Oye! I was given a challenge from an Instructable Master. Grammers asked me not to buy her a gift but make a gift for Hanukkah. She suggested I make a collage for her. I took it the next step further. She loves the game scrabble, reading, completing projects with her friends at the TechShop, hard-woods, communicating in clever ways and local art. I searched the internet for anything to make. I came up with a few ideas but a scrabble magnet board that she could hang in the kitchen seemed most appropriate.
I recruited my friend Julie to help me out and together we created this gift. It was a massive undertaking for a person like me. A usual handy person would be able to complete this project in a few hours, a few less materials and a few less steps. The photos show the journey.
Step 1: Supplies
A few things I used are: six random books, glue, wood, sheet metal, more glue, mod podge, magnets, three scrabble sets, patience and dumb luck.
The biggest struggle for me was finding the right supplies and finding the right set of buses to get me to Lowe's. At Lowe's I thankfully found a butch-looking-gal. She was the best blessing that came my way. She walked me to the aisles I needed and helped me decide on a few of the items like a big chunk of wood I did not need to have cut. I continued to bug the staff until I found the right size sheet metal to match the piece of wood. I have used tin shears before to cut into metal. The result was an uneven and sharp-edged nightmare so I wanted to find a pre-cut piece. Thank goodness for friends because my gal Julie picked me up at the store.
Trial and error eliminated the need for some of the supplies. For example the crystal clear enamel made the paper look nasty. The Gorilla glue made the paper stick but it created clusters of tiny bubbles over random spots of the paper. The elmer's glue might have been great but I ran out of it. I should have simply used mod podge for all the paper. Grammers liked the effect of the paper having different dimensions to it but frankly that was not my intention.
Step 2: Glue Sheet Metal to the Wood
Start by putting some tough glue on the wood and place the sheet metal over the glue. I used a polyurethane construction-grade adhesive glue because a 17-year-old at Lowes told me do so. I applied it and then used a sponge brush to distribute the glue. I then placed the metal over the wood.
Step 3: Reapply Glue
Reapply glue around the edges and place something heavy on it to make it set in place for a few hours. I did not want to get my fingers all nasty so I used chop sticks I found in the kitchen to apply the glue.
Step 4: Use a Glue Gun to Apply Magnets to Scrabble Pieces
I found a few scrabble sets at my local good-will store for under $3. About 100 scrabble tiles come in each set. I then purchased a set of 100 super tiny (1/4" X 1/16") and strong (Neodymium Disc) magnets on Amazon. My fingers got super sticky applying the magnets but it was worth it. I placed a tiny dot of hot glue in the middle of each piece and quickly added the magnet.
Step 5: Apply Book Pages to the Sheet Metal
I spent an evening at a used book store deciding on my background-collage-theme. I decided to focus the selected book pages on the literary intersection of science and religion. I picked up a few books and then tore out two dozen pages to apply to the sheet metal. I laid them out and then I set about applying the glue and the two layers of paper to make the base. I then used a slightly damp sponge to go over the paper to make it extra smooth.
Step 6: Dry the Layers of Glue
I took the piece of wood with the sheet metal and the paper glued on to it outside to dry overnight. I also applied the first layer of the Crystal Clear overcoat. This was the mistake. Don't do this. It made the paper look greasy.
Step 7: Reapply Paper and Place the Scrabble Tile Racks Around the Rim
I used the Mod-Podge this last time on the third layer of book pages. the outcome with mod-podge was perfect. It finally had a smooth and matte finish. I then started placing the tile racks around the rim to frame the piece. I then used hot glue to make them stay. I then used a little saw that I found to make it look semi-neat. Lastly I added a few extra tiles to add my name to the side. I would hate for Grammers to think someone else made this thing.