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Tutorial Tuesday - Tile Transfer Art

I wanted to post this earlier, but it took me a little longer than usual to write up this tutorial. Don't let the long list of instructions keep you from doing it, it's actually pretty easy and definitely worth it! Here's some examples of what you can make with this tutorial:

Set of 4" tile coasters. (A little boutique store nearby sells a set similar to this for $40. Each tile only costs about .50 so you can make them MUCH cheaper yourself!)
I made this tile for me to take to work. I have it sitting on my desk so anytime I want I can peek over and see my husband! It's a little more durable, and I think better looking than putting him in a picture frame! It's also a 4" size tile. (How cute is he?!? He also wanted me to let everyone know that he doesn't really have a big black spot on his forehead...it's a small hole in the tile.)

This is the one I'll show you with my tutorial pictures. I made this for a birthday present for a friend who LOVES french things! This is a 6" square tile.

Ready for the supplies?

Tumbled marble tiles. They have these at Home Depot, Lowes, or any other flooring store. Make sure you get the tumbled ones. This will NOT work on tiles that are really smooth and polished. There needs to be some roughness for the transfer to work properly. (See close up below for what it will look like.)

1 jar each of these: Golden Gel Medium (Heavy Gel Matte) and Golden Medium (Matte Medium) These will be the most expensive part of the list, but they will make a TON of tiles! I use my 40% off coupons for Michaels when I buy these. You'll find them by the canvas and acrylic colors.
1 image printed backwards on a LASER printer. (Don't print it at home unless you have a laser copier. Most people, like me, have an inkjet printer.) Just print it out and take to a copy place and have them copy it for you. It doesn't have to be on a special type of paper, regular copy paper is fine.

1 baking sheet lined with newspaper
1 foam paint brush
1 clean sponge (I use the regular side, not the extra abrasive side.)
1 sheet of thin cork (this is only if you make the coasters)

Ok, now you've got your supplies so let's get started!

-Wash and thoroughly air dry your tiles. This will get off any dust from the tumbling process.
-While letting the tiles dry, print out your image and trim down to the size of your tile, plus 1/4" edges. (If you're tile is 6", trim it to 6 1/2" x 6 1/2". If it's a 4" tile trim to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2".)
-When the tile is dry, paint the front, back, and all sides with a coat of the Golden Medium-Matte Medium and let dry.
-When the tile is dry from the acrylic, put a fairly thick coat of the GEL medium directly onto the paper leaving the 1/4" margin around all sides. I tried to show you what your thick coat and margin should look like in the picture below:
Your paper will probably curl up a little bit but that's ok.
Here's the finished Gelled up paper. (I don't think gelled is a word...but you know what I mean!)
Turn your tile upside down and center onto your gelled up paper. By lining up the tile on the paper it's easier to center your tile with the image.

Once it's positioned, turn it over and use a brayer to press down the paper onto the tile and make sure there are NO air bubbles. (Just to clarify. The acrylic on the tile will be dry, but the acrylic gel on the paper will still be wet.)

After you've done that it's time to bake your tile. Place your tile (like seen below) onto your newspaper lined baking sheet. Put it into the oven for 15 minutes at a temperature of 200 degrees F. Basically what happens here is that the acrylic on the tile and the acrylic on the paper bake together and bring the laser toner with it.

When the 15 minutes is up, take the tile out of the oven and transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 or 20 minutes. (The time here is not critical, so you could leave this sitting for a day or two and it won't affect the outcome.)

Next, transfer the tile to a work surface covered in scrap paper. Grab your sponge and a small bowl of water. Get the sponge wet and start to wet the paper. You'll start to see the image come through when the paper is wet....we want to remove the paper and the image will appear! This is the fun part!

Here's where a few layers of the paper have been sponged off and you can see the image transferred onto the tile. Keep slowly removing the paper until you've got the majority of it off.

Sometimes it helps to let it dry for a minute or two so you can see better where the paper still needs to be removed. If you look at the picture below you can see a few paper fibers hanging onto the black part still, it's where it looks a little cloudy. If it looks like this it's fine. When we put the finished coat of acrylic on it, the few paper fibers left will disappear.

*Notes on removing the paper: Don't rub too hard and make sure your paper is fairly wet. It doesn't have to be dripping, but if it's fairly wet it will make it easier to remove without damaging the acrylic layer.

After removing all the paper and paper fibers, put another 1-2 coats of the Golden Medium-Matte Medium onto the tile and you've got a completed tile. This makes a great gift! Try printing out Christmas images or quotes to make holiday decorations for yourself too!

If you decide to do coasters, place a thin sheet of cork, cut to fit, on the back so they don't scratch your furniture.

*Because the acrylic melts with heat, if you make the coasters, please don't use them with hot drinks. Also don't use them as trivets either or your image will be stuck to the bottom of your hot dish.

If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll respond and try to clarify anything that may have been confusing.

Happy Crafting!


Tutorial Tuesday X2! Cookie Cutters

We had a church activity for some of the 11 year old boys this past weekend and I wanted to make a special treat to bring....so I decided to make little tie-shaped sugar cookies. (Let me go ahead and warn you, I am not and have never claimed to be a good icing decorator! Please don't laugh too hard at my icing technique! :) As my husband said "It's ok, everyone has a brown and green polka dot tie in the back of their closet somewhere!")

