Scrabble Tile Pendant Tutorial

I’m excited to share this tutorial for Scrabble Tile Pendants from Mark and Stefani at HomeStudio. They’ve so graciously provided this how-to for making these lovely pendants to all of us crafters. These pendants are great for necklaces, charms, and gifts to give. To purchase these pendants with HomeStudio’s one of a kind designs, please visit their Etsy shop.

Scrabble Tile Pendant Tutorial

Supplies needed: · Paper · Scrabble Tiles · Scissors · Craft Glue · Metal File · Mod Podge · Small Paint Brushes · Utility Knife · Diamond Glaze · Super Glue · Small Aanraku Jewelry Bails in Silver

Step 1:
Choose your paper wisely! I use a template card, a little template on an index card with a hole the size of a scrabble tile. That way when I shop for paper, I can see if the pattern will fit the tile. You can use almost
any paper you find; scrapbook paper, card stock, Japanese Washi paper, origami paper, gift wrap, even lightweight recycled greeting cards. Everything will become a possibility, so experiment. Using a light box (or holding your paper to the window), use your template card and trace the pattern for your tile. Trim the paper about a 3/4” to 1/2” around your outline. Allow enough excess paper so you can hold the paper while spreading the glue.

Step 2:
Using a paint brush and your light box, “paint” a thin layer of glue (I use Tacky Glue) onto the back of your paper. Place your tile in the box, being sure to notice which way is up so your letter isn’t upside down when you’re finished. I like using a thin glue.

Step 3:
After about 10-20 minutes your glue should be dry. Using a utility knife, carefully trim around the outside of the tile being careful not to cut the tile in the process. The wood is pretty soft.

Step 4:
Gently file the edges of the paper to be smooth and flush with the side of the tile. Since the wood is soft, be careful not to file too hard. You may want to experiment with different types of metal files in order to find the one you like best. The one I use is a medium grit file.

Step 5:
Now you need to seal the paper. Use a paint brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge. I like to seal the top and all sides. Let that dry for 10-20 minutes. I like to lay my tiles on wax paper so the glue doesn’t stick to my work surface. A cookie sheet lined with wax paper works perfectly!

Step 6:
Once the Mod Podge is dry, it is time to apply the Diamond Glaze. Do NOT shake the glaze. First, I like to make a little dot on my wax paper. The first dot usually has a bubble & I’d rather have it on the wax paper than on my tile. Holding the bottle at an angle, apply the glaze around the edges and then fill in the middle.  Be sure to get close to the edges. The glaze shouldn’t roll off the edge, but in case it does, just file it off when the whole thing is dry. If you get a bubble, which will happen, just use your fingernail to pull it off the tile. You can use a needle, but I find that is harder to do. Diamond Glaze is water soluble, so it just washes off with soap and water. Now let your tile dry for a minimum of 4 hours. Dry your tile in a cool place where it won’t get bumped by anyone.
UPDATED:
I let mine to fully cure 3 days before packaging it. The glaze manufacturers may suggest less time but to be safe, plan on 3 days.

Step 7:
Now attach the silver bail. Hold the bail with your fingers, put a drop or two of glue and hold the tile in place. I like to use Super Glue because then it’s stuck “forever”! The only down side, is that if the bail isn’t exactly centered, it’s tricky to remove. In seconds, it’s attached and ready to go!

Step 8:
Now to clean up any rough edges. Get your metal file again and smooth down any rough edges and excess glue. Now you’re finished! Enjoy your pendant.

© 2008, HomeStudio. All rights reserved. Use of designs, images, or content without permission is prohibited. Please contact homestudio111{at}gmail.com for permission of use. Please feel free to use this tutorial for personal use and have fun crafting!

{ 390 comments… read them below or add one }

Melbell December 13, 2008 at 8:01 pm

@Debbie: My suggestion is to make sure you are using a print resolution of 300dpi for the best image quality.

