Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to School and a Little Thank You Project

Well, we're back in the swing of things.  I can't find the gray of my desk yet - too much paperwork to still take care of.  My new office partner had vacation scheduled before she knew that she was being assigned to our school, so I've been flying solo since the second day and will be until Thursday of this week.  Not exactly how I would have liked it, but we're making it work.  We had some redecorating done over the summer - new paint and carpeting.  The yellow is a tad bit brighter IRL and the carpet is so much better than what we had.  There have been a lot of comments about our choice of wall color, some of them not so nice, which makes me sad when we were aiming at making the room more cheerful.  But I think it's growing on most.  Anyway, we're happy with it, and since we spend the most time in that room I guess that's all that matters!

Smile - the cafeteria is open again!

I had a little project that I did to thank some of the teachers that came in to help me unpack supply boxes and to stuff envelopes for our mailing.

I started with 4 x 4 white ceramic tiles.  (They're actually a little bit bigger than 4" square if you measure them.)  Then I chose some Sharpie markers in colors that I thought would look good together.  In this case, I was going for some aquatic colors reminiscent of the summer.  I scribbled the tiles with the Sharpies and gave it a couple of minutes to set up.  Then, I used 91% rubbing alcohol for the next step not pictured (I found the 71% did not work as well).  You drip the alcohol onto the scribbled tiles and watch how the alcohol disperses the colors, blending as the drips come together in places.  

Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area.  Otherwise your liable to burn your nasal passages and that's not a particularly good feeling (as I found out!).  Let them sit with the alcohol on them until it completely dries.  Be patient.  To be on the safe side, give it a couple of hours.  You don't want anything even remotely wet for the next step.

The alcohol will leave a little bit of a film on the tiles (at least I found that it did), so I took a tissue, a soft tissue, not a paper towel, and lightly rubbed the tiles to remove the film.  If you really don't like what it looks like at this point, you can remove the ink completely by wetting the tissue, or now you could use a paper towel, with the alcohol and rub it all off and start all over.  (This is how I found out that you really have to wait for it to dry before rubbing because there was still some wetness and by rubbing it when wet, it just removed the color.)

And now, it's probably not likely that you would spill alcohol on them after this, but in order to make sure that there is no more accidental color removal, take the tiles outside (don't stack them on each other either because you might scratch the color off) and give them several light coats of a spray sealer.  This also gives them a nice glossy finish.  

The last step is to add something on the back to keep the tiles from scratching surfaces.  I used some peel and stick cork on mine, but you could use felt, or even smaller pieces of the cork. (If you're a wine drinker you could slice up a wine bottle cork for these also.)

So when they were done, I wrapped them up in some bubble wrap and then tissue paper, and then I wrapped that with some brown kraft paper and added a ribbon with the tags below that I made from cardstock and some stickers that I had on hand.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the wrapped packages.)  I wrote a little note of thanks on the back of the tags and put the packages in their mailboxes as a surprise.  

I have a few more tiles to experiment with other colors. (The tiles were really cheap.  I got 10 for less than $2.)  I was thinking maybe some fall colored ones would be nice.


  1. The titles turned out beautifully. What a great idea.

  2. I looked at these earlier on my phone, but wanted to wait till I was at my desk to leave a comment. Isn't it amazing how the alcohol transforms the scribbles into something so beautiful! And the matching tags...well, you know I love birds but I think my favourite is the one on the right with the flowers. They are, of course, all beautiful.


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