One of the things I really love about this time of year is getting my Christmas craft on and coming up with ideas for presents, decorations and home decor. Love it!! I always try to make presents for the kids’ teachers (although some years I have been known to make a mad dash to the local gift shop the day before). Being married to a teacher gives me an insight into what NOT to give a teacher as a gift. Practical is always a good idea (except for mugs – so .. many.. mugs!). Having said that, my husband is always grateful to get any gift from his students. Last year I ran some Christmas craft workshops at my shop and we stamped tiles and made them into coasters. You can see them here. It was THE most popular activity so I thought about taking the idea a little further and used some washi paper on the tiles. They have come up a treat. I’m so happy with the results. I think these tile coasters are a super idea because they are really quick, easy DIY Christmas gift and let’s face it you can never have too many coasters!
So to start with you need to source some tiles. Bunnings is as good a place as any to find cheap little tiles (around 10cm square) and from memory they are around 80 cents each. You’ll also need some good quality scrapbook paper or in this case beautiful Japanese washi paper. This is divine. So soft and light and easy to work with and has a slight transparent quality so it just kind of melts into the tile. Gorgeous range of colours and patterns too. You’ll also need Mod Podge glue or similar white craft glue, felt or cork for the bottom of the tile, a strong glue like E6000, scissors or cutting knife, a paintbrush and a nail file or soft sanding paper.
Thoroughly clean and dry your tile. Use the tile as a template to cut around your paper.
Paint your tile with a good cover of Mod Podge and then attach your square of paper. You’ll only have a short amount of time to get it in position before it sticks well and you won’t be able to move it. Once in place rub over the paper with your fingers to get any air bubbles out.
Let the tile sit and dry for a moment and cut off any excess paper around the edge. Then give it a good light, even coat of Mod Podge. Allow to dry (about 30 minutes). After it’s dried I get an emery board (nail file or fine sanding paper) and lightly file the edges of the paper so it kind of blends in with the tile. You’ll see what I mean when you start doing it. Give it a good wipe over with a dry cloth to get rid of any bits and then apply another coat of Mod Podge. Allow to fully dry again (about 30 minutes). I like to do three coats of Mod Podge.
Once all coats are dry it’s time to seal it properly. Because it will be used with drinks it needs to be waterproof and the best way to do this is with a clear acrylic sealer. The best sealer I have used is “White Knight Crystal Clear Acrylic Gloss”. It doesn’t yellow, dries quickly and produces really good results. However I didn’t have any on hand for this project so I’ve used this Dulux gloss coat instead. I’ll let you know how it goes. So far so good. Give it a light spray and follow the instructions on the can.
Once it’s fully dry (probably best to leave it for 24 hours) it’s nice to finish it off with something on the base. Felt or cork both work well. You can cover the entire base or just cut out little circles or squares for the corners. I’ve used pre-cut cork circles in the past for other projects but couldn’t find any in my stash so made do with little felt corners. These work quite well. I use a strong glue to stick them on. E6000 is best if you can get your hands on it. I used to sell it in my online shop but I’m about to close it down. If you get really stuck (pun totally intended!) you can contact me as I still have heaps on hand.
Once the cork or felt bottom of the tile is dry (about 24 hours) they are ready to go. Bundle up in a little group of two or four and tie off with some ribbon and it is the perfect Christmas gift. The great thing about these tile coasters is that you can use just about anything to decorate them with. Family photos printed onto a lightweight paper, you could use your die cut machine (like my Brother Scan N Cut) to cut out words and shapes, fabric works well, stamps are fantastic (like I’ve done before), your own artwork printed onto lightweight paper or even painted directly onto the tile, the list is endless.
I’m going to do more experimentation with these tiles as I’ve got loads of them stockpiled from the workshops. Let me know if you make some or come up with a unique take on them. Enjoy the crafty festive season!