It’s nearly Christmas, which means coming up with ideas that’ll keep the kids happy over the school holidays. As the weather is chilly and the days are the shortest they’ll be all year, craft activities would be a great way to keep them occupied indoors.
If you’ve recently done any retiling in your home, you’re almost bound to have a few spare tiles left over. So why not get the whole family to channel their artistic talents by making coasters out of them.
You don’t even need special equipment, just your spare tiles, PVA glue, and Sharpies or pictures or photographs. It’s also a good idea to use felt, cork or sticky felt pads to put on the back of the tiles to protect your table surfaces.
If you want to draw on the tiles, do it with Sharpies! It doesn’t matter if you want to cover it in big splodges of colour or create the Mona Lisa, it’s up to you. Then put it aside to completely dry – probably an hour or so.
Alternatively, you can cut out and stick photos or pictures onto your tile. Simply cut them to fit the tile and glue them to it with PVA solution. Make sure you smooth out any air bubbles. Then leave to dry for at least ten minutes.
There are many YouTube videos with crafters showing you how to decorate tiles. Most of them are American and they will refer to a product called Mod Podge. It is possible to buy this product in the UK, but is hugely expensive. The good news is that it’s really easy to make your own. UK crafters advise that Mod Podge is simply a solution of PVA glue – which is widely available and inexpensive – and water. One crafter’s advice is to mix 3 parts of PVA glue with 1 part water, and voila! A PVA solution that’s the same as Mod Podge but at a fraction of the cost.
Once your ink or pictures are completely dry, seal them with the PVA solution. Brush the glue lightly all over the tile. If you’re brushing over artwork, be careful not to smudge your work. If you’re sealing a picture or a photograph, leave it to dry and then add a second layer.
The solution will dry clear and provide a waterproof seal to protect your design.
Alternatively, you can seal your coasters using Clear Lacquer Acrylic Spray which should be available from hardware shops or hobby shops. Make sure you go outside to use it. Spray it lightly over the tile a couple of times to make sure the entire tile has been covered, then leave it to dry.
Then all you have to do is cut and glue some felt, cork or self-sticking pads to the reverse of the tile to protect your surfaces from scratches. When everything’s completely dry, make a cup of tea and use your new coaster!