This craft requires patience. The ink is not absorbed but sits on the tile’s surface so it may take a number of attempts to make a crisp printed image. Picture and letter stickers may replace the stamped images. Spray both versions with the sealer; omitting the oven process for the stickers and tile. Continue to follow all other instructions.
5 – 4-1/4-inch square, white tiles
Black and green stamp pad or ink pad refill roller
Teddy bear stamp
Clear acrylic block
Gloss spray sealer
White gloss spray paint
Hot glue and glue gun or Elmer’s Fix All Cement
2 long elastic bands
Contact cement solvent
Felt dots or felt sheet with peel-away adhesive on back
At end of one tile, mark off a space equal to double the thickness of a tile. This end piece needs to be cut away. To cut mine, I ran masking tape under the cut line, protected the surface of the tile with a strip of cloth, put the tile in a vice with the line just showing above the jaws and cut the tile with an angle grinder. OK, I didn’t, my Andy did. Thank you, Andy!
Cover workspace. Place sandpaper on table and drag the cut side, and all the sides of the tiles, back and forth to take off the bumps that would normally help the tiles affix to the grout. When smooth, wipe away the dust with a damp cloth. Dry tile.
Above the centre point of the tile, stamp a black teddy bear. It will take a number of tries to get a clean print. Fortunately, it is easy to wipe the ink off and try again. The ink will sit on top of the gloss surface so be careful not to rub the print. I found that the ink refill roller was easier to use as I could control the ink placement on the stamp.
With green ink, spell DAD on the lower part of the tile. Mark a straight line along the lower half of the tile with a strip of masking tape. Clear stamps stuck to the underside of a clear acrylic block make it easier to see the placement of the letters on the line. Wipe the letters away with damp cloth until you are satisfied.
Use a heat gun or set the oven to broil in order to dry the ink. Oven – protect your hands – set the tile on the wire rack in the middle of the oven for approximately five minutes. Protect your hands – remove the tile and set it onto a wire rack until completely cooled. The image is not set. DO NOT RUB THE IMAGES.
In a well-ventilated area, spray the gloss sealant over the stamped tile. Dry. Lay all the tiles face down, spray the backs and ends with the white gloss spray paint. Repeat every 30 minutes until any numbers or marks are covered. Dry.
ASSEMBLE THE BOX:
Here again, you have a choice based on ability of the crafter. The tiles will adhere with equal strength using either the Elmer’s Fix All Cement or the hot glue. The hot glue is much faster to use but you must be quick to stick the pieces together before the glue cools. The cement needs time to set. Have ready: a Styrofoam block cut slightly smaller than the size of the base tile for inside support, books or brick – something heavy to support the tiles on the outside while the cement sets.
Note: The stamped tile is stuck to the short end of the tile.
Apply glue/cement to the bottom inside of one tile. Press it against one long side of the base tile. Repeat on opposite side. (Prop up tiles as needed.) Apply glue/cement to the inside along the bottom and sides of the back tile. Press into place. Repeat with printed/ front tile and press into place. For the box using the Fix All Cement, put one elastic around the base and one about an inch from the top. Allow 24 hours to set. If the hot glue tiles are out of line, immediately pull the tiles apart and realign. Once set, remove any cement smudges on the tile with the contact cement solvent and a rag, and your fingernail. Wipe the solvent off with soap and water. Dry. Allow any smell to dissipate before wrapping your gift.
This Father’s Day present will help Dad keep track of all those remotes that like to hide between the couch cushions.
– Dana Ramstedt is a freelance writer and preschool teacher of 18 years.