Like handmade jewelry?
Teeny-tiny Scrabble tiles make perfect pendant blanks. Scrabble tiles are easy to find at any thrift store, and they’re a great size to use as jewelry–small enough not to weigh you down, large enough to hold a fun image.
Scrabble tile pendants are quick and fun to make. All you need are a couple of kinds of strong glue, a little paint, some wonderful vintage papers, and a jewelry bail. Here’s how to whip them out in a day:
1. Paint the back and edges of your Scrabble tile (optional). You don’t really *have* to paint your Scrabble tile, but I like the way that doing so completely transforms the tile–you’d never know afterwards that you were looking at a game piece!
2. Cut your images to size. I like to work with old comic books, but other fun options are dictionaries, magazines, wallpaper samples, and children’s picture books. Additionally, you can draw your own images on white paper using professional-quality colored pencils or water-resistant markers.
Trace around the Scrabble tile with a sharp pencil, then cut INSIDE the lines–if your image is a teeny bit on the small side, it won’t be noticeable, but if it’s larger than the Scrabble tile, that would be a pain in the butt to fix later.
3. Glue the image to the Scrabble tile. Squeeze a little clear-drying glue (I like to use Aleene’s Tacky Glue, which is a little thicker, and thus less messy, than most other white glues) onto the face of the Scrabble tile, then hold your image by one corner and carefully use the back of the image to spread the glue into an even layer all over the tile face.
Gently press your image onto the Scrabble tile, smoothing it down and keeping it centered on the tile.
4. Add a hard, clear glaze to the front of the image. Because you’re making jewelry, you want it to be pretty sturdy–waterproof, resistant to bumps, etc. You could Mod Podge the heck out of it, but there are definitely glazes that work more quickly to make a very strong sealant. Diamond Glaze is an option, as is epoxy resin.
5. Glue a bail to the Scrabble tile. Using another clear epoxy glue, such as E6000, glue a bail to the back of the Scrabble tile. Now you have a pendant!
Scrabble tile pendants can also be used as bracelet charms and ornaments for miniature Christmas trees. You could also use these in place of my cardboard number manipulatives, if you’d like a material sturdier than cardboard.
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I make bracelets out of Scrabble tiles (I drill holes and thread elastic through them). I also add pictures to the front. To seal them, I first use Mod Podge and then dimensional glaze. It’s less messy than resin but still gives that nice raised look.
The one tool I use that’s KEY to my Scrabble creations is a paper punch I found several years ago. It punches squares that are almost exactly the same size as the tiles. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find another one (for backup, in case this one suffers a mishap). I don’t know why Fiskars would stop making such a useful punch!
Lastly, in my area, it’s become VERY DIFFICULT to find Scrabble tiles at thrift stores. On the rare occasion when I find a game box, I give it a good shake, to make sure the tiles are inside. Often, they are not! I have friends around the country on alert who send me tiles whenever they find them. What will we do when all the tiles are gone????
If you’re interested, my bracelets are on http://www.wasnowcreations.com. Also, there’s a photo of the paper punch on my blog here:
I would LOVE a Scrabble tile-shaped punch! I have a 1″ circle punch that I use for my pinback buttons and bottle cap magnets, and seriously, it is my precious.
Your thrift store Scrabble tile dilemma reminds me of my town, where it is nigh on impossible to find 100% wool sweaters at thrift stores. Two years ago, I made zillions of felted wool sweater Christmas trees and sold them like crazy in my etsy shop, but the next year, when I went on my pre-Christmas wool sweater shopping spree? Nothing. And since then, I keep my eye out, but wool sweaters remain VERY hard to find, and certainly not in enough quantities to keep whipping out felted sweater crafts every Christmas, sigh.
Darn all those crafty people who follow your tutorials! It’s all their fault for the lack of awesome thrifted crafting supplies.
Another resource for scrabble pieces may be schools. I know my mother-in-law had a few Scrabble games that she let the kids play with in her classroom when there was free time.
I know a certain someone who would love to make some of these with horse images. Might have to set up a little craft station with all the items she would need to make some necklaces for her friends.
I think this would definitely be a doable activity for a kid! She could do the images, and then you could glaze them and add the bails. Done and done!
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