Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Scrabble Tile Fun

Hello again!  I've been slacking off on my blog posts...but one of my New Year's resolutions is to be more consistent with my writing, so hopefully, this will the one of many new posts for 2015!

If you peruse Pinterest, you may have seen this project -- coasters made out of Scrabble tiles.

I pinned this idea right away.  Scrabble is my favorite board game, and last year, when my son's friend was living with us, he and I played frequently.  (I hate to admit that he beat me often, but every now and again, I would come through with a triple word score and take the game!)

Last year, I made him a quilt using a panel of Scrabble fabric, and I knew this would be a fun gift for him this year, as he is moving on in life and starting his first 'real' job.
A Scrabble Quilt
The biggest challenge?  Finding Scrabble tiles!  I did a quick run through my favorite thrift stores, but there were no Scrabble games to be had.  An internet search led me to a great website with very reasonably priced new Scrabble tiles:  www.sunandmooncraftkits.com.  (Look under 'supplies' for the tiles.)  Better still, you can purchase them by the bag or select exactly what you need!  By the piece tiles are 10 cents each -- a real bargain!  I ordered two bags of 100 letters, plus extra vowels.

You will also need a backing material.  I headed to another favorite recycling store, The Resource Exchange, in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia (www.theresourceexchange.org). This great store recycles all kinds of neat and interesting stuff, mostly from theater and movie sets, including furniture, wood, yards of fabric and trims, old photos and posters and, for this project, a couple of 12" square tiles of cork.

The right kind of adhesive makes all the difference, and I reached for my tube of E 6000.  This clear glue is strong, won't stick your fingers together, and yields a permanent bond when it cures for 24 or more hours.
It's better to spread the glue onto the cork than onto each Scrabble tile.  An old credit card helps with this!
My 28-year-old daughter and I were working together to come up with some good four letter words for the coasters, until she accused me of 'cheating' when I used a blank tile!  The coasters were 2 7/8" wide by 3 1/4" long, but if you wanted to use five letter words to make a larger coaster, you certainly could.  My favorite is:


Do you get it?  Read and chat around a cozy fire!  My daughter's included "Wine Stem Goes Here" and "Beer Pint Goes Here."

When you have the tiles arranged, it is a good idea to tape them with a piece of wide packing tape...that way, if you can't finish them right away, you won't forget the words!

After spreading glue on the cork, I positioned each letter, and when they were all down, I made sure they lined up well.  (Note:  these tiles aren't perfectly square, so they don't always make a straight line across and down).
I added an apostrophe with a black sharpie after the glue dried.  

I used a weight to hold everything in place while the glue was setting.

Each coaster was finished with two coats of clear poly-acrylic sealer.  A dozen coasters cost about $33.00.  I packaged 6 together for a gift -- just about right for a gift exchange.

I had about 30 or so tiles left over, and then saw this on Pinterest.

I searched through my tiles, ordered a few more from Sun and Moon, and now have 7 Christmas ornaments ready for gift-giving next holiday season.

Which got me thinking...you could spell anything and turn it into an ornament.  How about "The Devine Household"  or "Nathan's First Christmas".  They also sell a few punctuation marks...how about "#we'reengaged" or "Let it Go!"  This could turn into an addiction!

While this isn't an original idea, I hope it inspires you.  So many times we pin things on Pinterest, but never bother to make them.  Sometimes it's because there are no instructions!  I'm sure there are more ways to use Scrabble tiles out there, and now that you know where to get them, you'll come up with some fantastic ideas, too!

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