Ok, back to the tutorial. Here's the finished product!

Here's the main item you'll need. This is in the plumbing section at your local hardware store. It bends fairly easily and is ideal for more simple shapes. (Making lots of curves or very intricate shapes will probably not work too well with this method.)

As usual, this doesn't take long at all! In fact, I made this in the car while waiting for my husband's carpool which was running a little late.
I drew my shape on a napkin and then bent the metal to the shape.

Once I got home I used a tin cutter to snip the shape off of the roll. I held it together with a small binder clip and it worked great. (I also learned that if I wanted to spend about $8 I could buy a rivet gun which would also have worked well to hold the cookie cutter together. For a more permanent solution this would probably work great!) The metal was only about $1.50 for a whole 10 ft. so there's plenty left for making more cookie cutters!

Happy Tutorial Tuesday!

Tutorial Tuesday - Handmade Memory Game

This is a really simple project also and GREAT for a handmade Christmas gift! You can very easily adapt it for different age levels as well. This one is a fairly simple match the pattern game. For a little more difficult version, try printing out upper and lowercase letters, or pictures and the matching words. Or even match the english word with the spanish or french word. (Told you it's easily adaptable!)

Here's what you'll need:
A few packages of these:
-Wooden squares. I used two packages for the one I made. Originally I had wanted the squares to be larger than 1 1/4" square and was going to order some from here. At the last minute I decided to just make them smaller. I found these at Hobby Lobby. Most craft stores will have them. However, if it's for a fairly young child, the bigger ones might be better for their hands to grasp.
-You'll also need some white paint. I painted them with acrylic paint, you can also spray paint them.
-Scraps of patterned paper. (I say scraps because that's exactly what I used. Each paper piece I put on was a 1" square)
-Mod Podge (or another adhesive)
-Krylon Shiny clear coat finish.

So, just paint the front and back of the tiles. We're trying to make the back side as uniform as possible. Even a slight difference can detract from matching the pieces.

For each match cut out two 1" square of paper (or alphabet, or whatever you decide to make it with.)

Use the mod podge to adhere the paper to the tile, adhering one piece to each tile.

When this is dry, give it a few coats of Krylon clear coat to finish it off. Don't forget to use the clear coat on BOTH sides, not just the side that has the paper on it.

If you're really crafty, you can make a little drawstring bag to store them in. (I wanted to, but didn't have time.) This is such a small game that I could see this being carried around for waiting rooms in the doctors office or other such occasions.

Here is my pile of finished matching tiles.
Close-up. I love how the clear coat really gave it a smooth finished look!

The entire project took me about an hour, not including the clear coat drying time. And the only thing I didn't have on hand was the wooden tiles, which I spent $3!

Happy Crafting!


Tutorial Tuesday-Easy Home Decor Blocks

Happy Tuesday! Here's the quick tutorial for today:

What you need:
Wood scraps, spray paint, cardstock, and cardstock stickers. (I used this one which I bought from my local scrapbook store: It's called Fall Cardstock Stickers from the Timeless Collection for Deja Views.)

Here's what I did:
1. Spray painted some wood scraps that I found in the garage a nice chocolate brown.
2. Peel off the cardstock stickers and place onto a piece of coordinating colored cardstock.
3. Trim around cardstock to make a border and adhere to your wood block. Easy as that!

If you can't get a hold of the exact page, any fall themed sticker will do. Also try printing a quote directly onto a piece of patterned paper. Any of these will give you a quick, easy, fall decor item.

Happy Crafting!


The Winner is...

Straight from Random.org:

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-11-09 02:20:50 UTC

Congrats Emily! I'll email you and get the details of which papers and embossing you'd like!

Thanks everyone for playing! I've been crafting lots today and will shortly post some new fall decor projects!


Tutorial Tuesday: Holiday Cards plus Giveaway!

The holidays will be here before we know it, and if you're like me, you might just wait until the last minute to make those holiday and Christmas cards. Here's a few ideas I whipped up that look great, but take a minimal amount of supplies and time to create! For all the embossing I used my Cuttlebug. If you don't have an embosser, try paper that is already embossed, or just a nice pattern will work great also. The sentiment on all say: may every day of this new year bring you a reason to celebrate. I just printed these directly onto the cardstock with my printer. That way, you can create any sentiment you want, and aren't just limited to what stamps you have on hand already.

Giveaway! It's been a while since I've done one...so here's the giveaway. Leave me a post and just say hi. Let me know know what you would like to see more of. (Examples include, paper crafting projects, sewing, home decor, gift ideas, or anything else that fancies you) I'll use the Random Generator to pick from among the comments. Leave a comment by Friday, November 7th. I'll pick a winner on Saturday. Here's what you win:

I'll emboss your choice of colored paper with any of the embossing folders I have and send those to you. This is great if you don't have a Cuttlebug and want some fun papers! I'll emboss enough 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" sheets for you to do 25 Holiday cards. I'll use any of the embossing folders I have and send those out to you. So, just leave me a comment, let me know what you'd like to see more of, and I'll pick a winner that will get their choice of paper color and embossing! I'll get the paper, emboss, and ship to the winner! How easy is that?!?

Happy Crafting! I'll have some more sewing patterns again soon. I'm working out the final touches now! Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway! See you soon!