I’m “that mom” I make things to help off set the teachers time/money usually 1-2 times a month. Up until this past year my twins were in separate public school classes which meant there was a total of 46-50 children to create for and was often cost prohibitive.
Now, they are in a small catholic school where there’s 16 kids and only 1 class so they are together again. But, even with 16 kids things can get pricey.
So we plotted a fathers day idea for the kids to give out. I lent the teacher my fancy camera and she’s been busy taking pictures, she actually takes really goo portraits though she lacks the ability to use the camera LOL
Then I took 15 cent tiles from Lowes and coated them with polycrylic and let them set for 24 hrs.
I then did a little editing, added names and grades and printed the images using sublimation ink and paper. (Childs my daughter and not the best photo for this but you get the idea) the images always look a bit different on the sub paper (remember to mirror the image as well)
Then I use heat resistant tape to hold the image to the tile. I put a pressing pillow on my heat press and add a layer of parchment, tile images side down then another layer of parchment. Then at 360 degrees F in press for 40 seconds 6 times. This is because my heat press can very in temp so after each 40 second interval I move the tile to a different location then press again.
Let them sit and cool completely! Do a cold peel which leaves some paper still on. But, just then soak in water and I use a soft nylon brush to remove any excess paper and film and dry off. I then clear coat each with a spray of gloss polycrylic
Then I use a paint pen on the edges to cover the bar code and unglazed area. Cut down some self adhesive cork sheets from the dollar store and assembled
If I had used sublimation tiles
16 tiles @ $2.45 each = $39.20
Cork 3 sheets @ $1 each = $3
Paint pen was $1 but can be used well more than this project
Ink and paper probably $1
Sub total = $44.20 - that gets pricey when you do this 1-2x a month
cost per each = $2.76
Polycrylic about 25 cents worth
16 tiles @ 15 cents ea = $2.40
all other costs the same
My total = $7.65
cost per each = 48 cents
I have been making them since April and have noticed no issues with others in use and being cleaned etc.
The UK and European equivalent may be Wicks, Rustins, Albrecht basically a waterbased clear coat that doesn’t yellow and has a poly base.