Alberto is the driver behind many of the ideas in this blog, but I have to admit that when I heard this particular one, I thought he was nuts. He just said that he wanted to make ornaments out of glass tile, and all I thought of was the regular 4″x 4″ tile. I told him that it was going to be too HEAVY to hang on the tree. The second thing I thought was, why would anyone want to think of a bathroom when looking at the Christmas tree?! (Well, unless you’re one of our dogs…)
Then he explained what he meant, and I realized that it was actually a great idea — and it turned out that it was super easy! The ornaments turned out very sleek and elegant! Our friends Mark and Rich are having a holiday party this weekend, and we were sure that this would be the perfect gift for them!
Here’s what we used to make the ornamets:
- 1 sheet of glass tiles (we used a sheet of long rectangular tiles)
- Sand etching kit (from your local craft store)
- Etching stensils (make sure they are for sand etching, not the cream etching)
- White paint
This is what we used to put it together:
- Hot glue gun
- Masking tape
Let’s make the tile ornaments!
- Remove the glass tiles from the backing. Choose several sets of two identical tiles (for the “front and back” of the ornament).
- Pick the letter that you want from the stencils and place it at the bottom/center of the tile. In our case, we were doing a couple so we put one initial on one tile and the other initial on the second matching tile.
- Use masking tape to tape off ALL areas of the glass that you don’t want to be etched. Read the directions on the glass etching kit! Also, you MUST wear protective gear because this can get messy and the sand can be very abrasive.
- Sandblast the stencil area according to the instructions. I held the sandblaster about 1/2-inche from the tile.
- Soak the glass tiles, still wrapped in the tape, in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Soaking is not necessary, but it washes off the residue from the sand blasting as well as helps with the removal of the masking tape.
- Unwrap the glass tiles, wash them, and dry them with a towel. The etching will show up better when the tile is dry.
- Take a little of the paint, rub it into the etching and wipe off the excess quickly so that it doesn’t dry to the glass. Adding the paint will make the letters stand out much better.
- While the tiles are drying, cut the ribbon into 4-inch strips for each ornament, and set them aside.
I don’t know what the temperature is where you are, but around here…it’s very cold! My fingers have been blue for two weeks! We needed something to warm us up, and what’s better than a little libation? Alberto wanted to try something different and somewhat healthy. (When I say healthy, I mean it had to have fruit in it) He came up with a Blueberry Martini using beer…weird, but it tastes very good!
Let’s finish the ornaments!
- Lightly sand the backs of the tiles to get rid of the gummy materials they may still have and to make sure they fit tight when glued.
- Be sure that the hot glue gun is ready to go, as the next few steps will go really fast!
- Take two of the matching tiles (in our case, one that said “m” and one that said “r”), place one face down and the other face up. Check that the initials are in the same place on both tiles!
- Take one piece of the 4-inch ribbon, and fold it in half.
- Place 1/4-inch of the two ends of the ribbon on the “top” part of the tile that is facing down.
- With the glue gun, squeeze glue on top of the ribbon and continue down the length of the tile. Now, quickly place the second tile on top of the first and line the two pieces up together and squeeze. Try to ensure that there is no space between the two tiles. Pay particular attention that the edges line up. You CANNOT readjust after the tiles have been joined.
- Place the ornament aside to let it dry and harden (a minute or two).
And there you have it! Like I said, these ornaments are particularly beautiful and elegant. Give them to your friends and family! We have several parties coming up this week and we’re planning a few variations on this project…stay tuned! For now, back to the Blueberry Martinis!