Sunday, February 27, 2011

Custom "Vinyl" Tiles

I really love the tiles you can find at LDS bookstores that have cool / inspirational quotes or images like this one I found at Deseret Book:

Beautiful, right? It costs $29.95. Which is fine, if you can afford it. I can't. So I made my own version. And it only costs about $5.00 to make, and just takes a couple of hours. And makes a beautiful wedding present. And it is easy so when you have 6 weddings to go to in the same weekend, you can have something thoughtful and beautiful to give. (Seriously, this actually happened. Oh the joys of living in an LDS singles ward!)

Ok, here is how I did it.

First, you need to have a Cricut, or access to one. Fortunately, I was able to convince encourage my sister to buy a Cricut Expression so we could have joint custody share. I also got Make the Cut, a separate program that allows you to use your computer to cut any kind of svg image using the Cricut. And I can use whatever font I have on my computer. L.O.V.E.!! (To me, this is what made the Cricut worth the expense. I don't have to spend $90 on cartridges. And there are free programs that allow you to convert almost any image into an svg file.)

Anyway, using Make the Cut, I designed my tile. I've found that if you join the letters together, it makes it easier and quicker to line up on the tile. Now, you can cut it out in vinyl, if you want, but I use textured/colored cardstock. Best part about using cardstock? If you mess up or the cricut doesn't cut right, it's okay! You didn't just waste $5 on vinyl.

Then I found a tile I like at Lowe's (I've found that, locally, Lowe's has a much better selection than Home Depot). 12x12" tiles cost anywhere from 50 cents to $2.50/tile. My favorite ones have been on pink or blue marble.

Next, I lined the lettering up on the tile and picked the layout and then painted on a thin amount of mod podge-I like the matte version--on the back of the letters. Then I positioned it onto the tile. Once all the wording is glued down, you can finish by carefully painting mod podge over the top of the lettering to seal it. (If the mod podge gets on to the tile, try to scrape it off before it dries. Once it dries, it is visible.)

But before I paint the top layer of mod podge, I like to use colored pencils (I heart my Prismacolors!!!) and accent the letters using coordinating colors. To me, this helps the letters stand out a little more and it gives it a little something extra. Then I paint on the mod podge, being careful not to get it onto the tile. Once it is dry, the colored pencil looks painted.

This is one that I used colored pencils on. Its hard to see it in the picture, but in person its obvious.
Best part of this? You can make it to say or be anything you want! Your imagination is the limit!

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