Saturday, May 22, 2010

Great Gift Idea

As the end of the school year approaches, you, like me, might be wondering what to give your child's teacher to show your appreciation for his/her hard work over the year.   You want a gift that's clever, unique, and not useful.  I mean, what teacher wants another "#1 Teacher" coffee mug?

So, I present Hand Stamped Coasters...

The things you'll need for this project are:
~ 4x4" tiles (I bought mine at Lowe's -- they're called Agora Almond -- I think....)
~ Stamps
~ Felt Pads (found in hardware section at WalMart)
~ Staz On Ink Pads (Michael's -- This bad boy stamps on any surface -- or so the label says)
~ Stamp Cleaner (Michael's)

Oh, yes.  You'll need some sealer too... I obviously forgot that in my "ingredients" photo.

The first thing you'll want to do is clean your tile squares.  I used the stamp cleaner to do this.  Just rub the little dauber pad of the cleaner over each tile.  Pat dry with a towel.

Then I flipped each tile over and attached the felt pads to the corners.  These little pads were almost the exact color of the tiles. 

These little guys are self stick and pretty much fool proof -- just peel and stick them onto the tiles.  This makes the tiles rest evenly on your coffee table and makes them less likely to scratch whatever surface you have them on.  (I say "less likely" because I'm sure those of you with kids understand that kids will find a way to scratch/dent/destroy things even if they tout some fancy label bragging, "Impossible to scratch!"  or "Kid-proof!"  Heh, heh, heh.)

Look closely at the corner of the tile -- that's a felt pad -- guess it's a military felt pad, it's camouflaged!  Woo-hoo, I crack myself up!

After applying the felt pads to all four corners of your tiles, flip 'em back over and make sure they're dry.  I rubbed mine on the kitchen towel I was using under the project. 

Choose the stamp you'd like to use.  I bought these clear acrylic stamps.  Not only because they offered many choices on one sheet, but because I couldn't find anything on a wood block that I liked.  And I was on a time crunch, man!

If you use these clear stamps, you'll need to purchase the little stamping blocks.  Of course, these are sold separately.  

The cool thing is that the blocks have grid lines on them so you can be sure your stamp is aligned.  Straight?  Plumb?  Level?  Upright?  Whatever, I just know that as one who frequently thinks eyeballed things are straight and then ends up with a wonky result, I appreciate grid lines!  Grid lines create order.  Sigh!  I love order... No Type A here... Nope.  Not me.

Moving right along...

Choose a stamp and align it on your stamp block.  Then, ink up your stamp and press it gently on your tile.  I found another perk to the clear stamps was that I could judge the amount of ink I was getting on both the stamp and then the amount I was transferring onto the tile because I could see through the back.  It allowed me to make sure my image was clear without being over inked and messy.

Stamp away!  I chose two different stamps for each set of 4 coasters.  I like a little variety!

The cool thing about this project is that you can "erase" the stamped image if you don't like the look of it, or if there's too much ink, or if it's not placed on the tile where you'd like it.  Just rub the stamp cleaning solution on the tile.  Wipe dry.  Ta-da!  Just like new.  I like do-overs!

Once you've got the tiles stamped up the way you like them, allow the ink to dry.  Then, coat it with the sealer.  I chose a matte sealer because the tiles are sort of rustic looking.  I just thought it would look better.  If you like shiny stuff, then feel free to buy the gloss finish sealer.  Whatever floats your boat.  Spray your sealer lightly over each tile -- too much sealer can make the ink run, and that would be bad!  That would be very, very bad.  After the first coat of sealer is dry, spray again.  

Once the tiles are completely dry, arrange them in a neat little stack, and tie with a pretty ribbon.

And, yay!  You have a cute, clever, and crafty gift.  One your child's teacher is likely to use.  And though I'm not going to tell you exactly what I spent on this project (just in case some of my kids' teachers are reading) I will tell you that it's a very frugal project.  One that doesn't look cheap!

Have fun stamping some coasters!  And don't be surprised if you see some of these arrive at your house on the next gift giving occasion!

If you've been following my OAMC posts, I have not meant to leave you hanging.  I will finish those posts in a few days.


  1. Kim -- I'll bet you'd have loved to receive these from one of your students, huh? I've always thought that teachers know the best gifts to give other teachers since we've been there!!

  2. Ok, this is indeed a brilliant craft! I will be repeating this in the future! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity! Beautiful!

  3. Julie -- this would have been a good one for MOPS!!


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