* Ceramic tile
* Felt (or felt circles)
* Permanent Markers or acrylic paints & paint brush
* Spray sealer (optional item; parents should do this part)
This idea was inspired by a gift my 4-year-old daughter made for Mother's Day at the Middlesex Presbyterian Preschool, but it can make a crafty Father's Day gift as well.
The artwork on the ceramic tile will depend a lot on your child's age, ability and imagination.
For a baby or toddler (or older child with a hand small enough), you can apply paint to his or her hand and then stick the hand on the tile. Not only is this a cute gift, but it will be a nice memento of your child's handprint.
For a crafty toddler or preschooler, you can help them make a simple design using their fingers and paint. One example is the one my daughter made, using her fingerprints to make a flower with a stem and leaves. If needed, you can help guide your child's hand. Or let your child use different colors and his fingers to make a more abstract piece. (Note: you can use a paintbrush to apply the paint to your child's finger or have them dip it into paint and wipe a little off before touching the coaster).
Older children can use permanent markers or a brush to paint a picture on the tile.
Mom or the child can put their name and date (if there's room) on the front or Happy Father's Day to finish off the design.
Once the piece is finished, let it dry completely.
Mom or another adult should take the tile to a well-ventilated area or outside and use the spray sealer on the front of the tile to seal the artwork. Make sure to use a clear sealer (matte or gloss, depending on your preference) that is designed for ceramic.
Once the sealant is dry, then cut four felt circles or squares and glue them on the back of the tile on each corner. This way, the tile can be used as a coaster without scratching a tabletop.
The felt step is good if you want this craft to be a coaster that can be used. If you just want the tile to be a piece of art, you can skip this step.
Supply note: You can find ceramic tile kits (usually a tile with some markers or paint and about $1 or $2) at the major craft stores. You also could pick up plain or colored ceramic tiles at a home-improvement store.
If you're not all "crafted out" you and your child can make a crafty card to go with it.
Sandra K. Lee is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with a 8-year-old princess & a 4-year-old superhero in Middlesex County, New Jersey.