Everyone needs coasters, right?
A set of Scrabble tile coasters were recently one of Craftster's featured projects. They're simple, requiring more patience than time or skill. The creator, Jessfun23, glued Scrabble tiles to thin cork sheets in clever drink-related patterns, then coated the tiles with a sealant.
She chose Mod Podge, but any waterproof, non-toxic clear sealant should be OK. Some sealants might yellow over time, but there's no ideal soft base for coasters that won't deteriorate over time anyway (most coasters have a finite life span by definition). Another Craftster user, TracyinNH, was inspired to try this project with a felt bottom and denim edging, for an entirely different look. You could try running a metallic gold paint pen around the edges before applying the sealant, or edging each coaster with glue and glitter. The possibilities are endless.
Acquiring the letter tiles for this project is probably the largest obstacle to hurdle. I did some research, and was able to find some surprising and interesting options... not just for sources of tiles, but also for the look of the tiles themselves. There's even a totally different way, shown in the photo above, to make a similar coaster. You'll find something for almost everyone, including your favorite l33t g33k, after the break.
While you can usually find Scrabble games in thrift stores and at yard sales, and sites like eBay are also a good place to look, you can order special tiles that will take this idea to the next level. Behold:
: Sells a variety of tiles, including large-print tiles and overlays, and standard replacement tiles.
: These plastic tiles are used in competitive Scrabble and are available in several different styles, but they all have one factor in common: they are absolutely flat, so that players can't reach into the bag and feel around for a specific letter. This might make them better for coasters than wooden tiles with indented characters on them.
: Scrabble's manufacturer is happy to sell you replacement tiles.
I wouldn't pay more than $10 for 100 regular wooden tiles, including shipping: you can probably get a brand new game in your own neighborhood for that price, then use the board for a different project. Unusual tiles may be worth the premium cost, if you like them.
The photo at the top of this post shows a different kind of Scrabble coaster: these are made with scrapbooking paper with a pattern of Scrabble tiles. (This paper, from EK Success's Hasbro collection, seems to be out of production. You could get a similar effect with Scrabble tiles on a color photocopier, but selling the results might get you in trouble.) The paper is glued to a plain white ceramic tile and then covered in sealant. You can put circles or panels of felt or cork on the bottoms of the ceramic tiles after they've been sealed.
Finally, if you love Scrabble, you may be interested in Scrabble Tile Pendant instructions from etsy's LittlePutBooks. You can purchase them for US$14, at this writing; simply search the shop at the link.