Dear Annie and Laura,
I’m a very uncrafty crafter. I like a project, but I’m a bit of an instant gratification girl, I don’t knit or crochet, and since I don’t own a sewing machine I don’t sew either. But I do like a “make”, and browsing craft blogs and etsy I discovered scrabble tile pendants – they’re very simple and look great, and perfect for presents. You don’t actually NEED scrabble tiles, although the old wooden ones are very pleasing. But you could use any kind of tile or disc – a tiddlywink or a coin or counter. They also don’t have to be pendants, they can be keyrings or phone charms or magnets.
You will need:
· Scrabble tile (or similar)
· Pictures or magazine cuttings
· 3 types of glue
- ordinary paper glue (you could use prittstick or PVA , whatever you have around)
- Mod Podge
· Diamond Glaze or similar 3d glaze
· Good quality clear nail varnish
· Aanraku pendant findings
I obtained all my materials from eBay. Beware when you search for scrabble tiles though – there are wooden ones and plastic ones (which often have holes in the backs which make them unsuitable). There are also fake replica ones which do just fine, but aren’t so pretty, and fake mini sticky back ones made for crafting (for card makers I guess) which might work for some projects but are a waste of time here.
OK. Find the perfect image. I use a template with a hole the size of a tile to find something. Sometimes I use custom images (my friend designed a nursing pendant for me), sometimes I will recycle birthday cards or pages out of catalogues – wallpaper and fabric designs are perfect.
Use the paper glue to stick the picture to the plain side of the tile. If you have a light box use it to line up the image perfectly – if not hold it up to the light, or try using a computer screen or mobile phone.
Using a sharp craft knife, and a lot of care cut the excess paper away so that you have a neat decorated tile.
Now paint this with a layer of Mod Podge. You need to cover the top and sides. When using both the paper glue and mod podge be aware of the quality of the paper you’re using. If it’s heavy – say from a birthday card – you can be pretty gung ho. But if it’s cheap paper, say from a catalogue it will easily tear or get soggy and can dry rippled or bubbled. In this case you will need to do a very thin layer. I find using a chopped up credit card to apply it gives me a really smooth clean finish, but you can use a paintbrush or similar. Leave it to dry (not long, half an hour or so).
Using the diamond glaze draw a line all the way around the outside of the counter. Then fill the middle it. Less is more with the glaze, it’s best to use the nozzle to spread what you already have than use too much – if there’s too much it will dry unevenly with a dip in the middle. Often you will get an air bubble or two in the glaze. If it is large you can often burst it with a needle. If it is smaller you can use your finger and drag it off the tile. In this case you may need to use some extra glaze. Leave it to dry and cure. It will dry to tacky and clear in an hour or so, but you need to leave it at least 3 days, ideally a week to “cure”.
Once it is fully dry paint it with a layer of clear nail vanish. This isn’t necessary, but Diamond Glaze isn’t water proof so nail varnish gives you some extra protection against the weather. I favour anti-chip/hard as nails varieties. Leave to dry.
Last of all apply some superglue to your finding, and stick onto the back of the tile. It will obscure the letter to some degree, but most letters are still legible.
Feel smug, and enjoy wearing (or gifting) your pendant! Here’s some I made earlier, unfortunately I forgot to photograph the ones I was making for this tutorial, and they are already in the post to people, so these are ones I made last year. I had a friend hand paint the 3E Love logo and fleur-de-lils for me.
The tutorial I learned to make them from was on makeandtakes. It’s got lots of other lovely projects so enjoy!
Last, a word about the rainbow pendant you can see me making in the photos. I made a pendant for my friend Katy last July, it was a letter J for her first son, and I sent it when her second son Charlie was born. Charlie died in October from meningitis. I made her the rainbow pendant, on a letter C, in his memory. She has made it her mission to raise awareness about meningitis and its symptoms, especially because Charlie did not have a rash, not all cases do. Please visit her blog charliecheekychops and spread the word in Charlie’s honour.
Thank you for letting me guest-post, it’s been lovely! I hope you will have me back some time!
Love, Gill x