Crafty Librarian Presents…Scrabble Tile Coasters
Recently there has been an influx of craft tutorials online utilizing Scrabble tiles. And I love them all, dearly. I even own several necklaces made from Scrabble tiles and they are just so cool.
When I was asked by my boss to plan an adult game night program I was totally stumped on the kinds of comfortable and affordable decor options. How do I decorate our Plaza area to reflect the mood of the event without breaking the bank? For that matter, how do I provide ambiance without being cheesy? Well then it hit me: I’ll make drink coasters out of Scrabble tiles. I mean, it’s a game night and we’re having a free beer tasting alongside; it’s perfect.
Much Googling brought me to the Wedding Bee blog where a crafty bride made Scrabble tile coasters as her wedding favor. (More power to her, she made nearly 100 coasters). Using her as a guide, I started coasters of my own. Let me tell you now, it was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. So far, using two boxes of Scrabble I have made 9 coasters of beer/wine/coffee/tea/book related words. I do still have a good number of tiles left. I’m hoping I’ll end up with at least 1 or 2 more coasters, for a total of 11. But we’ll see.
How I made them:
I first came up with the words I wanted to spell. Because it is an adult program and we’re providing some adult beverages I thought beer and wine related words would be nice. Also, from the Wedding Bee tutorial I got the words for tea and coffee coasters. I wanted at least one that was book or library related. Once I got the words approved I set out dividing the tiles themselves into groups. Which is when I discovered that Scrabble only contains 1 k, 2 b’s, etc, etc. Needless to say, I had to get our other Scrabble with the promise to replace it.
Here are the words I did in groups:
DRY HOPS TEAS READ JAVA DIET WORT PURL FINE
AGED BREW LEAF RARE SHOT SODA AGED YARN WINE
VINE COLD WARM BOOK BEAN LIME PINT NEED VINE
CORK BEER CHAI GOOD MUGS RUM ALES LES CAVE
Once I’d made my words I started gluing them down onto cork board. I used just a standard cork board that I bought from Michaels. I used Tacky glue (you know, in the copper colored plastic bottle) to glue the tiles down. I liked it for this project because it dried quickly but not immediately so I could still move the tiles around a bit to get a better, tighter fit. I let the glue dry for about 36 hours, mostly because I was off for a day, then cut the cork around the coasters and trimmed it down to fit.
This is what they looked like after I had trimmed up the cork.
Once they had dried completely, I used the Hard Coat Mod Podge designed for wooden furniture to waterproof and seal the coasters.
I used two coats of this; the first was a thin layer and the second I really glooped it on. Once they’re dry, you are finished!
Here’s what I learned while making these coasters:
~While you may come up with words ahead of time, you probably wont be able to form them all without purchasing another box.
~Having never worked with cork before, it is crumbly! It’s gotten everywhere and on everything. I used the Mod Podge to help seal up the sides of the cork board which significantly reduced the crumbles.
~ The absolute most frustrating thing about this whole project? The fact that not all Scrabble tiles are created equal. Some are bigger than others and some are rectangular instead of square. For the most part I didn’t have trouble fitting them together but I did end up with one UGLY coaster.
*Note: The coasters were a HUGE success at the first Game Nite. In fact, they were so popular that some of them walked away from the library! 😦 Oh well…