Woman’s four-year DIY passion project takes social media by storm

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A YORKSHIRE woman who has been creating a mosaic staircase for four years has wowed the internet with her finalised hand-crafted designs.

Posting to Facebook on the 22nd of July, Rae Hand 51, shared a series of images showing a beautifully renovated staircase which has now gone viral.

Rae, a Teaching Assistant from Northallerton spent her time in lockdown finishing the stairs which comprises of tiles, jewellery and sea shells.

mosaic - DIY News
Photo by Rae Hand. Rae’s favourite tile is the blue naked floozie tile.

Posting to Facebook Rae said: “So, I pretty much finished my staircase during lockdown.

“Bonkers? Probably, lots of tile found and donated, some bought.

“I am in awe of this inspiring and talented group, thank you all for the love on my bonkers staircase. I finally feel like I’ve found my tribe.

Rae Hand - DIY News
(Photo by Rae Hand.) Rae at work on her stairs.

Images show stunning multi-coloured steps on a staircase each with their own unique design.

One step looks to show Christ The Redeemer in white tiles surrounded by warm hues of red and orange which appear to be a sunset.

Another image shows a staircase which reads “peace and love” with a black and white background with dice and hearts scattered around it.

Mosaic -DIY News
(Photo by Rae Hand.) Her first mosaic project was a massive table she made in Fuerteventura.

Other steps are inspired by her family from star signs designed by her daughter to a step inspired by a necklace Rae’s father gave to her mother 59 years ago.

Rae claims her work was inspired by Brazilian street art and the Selaron Steps in Rio de Janeiro as well as real life influences such as her travels and scuba diving adventures.

Her post now has over 31,000 likes and nearly 1,500 shares by stunned Facebook users.

Mosaic -DIY News
(Photo by Rae Hand.) The street art of Brazil was one of Rae’s biggest inspirations.

One person said: “This is beautiful, the creativity, time and love you have put in is clear to see.”

Another user joked: “I live in a bungalow but almost want stairs just to try this, it looks amazing.”

As a self-taught “’Mosaicist’” Rae experienced the art form when she lived in Fuerteventura and has been practicing the form for over 25 years.

Mosaic -DIY News
(Photo by Rae Hand.) Some steps evolved as she started to create them whereas others were mapped out.

She moved into her current home, a 50’s style ex-council house around 11 years ago and claims it still needs a lot of work done to it.

Speaking today Rae said: “I bloody hated the staircase, it had an ancient carpet on it, the type you’d find in a pub in the 70’s, complete with stains.

“I ripped it off a few years later not really knowing what I’d replace it with.”

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Photo by Rae Hand. After the overwhelming response she finally feels like she has found her people.

“I’ve done all the work on my stairs by myself. My life travels and experiences inspired and influenced the whole thing really.

“When I used to go Scuba diving in the Canary Islands you sometimes looked up and can see the sun shining through the water, which silhouettes anything between you and it, hence the turtle.

Many miscellaneous materials were often donated to her for free by friends and tile shops, some of which included scrabble tiles, cheap jewellery, and shells.

Mosaic - DIY News
Photo by Rae Hand. The funniest question she claims to get asked is “how many tiles did it take?”

Rae added: “My kids were proud of me before the ‘likes’, but perhaps even more so now. I think they worry that if they stay still long enough, I might paint or mosaic them too.”

“Even though the project took four years to complete it was never seen as a chore, even going as far to state 5 hours of work could feel like 30 minutes.

“Once you start ‘mosaicing’ it just gets into your bones and you also notice mosaics everywhere, and each one is unique and inspiring.”

Mosaic - DIY Tile
Photo by Rae Hand. The bottom step of each flight was the worst to do and Rae wouldn’t recommend doing it if you have a bad back.

“I’m often asked about how I might have devalued our house, what will I do if we move?

“Well, we’ve no plans to move in the near future so it’s great to have some art around me that I like.

“Some art is very transient anyway, I even quite like that thought. I can always bung a new carpet on top if need be.”