Monday, July 23, 2018

Decoupage Quote Tile

A while back I made a decorative tile by printing out a design onto tissue paper and decoupaging it with mod podge onto a ceramic tile. It was mostly a success, so I've been eager to try it again.

I've printed onto tissue paper for decoupaging a few times in the past. It's pretty simple if you have a top-loading inkjet printer. Just tape a piece of tissue paper onto a piece of card stock. Cut the tissue paper a bit bigger than the card stock on all sides. Fold the edges over and start by taping them in the middle of each side (as above), then keep taping until the edges are secure enough that they won't get caught in the printer. Then just set the card stock in your paper feed with the tissue side facing whichever side prints (on mine it's face up) and print your document. It seems to work a bit better when the paper feed tray is empty so that the card stock has room to bend and flex.

Sometimes the printer will have ink on its rollers or on its printer heads that will get caught on the absorbent tissue paper. I was lucky that the little ink smear didn't affect my design, but if it had, just make another tissue paper card stock and run it through again--it's usually cleaner the second time you print. I created my design to print in Word so I could make it exactly 6 inches by 6 inches to fit the ceramic tile. I found a photo on the NASA website and cropped it into a square, and then I put a text box over the photo and added white text. I adjusted the size and type of text until I liked the way it looked. After it prints, let your ink dry for a while. The ink will soak into the tissue paper and make it bubble just a bit. So if your tissue paper on the card stock was a bit wrinkly to start with (like mine was) it will get wet with ink and then smooth out as it dries. Also, the ink jet ink will smear when wet, so let it dry at least an hour or two--but ideally over night.

Once your printer ink is dry, cut your design out carefully with a sharp scissors. Leave the tissue paper attached to the card stock to make the cutting easier. You can also use a rotary cutter on a cutting mat with a straight edge to get a nice clean cut.

Then I put a thin layer of mod podge onto a 6 inch by 6 inch ceramic tile. You can pick these up at most hardware stores for less than a dollar and they can be used for a wide variety of projects.

A thin coat of mod podge will keep wrinkling to a minimum, but some wrinkles are inevitable with tissue paper. I squared up the bottom edge of my tissue paper with the bottom edge of the tile and carefully set it in the glue. Then I quickly and carefully patted the rest of the tissue paper in place from the bottom to the top of the tile. Wet tissue paper is very fragile, so be sure to keep your hands dry as you are applying the tissue paper and don't do much more than pat to get the tissue smoothed down or it will tear. Once it's in place, walk away and let it dry for at least a half an hour.

After the mod podge that glued the tissue paper to the tile has set, you can come back and apply a sealing coat. This is a bit tricky as the ink can smear a bit, so be sure to apply enough glue with your foam brush so that your brush doesn't stick too much to the surface. The ink will smear less if you can sort of glide your glue across the tile. Try to get your brush strokes sort of straight/in the same direction to minimize their appearance after the tile has dried.

Some of the wrinkles and creases in your tissue paper will flatten out a bit as your tile dries, but some will probably remain. If you want to hang your tile on the wall, you can super glue a picture hanger on the back of the tile. If you want to finish the back so you can use it as a large coaster or just so it doesn't scratch a shelf you set it on, you can glue a square of felt to the back with some hot glue or tacky glue. It turned out great, and I can't wait to set it on a shelf at work.

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