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 }

Marie December 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

For questions about Resin, watch the video suggested by Home Studio on comment #75!

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Melbell December 26, 2008 at 9:08 pm

I do NOT recommend Aileene’s Paper Glaze or the Triple Thick brush on. I haven’t tried any of the other Triple Thick products but the brush on finished with a far inferior finish than the resin or than the pictures I have seen of the Diamond Glaze (still haven’t actually tried the Diamond Glaze myself).

The Aileene’s Paper Glaze, which I think is meant for much thinner layers than these pendants require, didn’t dry clear in a thicker layer. It was clear around the edges but where the dome in the middle was it dried white and cracked kinda like what you would expect from just plain white glue. Not pretty.

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Debbie December 28, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Has anyone had any issues with their Diamond Glaze cracking? I just checked the Judi Kins website and they said there is a batch sold that is having this problem, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the glaze from that batch.

I’m bummed — lots of work ruined. :(

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Michele January 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Yes, my Diamond Glaze is cracking too! I am going to return mine to the store I got it from and order a new bottle from someone. I too, have ruined work. It sucks. Good luck!

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Miranda January 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm

hey where can i buy the silver bail?

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Lynette January 10, 2009 at 8:36 pm

See paper-source.com which is where I ordered papers for my DIY wedding invitations. I have not made these tiles yet, so I don’t know if the papers are the correct type, but they have great decorative and specialty papers over there that would be lovely on a pendant.

Also, I am a photographer, and I wonder how photos would “stick” to/under these products/adhesives…or perhaps a photocopy must be made first-?

There is a small and wonderful jewelers’ supply shop near me in Morganville, NJ. thebirdsandthebeads.com I believe they sell Diamond Glaze there (?)

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Karen Korb January 19, 2009 at 5:53 am

I think I have died and gone to heaven. A friend referred me to your website and I love the scrabble tiles. I never dreamed a crafter like you was out there with take and make ideas….thank you, thank you , thank you…..and please keep them coming.

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Esther Craig January 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I love these pendants. I created a couple and wanted to take a photo of them to show my friends. I have not been able to focus on the picture under the gloss. how do you create the perfect picture of this item?

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Rhonda Bracaloni January 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Awesome site and great pendants. I am a photographer and boy am I going to have fun.

Thank you so much for the know how!! :)

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v January 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm

ok, so I am an idiot. i made my pendants just now it that envirotex lite stuff, and didnt wear gloves. now my hands are soooooo sticky and i cant get the sticky off. can anyone help me?

btw, my tiles turned out beautifully! lol

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Cariann January 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm

To clean up envirotex use rubbing alcohol.

For other who use this I have found using the #2 sized plastic cups sold at party stores (think plastic versions of ketchup cups from Wendys) work better than paper for mixing. I also use plastic spoons for measuring when making small batches (1 spoon of each bottle) and then I use a finger cot over my pointer finger to apply vs using droppers. Much more cost efficient for smaller batches and no clean up. FYI I blow torch the bubbles out of mine and it works great.

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christine January 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Hello I have the same question Joni does. Does anyone know what the best software to use is for digital photos for these tiles. I know people are selling the collage on etsy. I would like something that allows me to set the parameters of the photo size so I can load the pics and it does the work for me. Instead I am having to waste paper and ink to keep adjusting and I never get it right.

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Maria January 25, 2009 at 11:16 pm

I have just made some of the pendants for the first time and something’s not right. I used mod podge to glue on the paper, let it dry, and then coated the tile with mod podge again. I let this dry and then gave it an additional coat of easy craft. Some of the drill holes have dark rings and there are also a few dark spots randomly placed around the tiles. The tiles looked fine before I used the easy craft. It seems maybe the easy craft leaked into and under the paper? How do you stop this?

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Carlee January 26, 2009 at 2:13 am

My tips:

I only use mod podge, 1 coat to apply design and 2 coats to seal the design, including the edges of the tile.

I apply mod podge with an angle tipped foam brush (keep warm water and a paper towel near by to prevent drying of mod podge, if it dries on the brush it will create streaks!)

I don’t use bails because I bought a set of pendants and wore them for about 3 days then bails fell off. If you live in a hot (TX) or humid state beware!!

I use eye-screws, they are just like eye-pins but are screws. I dip the screw end into the mod podge and screw it into the tile for extra stability.

To use the eye-screws I bought a hand drill, looks like an eye-glass kit almost, to pre-drill a little hole for the screw.

If you feel like adding more dazzle to your tile and you have 1/18 drill bit and can master a power drill (or patient enough to hand drill through the tile), drill all the way throught the tile from top to bottom and place an eye-pin or head pin through the tile and decorate with beads and crystals at the top or bottom, this also creates stability since the top connector link is all the way through the tile.

All the products I listed were bought from hobby lobby, none of them cost over $4.00

Here is a picture of 3 pendants I’ve made:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/26709378@N04/3227434657/

If you would like to get your creative hands on some scrabble tiles without the commitment to a huge amount of tiles, I have them for sale in my etsy shop. Also, I can set you up with Photoshop files in the exact size of the scrabble tile so that you can design your own personal pendants! http://www.cutesiecrafts.etsy.com

I do apologize if this post shows up twice, I tried to post and it reset my comment section to a blank page.

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Carlee January 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Joni & Christine,

Most people swear that the scrabble tile is .75 by .75 IT’S NOT!