But if you aren’t familiar with print resolution keep in mind that when you change something over to 300dpi it’s going to print much smaller so you will want to start with a bigger graphic. I don’t fully understand all the ins and outs but you will get the idea if you play around with printing the same image at different resolutions.

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Melbell December 13, 2008 at 8:03 pm

@Joni: I use the Gimp for all graphic stuff. It’s free and it’s plenty feature rich for something like this.

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Debbie December 14, 2008 at 11:11 am

Thanks Melbell. I do use clip art at a resolution of 300dpi. I returned the laser and am sticking with my inkjet as I get better results. I’m still dealing with bleeding.

Melissa, thanks for the suggestion about printing on laser paper and setting the ink using an iron. I did that the other day and it seemed to work! Then I did it again with a different color clip art and the colors ran after applying the Mod Podge. They don’t run much, but enough that I don’t like it.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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Dawn August 29, 2012 at 1:11 am

Clear top coat nail polish has been suggested to prevent bleeding colors. I have not used it yet myself though.

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Kathleen June 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Ladies, if you put clear packing tape over the top and on the back side of the image it will protect it perfectly and it doesn’t add much bulk.

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Melbell December 15, 2008 at 12:02 am

@ Debbie…hmmm I wouldn’t think the laser printer would still bleed. I don’t have a printer so I just go to Kinkos when I need something printed and whatever they print with doesn’t bleed at all on me. i wonder if it has to do with the paper or something.

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AmyDe December 15, 2008 at 7:34 am

Thank you! I’ve had this in my idea book for a long time, but now I have a firm grasp of what to do. Plus I’ve got great ideas for all the “tweens” on my gift list this year!

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Quelyn December 15, 2008 at 5:00 pm

I’ve been experimenting with these as well. I have had some luck with pre-spraying printed images with Krylon spray. If I spray both sides before I mod podge them to the tile, the image is staying quite a bit clearer. I let each side dry for about 15 minutes before working with it.

I have also been using my dremmel to drill little holes in the tops and using the little nickel eye screws to hang them.

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Melbell December 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Have any of you guys had any problems with the Mod Podge causing the paper to sort of wrinkle up at the edges? I don’t have any problems if I use card stock paper because it doesn’t give into the moisture in the mod podge as much.

I suspect that they aren’t drying fast enough because my house is so stinking cold this time of year. It’s not a big deal to use the card stock but it won’t work if I find a really cool origami paper or something of that weight to use.

I need to do some experiments with just putting like a heavy book down on them so they dry flat but I’m quickly running low on scrabble tiles and resin!! :)

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Melbell December 15, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I just went back and read some of the posts that I missed before.

@Monica in post number 32 (if you are still tuned into this program): I use Envirotex Lite for my pendants. It DOES bubble. But carbon dioxide cleans those bubbles right up.

**WARNING** What I am about to say is not safe in any way, shape, or form…but it’s what I do lol. But there’s my disclaimer.

I let the envirotex sit for about 5 minutes, this is when most of the bubbles surface. Then take a drinking straw, aim it at the tile, and exhale…not really blow…but more like just sorta breathe through the straw onto the tiles. Remember, it’s not the rushing air that pops the bubbles, it’s the carbon dioxide. Then I breathe on it again after 30 more minutes, and then a third time after another hour to make sure. The packaging recommends doing this by passing a lit flame close the the surface but harsh chemicals plus fire sounds like a big insurance claim to me :)

If you do decide to go against all our better judgment and use the straw, just remember NEVER to inhale through the straw…that’s probably the fastest way to get those horrible fumes channeled directly to your brain cells short of drinking the stuff right out of the cup…please be careful. This stuff is awesome but it is a potent chemical compound and must be handled as such.

That being said, I have taken to just using disposable tools and just throwing them away after each batch of tiles. I found some paper measuring cups on ebay, a popsicle stick to stir, and a $1 eye dropper type thing for dispensing.

