Each year I try to come up with a quick, inexpensive craft-y thing that I can make in quantities to give to co-workers, neighbors, teachers, etc...all of those people who make my day. Last year, it was these coasters made using decopauge to transfer pictures onto marble tiles. They were simple to make and could be endlessly personalized. There are many tutorials on the web that take you through the process of making the tiles (like this one: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/02/diy-coasters-and-free-printables.html) but having made about 50 of them, I can offer a couple of hints that I came by though trial and error:
- These are the tiles that worked for me: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001I03RPG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_... I tried a number of different tiles but the picture would either slip off too easily or be too fragmented.
- They sell Mod Podge designed especially for photo / image transfer but I found that it created an opaque rubbery surface on the tiles. Regular Matte Mod Podge allowed the surface of the tile to show through in the negative white spaces of the images.
- Size and crop your pictures to the size of the tile. For the ones I used it was 4" x 4". Remember that the image will be in reverse on the tile so if you are including text, be sure to reverse your picture. I've included a picture of one of my pages ready for the printer.
- For best results, pile on the pixels. Dense images printed on a laser printer seem to work better than low res images on inkjet.
- After you have placed the picture on the tile, slide a credit card across the surface of the face-down picture to get rid of EVERY tiny bubble. Wipe the credit card clean between scrapings to remove all of the decopauge medium or else the paper backing becomes impossible to remove once it has dried.
- Finally, experiment with the amount of rubbling it takes to remove the paper backing. I would soak the tiles for a couple of minutes, then rub of some of the backing, and then repeat the process a couple of times.
It has been a treat to visit friends and see the tiles I made on coffee tables, on window sills, and holding down piles of papers. Unfortunately, I've given them all away so the ones I've uploaded are actually REJECTS, including a couple of practice runs I did for my friend who is writing a dissertation on the Sistine Ceiling.