Valentine Gifts for Parents

Trivets and Cards

This delightful project makes a beautiful trivet as a gift and you get the bonus of a matching card with almost no additional work! These tiles are decorated by masking parts of the tile and then sponge painting over the whole thing. Once the masks are removed, you get lovely tile coloured shapes with clean edges.  The masks are then used to decorate a coordinating card.

Materials

Blank greeting card (or folded card stock)

Tile (4” square makes a nice coaster, 6” square or larger makes a nice trivet)

Rubbing alcohol and cloth

Sketchbook or drawing paper, pencil, eraser, tracing paper

Adhesive shelf liner (Contact® is one brand name)

Scissors

Tape

Acrylic paint in at least three similar colours

Palette

Small pieces of sponge

Pin

Spray on acrylic sealer

Steps

With a pencil, write your name on the back of the tile.

Trace the tile into your sketchbook (or paper) one or more times.

Clean the tile with the rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to touch the surface with your fingers so that you do not transfer oils to the tile after cleaning. Let the tile dry.

Meanwhile, come up with some designs for your tile in the traced outlines. Make sure that your design has fairly simple closed shapes. Remember that you will have to cut the shapes out with your scissors. Note that the shapes will be the colour of the tile and the area outside the shapes will be the colour of your paints.

Choose the design you like the best (try for about three shapes). Trace the shapes onto tracing paper.

Roughly cut out these shapes, not on the lines, but outside the lines to leave room for more precise cutting latter.  Tape the rough cut shapes to a piece of shelf liner. Cutout on the lines through all layers.

Separate the layers. To get the backing off the shelf liner, roll the shape edge back and forth. That usually loosens the two layers. Slide a pin in between the layers, separate the layers with your finger and start peeling the layers apart. With and thin shapes, hold the shelf liner near where you are peeling the backing off so that it does not tear.

Place the sticky part of the shelf liner onto the tile. Again, be careful not to touch the tile itself. Once all the pieces are on the tile, cover with a piece of paper and lightly burnish.

Squeeze out tiny amounts of paint onto a palette. Dip a slightly damp (squeeze as much water out of it as you can) piece of sponge into one of the paint colours. Dab off most of the paint on the palette and then start to dab the paint onto the tile. Apply the colour in more in some areas than in others. Replenish the paint on the sponge as needed, removing excess paint of before going to the tile. You only want a thin layer of paint. You want to have lots of tile still showing after the first colour. Let dry. Waving a stiff piece of paper or your sketchbook above the tile helps the drying process.

Use the next colour and go over the tile, dabbing in some of the areas left white and overlapping some of the other areas. Let dry.

Repeat with a third colour. Let dry

Using three similar colours adds a great deal of depth to this project.  It is much more rich looking than using only one colour.

You can check for dryness by making sure that there are no shiny spots on the paint. However, if you are using a shiny tile, the shine from the tile showing through sometimes makes it look like the paint is still wet when it is really just the tile. Keep this in mind when watching to see if the paint is dry.

While the paint dries, decorate the inside of your card.  Write a message or draw.  The front of the card (if it is the same colour as the tile) will have the coloured hearts that are making the tile on them.

Remove the shelf liner. Find the edge of the shelf liner and slip a pin under the edge to lift It. Peel the shelf liner off the tile and carefully position it on the front of the card.  Repeat for all the pieces.

If you are making multiple tiles, you can adhere the dried shapes to another prepared tile instead of a card.

Repeat the process and make a card at the very end.

Take the tile outside and spray with acrylic sealer (preferably outdoor sealer). Normally,  I avoid spray sealers like I avoid the plague. However, for this project, I found that using a brush on sealer (I tried two different kinds), removes the paint as you brush it on.  While this can be viewed as a distressed look, unless that is the look you are specifically going for, it could be very disappointing.

Optional: Glue felt or cork to the underside of the tile.

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