Picture of your choice
Clear Tape (like Scotch Tape)
Clear plastic cups (for support & mixing)
Scissors, paper cutter or xacto knife (Tweezers optional)
Acrylic paint to match picture - becomes the grout
Tack Cloth (optional)
Newspaper or cardboard to protect table
Straight pins to pop stubborn bubbles or use embossing gun (gentle heat)
Alcohol wipes (baby wipe's)
Scrap book paper for borders and contrast edges
High Gloss Coating
Masking tape (to mask the back of the tile)
1. Choose your picture. Calendar prints work well because of the size and thickness. Original photos or copies made onto photo paper also work well. Scrapbook paper or fiber paper work well also, but may need to be sealed with Mod Podge first. (Quality copies made at Ben Franklin Monroe or Bonney Lake)
2. If you choose a picture with a face on it, be careful to choose a board that will work with it. Cutting distorts the lines so faces and small parts do not always work out evenly.
3. Choose a paint color that compliments your picture. The paint color will be the "grout" of the tile. Usually the darkest color in the picture is the best.
4. Sand and remove any dust. Sand off any uneven corners and be sure that all dust is removed from the grooves.
5. Paint the tile board. Paint inside each groove, down on the sides of the board and the tile sections with your acrylic paint.
6. Placing your picture. Place your picture on the tile board to see how it will fit when cut apart. As you center it, try to place it so the tile lines do not interfere with the design.
7. Cutting the picture. Working from the top edge and the right side, mark the outside cutting line with an xacto knife. Make a small notch on the top and bottom of the line you want to cut. Using those marks cut the line with a cutter. We have found that a chop style paper cutter or a rotary blade and ruler work well. Cutters that work with a wheel or straight chop give the cleanest cut. Continue working around your picture, doing one side, then the top and then the inside cuts. Lay your pieces on the boards to be sure that they fit properly.
8. Glue your picture in place. Glue each section of your picture in place using craft glue. We recommend Mod Podge. Make sure that the edges are secure. Be careful not to get the glue on the top of the picture. A baby wipe will take off any excess glue, but be careful and not rub too much or it will take the color off. You might test a scrap first. The alcohol wipe is also great for cleaning off your hands and any drips.
Add any stickers, gems or other embellishments that you like and coat the whole project with two or three coats of Mod-Podge; this will ensure that all edges are glued in place as well as scal the grain of the paper to prevent discoloration from the resin. (Mod Podge goes on milky but dries clear).
Use a clear tape (like Scotch tape) to mask off the edges on the back side of the board; this will make it possible to remove any drips that may occur when you apply the resin.
9. Pour the High Gloss Coating. Please take a moment to review all instructions on product packaging before you begin. As a precaution, make sure to wear gloves while making this project. Find a place where you can leave your tile board undisturbed and away from children, pets and dust. Set your prepared tile board on 4 paper cups. Remember to have some type of paper or cardboard to protect the table from the drips. Mix in exact equal amounts of each bottle. We suggest clear plastic cups to help insure the equal mix - unequal amounts will cause the mix to remain soft. Stir the product, scrapping the sides and bottom well. It is really important to mix this well. Refer to product information from the box for extra suggestions. It is important that the board is sitting leveled.
10. Pour the mixed product onto the tile board slowly. There will be bubbles, but as you gently spread the product out they will begin to pop. Gently breathing or blowing on them will help them to pop (you can also use a hair dryer on low speed). Additional bubbles may appear, so use a pin to pop or slide them off the edge. A popsicle stick or scrap of heavy paper will work well for a spatula.
11. After the board has set for about 10 minutes, slide a scrap of paper or a tooth pick down the cracks to drain the excess resin. This is what creates the tile look. You may have to do it several times. As you do this, you will have excess resin come from the grooves, use a sponge brush to spread it around the corners and edges or other low spots. Be careful not to lift the corners of your picture, as they will not stick back down.
12. After the resin has cured approximately 12 hours it should be dry enough to touch; you may now rip off the tape on the back to remove any gummy drips that formed (if you wait much more than 12 hours to do this step the resin may have already hardened too much for the drips to pop off).
If you have created a work surface (such as a coaster or table top) give the resin 72 hours to cure completely before using it, to avoid scratches, dents or other marks.