mainly because while he doesn't quite like Lego, he patiently endures me talking about it and using one of the rooms in his house as my Lego room (my own house is too small). 

    Now I have zero experience with creating mosaics, and I was hoping some people here could help me clarify a few things:

    1. Is it best to find a photo that has a background, or doesn't have a background? And if it's the latter, what program should I use to remove said background (I'm not good with Photoshop at all)

    2. What size baseplate should I use? At the moment I'm thinking of either a 48x48 baseplate, 4 32x32 baseplates, or 4 48x48 baseplates. It gets more expensive as it progresses, so I'm trying to keep the project affordable.

    3. In terms of the actual mosaic, are tiles or plates better? And should I limit myself to 1x1s or use any size that fits?

    4. How much would a project like this actually cost, for anyone who's done one?

    5. Should I limit myself to basic colours like white, light bluish gray, dark bluish gray, and black, or go with proper colours?

    6. What program is best to use for analysing the photo and generating a list of required parts?

    I seem to have come up with a lot more questions than initially planned, but I'll be very grateful to anyone who takes the time to answer them. Thanks!  
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at or Amazon?

Please use our links: Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.