Mostly I've been filling the baskets with homemade candy or cookies. But after a while it just gets stale (literally and figuratively.) This year I decided to take a stab at making candles for my daughters in addition to the usual junk food. I tried making small candles for my granddaughters last year, but it didn't end well. For some reason I thought I could make even bigger candles for my daughters without having practiced once in the past 365 days. Yes, I did the same thing over again expecting different results.
But those candles made it into the gift baskets anyway. (Maybe I'll post about that another day, just for kicks.)
Since I couldn't imagine my son-in-law lounging in the tub with a scented candle, and he would be sharing the gift basket with his wife, I decided I should make something a little more manly that he could appreciate. Or at least something he could use. Tile coasters with pictures of their children seemed like the perfect handmade gift. Yes, chunks of stone sitting on the coffee table in a brand-spanking-new home with two children under the age of two is the perfect gift.
The tutorial I used can be found at leelala.net. Here's my take on the project:
In hindsight, being that it's 20-20 and all, here's what I learned:
Don't attempt to work with tissue paper and Mod Podge with too little sleep and too much coffee. Shaky hands, glue and tissue paper aren't a good combination. Especially when you've run out of time to try printing the photos again and the home improvement store has closed for the holidays.
Which brings me to number 2: Don't wait until Christmas Eve to get started.
Be gentle with the tissue paper when placing it onto the Mod Podged-tiles. Now is the time to kick your perfectionism to the curb. If your photo isn't perfectly centered, just go with it. Trying to move it could cause you to utter foul words you didn't even know you knew.
And again, perfection isn't your goal. When you get bubbles in your tissue paper photo, and you will, just gently work them out as best you can. And the crinkles that will appear out of nowhere? Those just give it character. Keep repeating that until you believe it.