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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

It is a rainy day here in Alabama, and my kids are not in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We don’t even have any errands to run today because I actually got it in gear and did the week’s grocery shopping (WITH coupons!) yesterday AM.  We often do Tuesday playdates at a local playground with friends, but today with the rain we’re just camping out inside at home today.

Under these circumstances, you never know whether we are going to have a great day or the sort of day where we all drive each other crazy.

Today we managed to survive by staying busy.  We planted the flower seeds in the little pots that the Easter Bunny brought.  We put away all the Easter decorations and dusted.  We read a bunch of books.  I cleaned the kitchen.  I broke up a few fights between a two year old who has no sense of personal space and a five year old who is starting to want occasional privacy.  I baked a lemon cake for tomorrow’s Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at the kids’ preschool.  I got the two year old to take a nap.  I helped the five year old work on writing her numbers and lower case letters.  I washed, ironed, and tagged a few dozen more outfits for the consignment sale (I had better make big money this year, I cannot wait to be done with this!)

After all that ironing (and everything else!), I am taking a break to rest my legs and kick back with a nice cold drink before it’s time to make dinner.  I’m putting my drink on a coaster like this:

I’ve been making these stone tile coasters in sets of four to sell at vendor fairs and they seem to be a hit.

Here is how I made them:

1.  Rinse your tiles off with water to remove any dust or residue, then let them dry completely.  I used 4″x4″ tumbled marble tiles.  Initially I used  leftovers from when we tiled our kitchen backsplash, but if you are not looking to buy in bulk, I have since found some at Lowe’s (around $4 for a box of 9).  I DID sit there and go through several boxes of tiles until I found nine that were fairly smooth on top – natural stone has lots of imperfections which might look great on your kitchen backsplash but which don’t really look good when you try to stamp on them.  I was able to find enough good smooth ones without too much trouble.

2. Ink up your stamps with craft ink and stamp directly on the stone.  When I am using a large background stamp like the Medallion stamp that is bigger than the surface I am stamping on, I actually do things upside down.  I ink up the stamp and sit it block down/rubber side up on my work surface, then I place the tile face down on top of the stamp and press firmly on the tile, and pull the tile straight up off the stamp.  The initial was stamped with the Monogram Sweet Alphabet set (I did use my Stamp-a-ma-Jig to get it perfectly straight).

3.  Heat set the ink by baking at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Remember, DON’T TOUCH the tiles until they have cooled.  They retain heat a long time and you can burn your fingers!

4.  Take the tiles outdoors or in your garage and spray the tops with a sealant to keep the ink from smearing or rubbing off.  I used Rustoleum Matte Clear.  Let this dry awhile (several hours at least, follow directions on the can of your particular spray sealant) so your tiles won’t stick together when you stack them up.

5.  Cut squares of felt slightly smaller than your tiles and hot glue them on the bottom so the coasters won’t scratch your furniture.  Now they’re ready to use!

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