Scrabble Tile Pendant Tutorial
Let’s make a Scrabble Tile Pendant!
Here’s what we’ll need:
Scrabble Tiles (or other wood tiles)
Sun And Moon Glaze
MicroGlaze (If your images are printed using an inkjet printer)
Printed images or decorative paper (When printing use a MATTE premium card stock - DO NOT USE GLOSSY PAPER)
A note on work surfaces: If you're using a work surface that you don't want to potentially make a mess of such as a desk or table, the easiest and least expensive solution would be to put down a piece of wax paper and work on top of that. You do not want to spill an adhesive on, or scratch a surface that is important to you. Another idea might be to put down a soft towel and then place a piece of plexiglass over the towl, or perhaps a piece of thin smooth wood that you could reuse over and over. Both of the items that I just mentioned could easily be hidden out of site when you didn't need to have them out.
Ok, lets get started, first cut out an image to be displayed on the tile. The image can be a computer printed image, a photograph, a picture from a magazine or perhaps a section of a piece of decorative paper - When printing your own images use a MATTE Premium Cardstock, something around a 90lb weight paper is best. When cutting out your image be sure to cut it a little larger than the wooden tile. Also, when using Chiyogami or scrapbook paper be sure to pay attention to which part of the image you would like to have centered on your pendant and be sure to cut larger than that area.
* If you are using an inkjet printer to print your images you will need to apply a thin coat of MicroGlaze over the image to prevent the ink from smearing when you apply your glaze. After applying the thin coat of MicroGlaze you will need to allow it dry for about 15 minutes and then proceed. (MicroGlaze is available in my shop)
Now, take the image that you just cut out and place it on the tile and center it. Hold the image in place with one hand and use the other hand to trim around the edges of the tile with your scissors, trimming off the excess paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this point, as we’ll use a nail file in a few minutes to detail the tile, just focus on getting the bulk of the extra paper off from around the sides without cutting the paper too short and exposing the wood.
At this point open your Sun And Moon Glaze (also referred to as glaze) by sliding the applicator cover off of the bottle. Next use a pair of scissors to cut the tip off of the bottle (only cut off the very end of the tip, no more than two millimeters). If you have previously cut the tip off you will need to poke a small hole in the end of the applicator tip to break through any dried adhesive that might be clogging the tip. You can easily use an unfolded end of a paperclip or something pointy to poke a hole in the tip. It’s a good idea to always have a paperclip handy, as the glaze will always dry inside the tip of the applicator and you’ll have to poke a fresh hole quite often.
Also, before we start applying glaze let me tell you this… When using glaze, your goal is to remain in control of the glaze and to prevent bubbles. I recommend our Sun And Moon Glaze because it’s a thicker glaze and it is easier to control and therefore reduces the chance of getting bubbles on your project. The bubbles are simply little air bubbles and they can easily be eliminated with a little practice. Here are a few tips… Never shake the bottle, as this will create tons of bubbles. Just prior to applying your glaze, slowly turn the bottle upside down so that the applicator tip is pointing down towards the table. Hold the bottle in this position for about 15 seconds – this allows the air inside of the bottle to move up and away from the applicator tip. There will likely be a small air pocket remaining at the end of tip, so I like to hold the applicator tip over a piece of folded paper towel and gently squeeze the bottle until I see a drop of glaze come out. This lets me know that it is likely that there is no air remaining in the applicator tip.
Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way lets have some fun and finally adhere an image to a tile!
Using the technique that we just discussed, start by applying a couple of small drops of glaze onto one of the flat surfaces of your Wooden Tile. Use the applicator tip to spread the drops around so that the entire surface has a thin even coat of glaze, add another drop if necessary – you don’t want to use too much, but you do want to have a thin even coat that goes all the way to the edge of the tile – this is what will hold your image onto the tile. Now, before the glaze dries, quickly pick up your image and with the image facing up, place it onto the tile. Quickly center your image before the glaze dries and prevents you from being able to move the image. Always try and center your image the best that you can before actually placing it onto the tile, as the glaze can dry quickly. Use your fingertips to adjust and flatten the image onto the tile. Be sure to work your way around the tile pressing down on the edges to ensure that your paper is totally adhered to the tile. Let that sit for around 30 minutes or so.
30 minutes later… Remember how we talked about using a nail file to detail the tile, let’s do that now. Grab your nail file or even a piece of fine grit sand paper and gently file away any excess paper that might be hanging over the edge of the tile. You want the image to come all the way to the edge of the tile, but it should not be hanging over the edge. Also, be careful not to file too much paper away or you will expose the wood (unless you’re going for a bordered type effect).
Now we’ll apply a layer of glaze over the top of the image. Remember what we discussed about bubble control, this is where that really comes into play. You want to apply a nice even coat of glaze over your image without introducing bubbles. Let’s begin; you might need to use your paperclip to reopen the hole in your Sun And Moon Glaze applicator tip. Remember, turn the bottle upside down, hold it for about 15 seconds, squirt a drop of glaze onto a piece of paper towel to ensure that the air is out of the applicator tip. Now, begin SLOWLY applying the glaze to the center of the tile. In a circular motion, work your way out to the edges of the tile without actually making the glaze roll off the side of the tile. This first coat should be thin so don’t use too much glaze, just enough to cover the entire surface of the paper. If you do get a little bubble or two don’t worry, use the applicator tip to try and drag it off to the side of the tile and it should pop and disappear on its own. Now that we have a layer of glaze on the tile, let it sit for an hour or so.
After an hour, if you see an exposed area of paper or decide that you would like a more raised effect you can apply another thin coat of glaze using the same method. Be careful not to use too much glaze, as you will reach a point when a little indentation will appear in the center of your project – this usually indicates that too much glaze was used. Once you’re happy with the appearance, let your tile sit for about 30 minutes to an hour and then you can add your bail.
Now, 30 minutes to an hour later, we’ll put a bail on the tile and turn it into a pendant. I use the Sun And Moon Glaze to attach my bails to the tiles, some people use E6000, but it’s not really necessary. The easiest way to attach a bail is to simply place a bail on your work surface in front of you so that you’re looking down at the crosshatch portion of the bail (it looks sort of like a tic-tac-toe design, which by the way is there to help better adhere the bail to surfaces). When looking down at the bail on your work surface the loop portion of the bail should be at the top (12 O’clock position) and the more pointed portion of the bail should be at the bottom (6 O’clock position) Squirt a drop of Sun And Moon Glaze directly onto the crosshatched portion of the bail. Now, pick up your tile and place it down onto the bail so that the bail loop is centered on the top portion of your tile. Now go ahead and pick up the tile, the bail should remain in place. At this point you can adjust the bail with your fingertips so that it’s centered. Always remember, the bail attaches to the side of the tile without the image, and the bail loop always goes on the top of your tile. This will ensure that your pendant hangs from a chain in the correct position. Ok, that’s it, now just place your tile in a safe spot so that it will not be disturbed and let it sit over night, tomorrow you’ll have a beautiful pendant ready to go!
Also, it’s worth mentioning that instead of putting a bail on the tiles you could instead put a little magnet on the back and make fridge magnets or office magnets. All that you have to do is put a drop of Sun And Moon Glaze onto a magnet and adhere it to the back of the tile, very easy. One idea might be to create several tiles using letters or fonts and make little magnets that spell words. The creative possibilities are endless.