I’ve measured myself and created a template (photoshop) that fits with no overlap (unless you cut crooked like I always do..lol)

If you have photoshop and want the template (white and transparent), I can provide it to you along with tips on how to resize pictures and what easy to use program I resize all my pictures with, all for 1.50

Just convo me on my etsy site http://www.cutesiecrafts.etsy.com

Additon to previous post, the tiles I’ve created with Mod Podge has stood up to Texas & Louisiana weather and have been through and move and through heck and back and still look great with no peeling. Also, I use the MATTE finish only, the gloss doesn’t like to dry or set nice.

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Anna January 31, 2009 at 9:25 am

This is an awesome idea! I went shopping at hobby lobby, so i wasnt able to find jewelry bails, or diamond glaze!
I have learned that if you go to ebay.com you can buy the jewelry bails, and scrabble tiles, you can buy them really really cheap! I got 180 tiles for 10$! i have also learned that you cant find diamond glaze at our hobby lobby! i used tripple thick instead! it works really good!!!!!
a really good idea to do, is paint the edges of your scrabble tile with a paint pen! it looks adorable!!!

thanks for the ideas!

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Kris February 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm

How cute!..the fumes are so killer for that stuff for me ^_^

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nikki February 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

Now, I use a inkjet printer and it bleeds with I apply sealer. If I were to get the images printed professionally (say a kodak machine or something like that) would those fade? Would they be usable? Thanks for any input!

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Anne February 9, 2009 at 4:41 am

Hi! I’ve been experimenting with different techniques for making these pendants using my photography, with varying levels of success.

When I first started, I had a few issues. I couldn’t find Scrabble tiles anywhere, not even the game, so I checked at Michael’s and found unfinished 1.25″ x 1″ wood tiles, ovals, and large circles. I first tried using ModPodge to adhere and seal my images, but because my photos are printed on an inkjet, the colors ran.

So on the second try, I sealed my photo in clear packing tape and then trimmed the tape to fit the wood tile. As long as I kept the tape seal intact, the colors didn’t run. The downside was that even though I used a burnisher, it was very tricky to seal the tape with no air pockets or wrinkles forming. I have tried using ModPodge on top of the taped image, but I am finding it impossible to get a smooth finish without brushstrokes.

I was concerned about using Diamond Glaze because I needed the pendants to be waterproof. I just didn’t see the point in making jewelry that couldn’t be worn when it was raining. So I used the EnviroTex Lite epoxy instead. The first pieces I did came out with some bubbles despite using the straw technique that has been mentioned. They also set unevenly because the drying surface wasn’t absolutely level.

I didn’t have access to the right kind of bail, so I chose to drill a hole straight through the top of the pendant and put a jump ring through it. The technique worked, but the hole has to be drilled ahead of time, not at the end, to avoid cracking or flaking of the hardened epoxy. And the hole has to stay open while the expoxy is drying, otherwise you have to re-drill it anyway. I use toothpicks that are turned frequently to keep them from getting stuck.

The Michael’s tiles are lighter weight raw wood, unlike the more solid feeling Scrabble tiles that are already coated. The natural wood color looked odd next to my photos, so I used black Sharpie to color the edges, and it has stayed surprisingly waterproof. I’m thinking about taking the time to epoxy the edges one by one, so the piece looks more finished. I have chosen to “distress” several of my pieces to camouflage execution flaws, and people seem to respond well to the look.

This time around, I used real Scrabble tiles, and find they are easier to work with than the unfinished type. I printed my images on glossy photo paper and used Martha Stewart decoupage glue to glue the photo to the tile. I didn’t seal the photo with tape or anything else. I applied the epoxy directly to the image, and the photo didn’t run at all. The epoxy did pick up a little black marker, creating a shadow effect at the top of one image.

I mixed the epoxy using one capful of each part and mixing it in a Dixie cup with a popsicle stick. I used the popsicle stick to drizzle epoxy onto the photo and push it to the edges. I would breathe on the tiles, not blowing, not inhaling, but open mouthed like I was trying to steam up a window or clean my glasses. It helped, but there were still little bubbles trapped inside this morning. I wonder if it would have helped if I had kept them somewhere warmer?

The jump ring attachment has been okay, but I don’t like that it interferes with the artwork and can be messy. So this time, I tried drilling holes in the top of the pendants, cutting the tops off of eyelet headpins then Super Gluing them inside the holes. I really like the look, and the drilling can be done before or after the front epoxy.

I’ve experimented with using the Enviro-Tek with other projects, like using it as a suspension for small plastic items inside a metal ring, or sealing fabric and paper to an open glass square to make a magnet design.

I have put up a new page on my website with examples of my pendant experiments, so that you can check them out for yourself if you want to see them.

http://www.annearchist.com-a.googlepages.com/scrabbletilestyle

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Karen Korb February 10, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I have a question….have looked for the jewelry bails and cannot find them at Michaels or Hobby Lobby….where can I get them??

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Jessica February 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

The bails you can only get online. Try the Esty sites. And the ink jet images are easy to get printed. I convert a document full of these images to a pdf file with a pdf creator. The perfect size for a scrabble tile is .75 X .83. Then I email the pdf to staples and give the directions on how I want it printed. It is under a dollar for a whole sheet of images.

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Anni February 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I was wondering if you could paste the paper on the side with the letter on the Scrabble tile. Does anyone know if it changes anything?

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Jessica February 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

I suppose you could use the letter side, but them you would have to worry about an indented image. The letters are not simply painted on, they are indented in the wood. It may seems weird using a scrabble tile, but that is one of the beautiful parts, you are sort of recycling. For a more clean square you can purchase just wooden thin squares from craft store as well a s online. Jo~anns also has circles that work nicely.

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Screamin' Mama February 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Thank you so much for these instructions. I always wondered how to make them. Can’t wait for the weekend so I can go shopping!

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Laurie February 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Here’s some info on Diamond Glaze, including how to get a free sample.

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