@NCJill in post 38: The first thing I bought was the Aileene’s Paper Glaze because I figured it sounded like the perfect thing. But I just couldn’t get it to dry. I let it sit on the tile for more than 24 hours and in a coat that thick it was still WET to the touch…so I gave up on it. I hope you had better luck.

Also to everyone using Diamond Glaze, I can’t directly speak to this because I passed on trying it out. But I have read some people who use it say that it completely fails if exposed to even the tiniest amount of water, like rain. Has anyone using Diamond Glaze experienced this problem? I guess the theory is that since it’s water soluble, exposure to water can sort of erode it away.

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Rhonda Endriss December 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I made these for craft shows and yes, I had problems. If they get wet, they’re trash! I took some to the Farmer’s Market too and they got wet in the rain and got frosty looking. I had to throw them away.

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Quelyn December 16, 2008 at 7:40 am

Just another hint to help people deal with bubbles in their glaze. When a pin seems too thin to be of any help or when you just aren’t in the mood to chase those little bubbles around, try using an eye pin. Not the straight end. Use the circle of the little eye to lasso and grab the bubbles to pull them to the edge. If you are careful and don’t move around too quickly, you can easily do it without running the glaze over the edge.

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Quelyn December 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm

..and just a footnote to post 61. Yes, last night, I experienced my first water spot problem with my diamond glaze. Just a single drop of moisture on a cured tile caused a dull spot to form even with an almost instant attempt to blot it up (without even wiping)

I guess resin is the way to go but not having used it before, it seems like it would be such a mess to work with. And it’s so easy to just pick up the bottle of diamond glaze and squirt and direct the flow. After mixing a batch of resin, can it also be poured into a similar type of bottle for application to a tile? Would that bottle then have to be thrown out or can it be stored for any amount of time? It just seems like there is potential for a lot of waste using resin and possibly mixing too much at a time.

Can somebody help out a resin rookie here?

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paula December 16, 2008 at 3:06 pm

What a fun project! I think I will invited some friends and try it out. THanks

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Tammy December 16, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for the tutorial. I made a bunch of these, using resin – some pictures up at flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamdoll/sets/72157603900798500/.
I ran into some trouble with the resin the 2nd time around, found online tips for how to do it better next time. Now all I need is a great source for unique teeny tiny images & I’ll keep making them!

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Melbell December 16, 2008 at 9:29 pm

@ Quelyn in post 63:

I will probably never use anything other than the resins now. It is a bit of waste, but to me the superb results make up for it. And clean up is easy if you just allow yourself to throw the tools away. You CAN clean the stuff up. For example, the Envirotex can be cleaned up while still wet using rubbing alcohol. But honestly if you try to do this, you won’t want to use the resin because it’s a pain and to me the fumes from the alcohol are worse than the ones from the resin. I use a marked paper mixing cup to measure into, a popsicle stick to stir for a full two minutes (vigorously), and then I just use an eyedropper from the cookie decorating aisle at the craft store to suck it up and dispense it right onto the pendants. I end up throwing away the cup, stick, and eyedropper but actually with patience, a pipe cleaner, and a crap-load of rubbing alcohol the eye dropper isn’t really that hard to clean up and reuse. But you will know the next day if you didn’t get it all off because it will be tacky or gluey feeling to touch.

I have found this method to be pretty reasonable and at like 15 bucks for 50 cups, and $1 per eyedropper, it’s really not that expensive…unless of course you are only doing one pendant at a time. If you are only doing one at a time you will want to find a way to measure out much less of the resin (Envirotex is just a one-to-one resin to hardener so I’m pretty sure you can mix as little as you want) and you won’t want to blow $1 per pendant on the eyedropper. If I was going to do a huge batch like maybe 50 pendants I would actually buy a squeeze bottle with a fine tip for that size of project and then just throw that away.

As for storing, it will set up hard in the cup overnight, so I would say don’t leave it for more than 15-20 minutes or I think it would start to gel up and you would lose not only pourability but also finish quality. I don’t know for sure because I have never let it sit out for a while.

