Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tutorial - Scrabble Tile Hair Clips

So in my excitement re: Scrabble tile hair clips, I went a little crazy last night and started making some new sets!

I thought it would be fun to document the process, and then I thought it would be REALLY fun to share it with you in the form of a tuto
rial (woo!).

I had a bunch of extra Scrabble tiles laying around, thank goodness, because I am poor and I did not want to buy more!

I have found that purchasing Scrabble tiles straight from the manufacturer is WAY cheaper than buying them from sellers on Etsy:
Just go to the Hasbro website, click on Customer Service, find the link for Replacement Parts, click on S (for Scrabble), and then choose which version (Deluxe, 50th Anniversary, Spanish, etc.) of Scrabble you want to order pieces for. A little form will pop up that you can print out and either fax or mail it with your payment. (I have been nice and linked to the form for you. You're welcome.)I started by cutting out some little 1" squares of pretty
paper. I've been using digital collage sheets that I bought on Etsy from Planet Beadlejewlz... See my previous post on digital collage sheets here. I also use scrap booking paper (which I buy and hoard obsessively) and clippings from magazines.

Once I have a bunch of little squares cut out, I start attaching them to the Scrabble tiles. Most people use Diamond Glaze for this, but I found a similar product at my local Michael's store called Paper Glaze which is almost exactly the same product but is cheaper than buying Diamond Glaze on Etsy (no shipping!), so that's what I've been using. I also like it because it's slightly tackier than Diamond Glaze, so you can scrape it off the edges with an X-Acto knife if it leaks over the side.

Basically, you just coat the Scrabble tile (non-letter side) with a thin layer of the glaze of your choice (even Mod Podge or craft glue will work, but like I said, Paper Glaze is my fave) and then stick the little paper square to the tile.

You have to make sure you don't use too much glaze, oth
erwise the paper will get all gross and lumpy and will dry funny. And you also have to make sure you press the paper down onto the tile so that it's nice and smooth.

Once the glaze is dry, you can start trimming off the paper that overhangs the edge of the Scrabble tile. I flip the tile over and trim with my trusty little X-Acto knife
. You have to make sure your knife is REALLY sharp. I go through X-acto blades like water. Lukily, they're pretty cheap and you can get them like, anywhere. I've even gotten them in the scrap booking aisle at Target.

Ok, so once you have smooth edged, paper covered Scrabble tiles, you can start Mod Podge-ing them! This is only if you are going to be coating them with resin.

If you're not using resin, you can coat them with a thick layer of Diamond Glaze at this point. Then you would let the tiles/glaze cure over night and then you're done, and you can skip right to gluing them to clippies.

I personally find that resin produces a much nicer end result. The Scrabbles are waterproof, more durable, and just plain shinier!

If you're using resin, you have to make sure the paper on the Scrabble tile is completely glazed with Mod Podge, otherwise the resin can leak under the edges and discolor or otherwise mess up your paper, and that is not good.

I am not going to go into the details of mixing and pouring resin, bec
ause that would take forever and I am lazy. But it's pretty easy to use, so you just have to follow the directions on the box.

If you do use resin to glaze your Scrabbles, make sure you don't use too thick of a coating. I am still perfecting this step. If you use too much resin, it will overflow off the sides and form a pool of goo around your Scrabble tile, at which point, there is nothing you can do except wait until it cures and sa
nd the crap out of your Scrabbles to get the stupid resin off. This has happened to me several times, and it is very very annoying.

My suggestion is to just dribble the resin onto the tiles one drop at a time (I am impatient and rarely do this, which is why I tend to use too much resin). If you don't use too much, it'll stay within the edges of the tile because of the surface tension (look it up), which is pretty cool.

After the resin on your Scrabble tiles cures (use the time table on the box, usually a couple of days), you can start gluing them to stuff!

My favorite stuff to glue Scrabble tiles to:
  • Silver plated bails (for pendants)
  • Paper clips (for bookmarks/funky office supplies)
  • Magnets (for fridge magnets, duh)
  • Ring bases (for rings, durrr)
  • And my new favorite: Hair clips!

I got a bunch of hair clips at Target for like $3 for a set of 12 (6 matching sets in different colors). They have lots of different kinds their, but I like the metal ones that are mostly flat edged because they glue easily to flat Scrabble tiles.

Before I started gluing, I matched up a bunch of the Scrabbles (you can see in the photos that I planned ahead for matching sets by making 2 Scrabbles of each design) to a corresponding color clip.

So if you are going to attach your fabulous Scrabble tiles to hair clippies (or any of the other objects I mentioned), all you have to do is get yourself some super strong adhesive. I like E6000. You can get it at Michael's. It's really toxic (I think it smells good, oops) so make sure you use proper ventilation when you're using it.

Once you have some E6000, put a little tiny glob on the end of your hair clip. You really don't need much. I always tend to use too much so it smooshes out from under the tile and then I have to wipe it off and start over. Very annoying.

So just under-estimate with the glue. You can always add more adhesive if it's not enough, because it doesn't dry immediately so you can just peel the Scrabble tile off and squeeze some more glue on.

When you have a sufficient sized glob of adhesive on your clip, just squish the Scrabble tile onto the glob and push down so it's secure.

Then you just have to set it in a safe place (where no kitties can get it and try to play with it because they think it's a toy instead of important crafty goodness) to dry. I usually let mine dry for 24+ hours just to make sure, but probably over night is fine.

Ok you're done! You now have a freaking fabulous hair clippy that you made yourself! Woo!

Make sure you check out my Etsy shop for the Scrabble tile hair clips you saw me make here!


  1. Awesome tutorial!
    When I made a couple tiles for myself, I bought old Scrabble boards with their tiles at thrift stores for about $2. So you can always check there and recycle old toys!

  2. This is great! You should add the link to this post to "Make & Tell" for this month. Link is

  3. What a fabulous tutorial!! You did such a great job and I have to try these. I want to make some oldest will enjoy doing these too! Thanks my friend!


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