Recently, I was looking for an idea for a medium-size solid color LEGO Mosaic project. I didn’t have to look very far. Sitting directly in front of my keyboard was a Venti Cafe Americano from Starbucks. I noticed the logo and thought it would make a great subject for a mosaic project. Furthermore, most people who know me are well aware of my love of Starbucks, so this would be a very fitting decoration for my home office.
Over the past couple years, I’ve built up a healthy supply of green bricks buying bulk tubs from LEGO Shop at Home. I rarely use many of them in my projects, and luckily the shade of green is very close to that of the Starbucks logo. Aside from green, the only other color bricks I needed were black and white which I always have in abundance.
Shown below is the finished project, which is 30 inches in diameter, exactly two X-Large Gray Baseplates each direction.
I built this mosaic one brick thick in a studs-out arrangement. I prefer studs-out vs. studs-up for mosaics because the final product is immediately identifiable as LEGO Bricks. In addition, it is faster to build, uses less bricks, and is simple to attach to the wall using LEGO technic plates.
As with all mosaics I’ve built, I start by digitizing and scaling a picture of my subject. In this case, I got the Starbucks logo by doing a Google Image search and selecting a high resolution source image. However, unlike photo-realistic mosaics, this mosaic required considerable hand cleanup. First, to ensure everything would be completely symmetrical, and second to properly show all the single brick-line elements of the center image. By the time I was satisfied with my digital building plans I had redrawn a considerable portion of the logo.
Shown below is the mosaic with the printed plans I used to construct it.
One unique decision I made with this mosaic was to cut the grey base plates that back the bricks to the same shape as the mosaic. In general, I hold a strong opinion against modifying (destroying) LEGO bricks, which is also why I’ve never used a drop of glue on any of my projects. However, in this case I really wanted the final result to be round. I realized that using tons of smaller plates (instead of the extra large grey base plates) to achieve this shape would wipe out most of my plates, and the mosaic would end up being quite fragile. For these reasons, I set aside my typical convention and went to work shaping the base plates. I found the base plates actually cut pretty easily with a good pair of scissors, and I saved the larger left-over pieces for use in a future project.
I’ve included one last shot of the mosaic with my Elmo sculpture nearby below. He is waving good bye because I’m leaving to hit the Starbucks drive-thru for another coffee!
[Updated - 02/15/2008: Here is a link to Starbucks LEGO Mosaic Plans. Build your own!]