But one thing, if you go the disposable cup or bottle method, do not throw it away while the resin is still liquid. For one if it pours out in the trash and leaks out of the bag you will be in a world of mess, and also as it’s setting it puts off heat and it needs to be able to dissipate. I let mine sit in the cup on my table overnight and throw it away the next day.

My honest recommendation would be to find the smallest size of Envirotex Lite that they sell and a cup or something that you don’t mind throwing away and just trying a few pendants. If you don’t like it or if it doesn’t turn out well you will be out a few bucks, but then you will know if it’s a workable solution for you.

To me the Diamond Glaze is not an option because even just washing your hands could cause water to splash up or if it’s raining or anything…say goodbye to your beautiful pendant.

Also, I ran out of Envirotex Lite and the next one I bought to try is the Easy Cast clear casting epoxy. It will probably be quite similar to the Envirotex but I will definitely post once I get a chance to use it.

I gave pendants tonight to all the girls at work for Christmas presents and already two of them have commissioned me to make them for their daughters for Christmas. So within a couple of days I will be making some more pendants. :)

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Lucia March 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Hi Melbell:)

Loved you post about the resin and I had a question. You said that when the DG gets wet, the water ruins the pendant. Does that happen when you use mod podge dimensional magic or not. I can’t find DG so I use that instead. Where can I find EL? Also, do you have problems with your pendants dipping in the middle and if so, how do you fix that problem. I really loved all the info you shared with us.

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Lucia March 16, 2012 at 12:02 am

Well, I just tested one of my pendants and put water on it and the water didn’t do anything. The coating looked fine. So maybe this is an alternative to the DG.

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Sharon December 17, 2008 at 10:27 pm

This is a great tutorial. Thank you for sharing. I have made quite a few of these and have run into some problems with the ink bleeding really bad. I have an inkjet printer. I’ve tried setting my clipart images with an iron and I still get a lot of bleeding. Can anyone tell me the best paper to use? Can the creators of this tutorial tell me if they use a laser or inkjet printer? Your artwork is so crisp and very clear. Any help is appreciated.

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Stefani December 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Hi there! Looks like everyone is having fun making these pendants.

I see there are a few questions on the ink bleeding. If you use an ink jet printer, the ink will bleed. What you can do is spray your images after they dry with a sealer. In the past, we have used a (non-water based) furniture sealer. It’s pretty toxic, so watch the fumes. After that dries, you’ll want to use a THIN layer of Mod Podge to set the image. I haven’t tried the iron technique – good idea!

If you use a laser printer, the bleeding won’t be an issue. We use a high quality laser printer. We have also found that thicker paper (cover stock and card stock) work better than regular printer paper if you are printing your own images.

Hope that helps. Have fun creating cute pendants!

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Marie December 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm

For Ink Bleeding inquiries, please read comment #65 from Stefani, the owner of this Scrabble Tile Tutorial. Thanks Stef!!

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Kathleen December 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

For Diamond Glaze users – what about spraying the pendant with a spray varnish after the diamond glaze is dry? (Something like Krylon or Kamar) I wonder if that might make it resistant to water?

I have my supplies ordered, can’t wait to try these!

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Nanci December 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I am interested in getting started with these, but has anyone figured out how to put hole through tile to insert pin, rather than glueing on a bail?

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Kathleen December 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Re: inkjet prints bleeding, I just tested mine with Mod Podge and NO bleeding whatsoever…I’m using REALLY good paper though – Arches Infinity (a museum quality archival watercolor inkjet paper) so differences in paper might be the issue. It’s the same paper I use for my art prints…I’m shrinking down some of my artwork for pendants.

