Thursday, July 18, 2013

A 'Summer Fun' Project

by Judy

It's summer time, and a great time for a fun project.  Since many of you love photography as much as I do, I wanted to share with you a way that I use some of my favorite photos to make tile coasters. These are great to use around your house and patio, and great for gift giving.

To make these tiles you will need: 

1. Photos, cut to a 4x4 inch size
2. Craft glue stick
3. Liquid measuring cup (I use one from a cough syrup bottle)
3. Scissors or a paper/photo cutting device like pictured above
4. Straws
5. Envirotex Lite Epoxy & Hardener Kit

And, of course, you will need tiles. You can purchase these 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch tiles in a home improvement store.  

You can get these in many different colors.  The tiles shown here have tiny brown specks in them.  I prefer pure white ones, but these are extra tiles that my Dad gave me, so I'm using them up. 

You will also need:

1. Empty cereal or snack boxes with the backs cut out
2. Rubber gloves
3. Old newspapers
4. Cooling grates (that you will not be using for anything other than this project, since they will get the epoxy all over them)
5. Craft sticks (popsicle sticks)

And finally:

1. Glue gun
2. Heavy weight felt

Ok, so here we go... Do not be afraid of the number of steps to this project. Believe me, If I can do it, anyone can do it.  Unfortunately I was not able to photograph each step since my sticky rubber gloves and my fancy camera do not go together well. :)  However, the step by step instructions, below, are easy to follow. 

1. First, protect your work area by laying several layers of old newspaper down. 

2. Set up the grates and lay the tiles out on them for a "trial run." You're just making sure that they all fit, with some space between them so they don't stick together. (If you don't have grates to use, you can set paper cups under each tile, to elevate them off of the workspace.)

3. Cut your photos to a 4x4 inch size.

4. Use the glue stick to glue the photos to the tiles, making sure you have placed them evenly on the tile.  A nice 1/4 inch border of tile will show once the photos are placed. 

5. Next, put on your rubber gloves.

6. Follow the instructions on the Envirotex Lite box for proper mixing.  I choose to mix the epoxy and hardener for one tile at a time.  (After making many, many of these, I find it easier to keep the amount of mixture the same for each tile this way.)  If you'd like, however, you can figure out how much mixture you will need for the number of tiles you are making, mix it all up at one time, and then pour out as evenly as you can, onto each tile. 

In the small cough syrup measure, I pour 2 teaspoons of the epoxy, and 2 teaspoons of the hardener and stir with a craft stick

7. Once mixed according to the directions on the box, pour the mixture onto the middle of the tile. Use a craft stick, or popsicle stick, to evenly spread the mixture over the entire tile. Be sure to get the mixture all the way to the edges of the tile.  Some of the mixture will drip down off of the tile.  Use the craft stick to spread the mixture that has dripped over the sides of the tile evenly along the edges. 

8. Next you need to blow gently through a straw to remove any small bubbles that have begun to form on the surface of the tiles. Do this as soon as you have all of the mixture poured and evenly spread, then check often in the first couple of hours after pouring, to make sure no bubbles are forming.   

9. As soon as you're done removing the bubbles the first time, cover the tiles with the cereal or snack boxes that you have cut the backs out of.  This will keep any dust from forming in the mixture while they are drying.  Make sure that the boxes are not touching the tiles at all, and be careful when removing the boxes to check for bubbles again. 

10. Finally, you wait.  The tiles should sit under the boxes for a full 72 hours.  After this time you can remove the boxes that are covering the tiles.  You will see a beautiful shiny, hard, waterproof coating on them.  

11. Now you can cut the heavy weight felt into 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch squares.

12. Using a glue gun, place one dot of glue in each corner of the felt, then press the felt onto the back of the tiles.  Once the glue is completely dry, your project is done! 

13. If giving as a gift, you can tie a pretty ribbon around them, or nestle them inside tissue paper. 

Although this project isn't completely finished for three days, all of your work will be done in the first couple of hours. It takes a little bit of prep work, and then some patience while waiting for the mixture to harden properly. But once you're done, you have beautiful waterproof coasters for your home or for gift giving. (by the way, they also sell very nicely at craft fairs).

Do you have a fun project that you can share with us? We'd love to see it!  You can either post it here, in the comment section, or on our Facebook page.  

It's wonderful to see all of your summer fun photos in our flickr group, and on Instagram. Keep posting them! Your photo may be chosen for our weekly Focus on You segment. 


Jeanne said...

What a great idea! Definitely going to try this one out

kelly said...

judy these turned out so pretty! what a great idea. love things that make me get my photos off the computer and into my home. thanks for sharing!

terriporter said...

Thrilled to get these directions! Ever since you shared some of these with me, I have wanted to know how they were made so I could make them for gifts. Love the one with the corks! So perfect for wineglass coasters!

Carol said...

We at FOL were lucky enough to receive these from Judy for Christmas, and I can vouch for the fact that they are completely professional looking, and I use mine ALL the time. I am thrilled also to learn how to make them. Thanks Judy!

Dotti said...

My goodness! Even I could do this, I do believe. {Fingers crossed.} Like Carol, I love and enjoy the tiles that I have all the time. They're pretty and just the right size for a coaster. Thanks for the directions, Judy!

stamper2 said...

Great instructions! I have a couple of ideas mind to use this idea! Thanks for sharing!!

Cathy H. said...

These turned out lovely and they sound super easy! I think I may do some of these for my kids and mother for Christmas! Thanks for sharing with us!

augcott said...

Awesome ... they would make such wonderful Christmas presents! Thanks for the tutorial and idea! :-D

Linda said...

I love this! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

CarolHart said...

Great project. Thanks so much for sharing this. Will have to give it a go!

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life