Here’s what you’ll need:
Wooden Scrabble Tiles (you can get these on ebay, or just get the game and cannabalize it…or if you live around me, I already did that, and I’m sure I have a few I can spare)
ModPodge or Tacky Glue
Jewelry Bails (the little metal loop that you thread a necklace chain through)
Emery board or sandpaper
Scissors or Craft Knife (exacto blade)
Paintbrush or sponge brush
Step 1: Glue the bail (little metal loop) to the back of your tile. You have 2 options here, you can either glue it to the letter side, so that when the pendant is worn, there is a letter on the back and a pretty scrapbook paper design on the front. The advantage to doing it this way is that when you glue your paper on later, you don’t have to worry about it indenting in the shape of the letter engraved on the tile. They do that sometimes, depending on the thickness of the paper. Your other option is to glue the bail to the blank side, so that the pendant has a blank back, which looks cleaner. Also, you can make a pendant just out of the tile, without covering it with scrapbook paper for an initial pendant, in which case you would want to glue the bail to the blank side, as the scrabble letter should be facing out.
I use super glue to glue my bails on most of the time, but tacky glue also works, as does gorilla glue. I use the tip of the craft knife to hold the bail in place so I don’t get glue on my fingers.
If you’re using glue that takes a while to dry, try propping the bail up with something, so you can leave it to dry. Don’t try to hold it dry, it will not set solidly. Let the glue dry for several hours before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: While the glue is drying, cut out a piece of scrapbook paper just a little bit bigger than the scrabble tile. Alternately, I have seen people use photos of their children or pets, or hand paint the tile itself. Or even using scrapbook paper and glitter glue, or little rhinestones. Use the ModPodge or Tacky Glue and a paintbrush or foam brush to apply a thin coat of adhesive to the front of the tile, then glue your paper on.
Make sure to press all the bubbles out, if you get any. You can use a kitchen spatula, or bone folder, if you have one. Also, now is the time to use any glitter, rhinestones, etc, if you’re so inclined. Wait for the glue to dry. If you don’t wait long enough, when you move on to the next part it will tear your paper…so be patient. 🙂
Step 3: Using your craft knife, trim the excess paper from around the tile.
Step 4: Using the emery board, file the edges or the paper so that it doesn’t extend past the edge of the tile. You can also use the sandpaper to distress the surface a bit, if you like that look.
Step 5: Use something to help your tiles lay flat horizontally. I used a bamboo skewer. I have also used a ruler, and a post-it note pad. Anything works.
Using the Diamond Glaze (speaking of which, I had a really hard time finding this. I finally tracked it down at my local Archivers store. I know you can get it online also, and at one point, I thought Stampin’ Up carried something similar, as well. It’s basically a dimensional resin-type stuff. Hopefully it’s easier for you to track down, if not, I’ll offer some alternatives in just a sec.) first squeeze a little bit out on to a piece of scratch paper, and keep the pressure on the bottle as you go to put it on the tile. Why? Because Diamond Glaze is notorious for starting out with a bubble, and equally notorious for being impossible to remove bubbles from. So it’s easier to get the bubble out on some scratch paper first. I’ve found it’s easiest to go around the edges first, and then fill in the middle. The idea is to cover the decorated top of the tile. I usually do several thin coats, rather than one thick one. It tends to pucker and distort with one thick layer, as the top dries before the inside does.
If you can’t (or don’t want to) find Diamond Glaze, just break out the trusty ModPodge again, and coat your tile a few times, to seal the paper.
If you do get a bubble, get that exacto blade and try scooting the bubble off the edge. You will not be able to pop it, it doesn’t work that way. Just try scooting it off the edge of the tile.
Last step: Let it dry! It takes longer than you think. In fact, you should probably let it sit overnight. The last thing you want is your pretty little fingerprint in the middle of all your hard work. Additionally, these are not waterproof. Wearing them in the pool/shower/bath/waterfight is generally not recommended.
So there you have it! A cute, trendy, gift for your Valentines!