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Julie December 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I’ve been using the diamond glaze and have also tried Triple Thick. The problem I’m having is that even when the glaze sets for days, it still seems to get marked up easily. I tried wrapping some for gifts, but having tissue or cotton pressed up against the glazed tile, marks up the pendant and they look awful. :( Anyone else noticed this problem? I just can’t figure out how to remedy this and I’m sick over it because I’ve made tons for x-mas gifts. Now I don’t know what to do to wrap them without them getting marked up.

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Mark & Stefani December 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Please allow your glazes to cure for 3 days before wrapping them. Even though the manufacturers suggest less time, we’ve learned longer is better. We will make this update to the tutorial.

Thanks,
Mark+Stef

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Julie December 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm

My pendants that were getting marked up, had set for well over a week. So, I don’t think the drying time is the problem. I was using that cotton stuff that comes in jewelry boxes as a buffer between the pendant and the box, but even this light cotton left marks on the pendant. Per suggestion by HomeStudio, I’m going to try using a clear coat of nailpolish over the glaze after several days of setting or try using glue dots to adhere my pendant to the box so I don’t have to have any cotton/tissue rubbing up against the pendant. I’m still concerned about the delicate nature of the glaze. Seems like even if I find a way around the packing issue, the person wearing the necklace isn’t always going to be so careful. They could set it down on something and it will easily scuff.

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Melbell December 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Well…I made a new batch. This time with the Easy Cast clear casting epoxy. I made 34 pendants and it seems about 15 of them aren’t ruined. It took me too long using my eyedropper and the stuff started to gel up on me from sitting for so long. I think it was about 20 minutes. I will have to remember to only do small batches of 10 or so at a time or do get a squeeze bottle which should make it go much faster.

After it got gooey it was a little tougher to get dispensed onto the pendant because it didn’t flow as well, but the real problem was that the consistency of it kept the bubbles from degassing themselves and they just set in the pendants. *sigh* Lesson learned the hard way.

The Easy Cast and Envirotex Lite are made by the same company and work in the same exact way, but the Easy Cast seemed less…fume-y. Less toxic maybe? I don’t know. I will probably just go with whatever costs less because either way the tools have to be thrown away after because I’m too lazy to try and clean them all up.

One thing I did notice to make a difference. Definitely heed the curing temperature recommendations. I usually do mine on a table in the basement next to my computer desk but my basement is really cold this time of year. So I didn’t them on the kitchen counter this time and they seemed to set a lot faster. They are still curing but they were actually soft set within several hours (overnight basically).

I bought some Triple Thick to see how it did but I saw all those bubbles and thought, “man…what a pain to pop all those.” Does anyone know of an easy way to debubble the Triple Thick and also how does it hold up to water splashing? Does it hate water like the Diamond Glaze? I’m guess that anything that says “non-toxic” is not going to hold up as well as an actual resin but I really don’t know.

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Sherry December 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I just purchased a used Spanish version of Scrabble at a thrift store and got 102 scrabble tiles for just 99 cents plus tax….. what a deal…. before moving here from Calif., I found a couple games at the thrift stores for 99 cents as well….. $2 or $3 for a used game is great considering how many tiles you get. The Spanish version just had some extra letters that you don’t get in the English version, such as the N with the squiggly on top and the double R’s…..

These make great keychains as well or even zipper pulls for the kids’ backpacks and coats………

Thank you for the tutorial, I was having a time of it with my puzzle pieces but this will make me feel better about tackling the tiles!!

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Joan Perez December 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I love the idea of buying a Spanish game for the unique letters! I hve been buying old Scrabble games at my local Amvets for about 30 years now and never paid over $1.98 for them. I have made many crafts over the years that spell out names, so I always needed a lot of J’s for our family (Joan, Jessica, Justin, Juliet, Juliana…it goes on & on!)
Since there is only one J per game, I ended up with huge bags full of extra tiles and used them to teach all the kids how to spell. We created many games and art projects using them all up! I’m glad to hear other people are doing the same!

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Mark December 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm

We personally don’t do Resin but thought this might help those who want to try it. Here is a good video tutorial about using Resin by John W. Golden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAEKnv0OU08

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