Garden signs on wall tiles

I’m making labels for my garden sections by painting tiles.

This is a blank “subway” style marble tile. It’s 140×45 mm (2×6 inch). One is about $1. Avoid “glazed” or “glossy” tiles, which are too smooth for the paint to stick well.

First, we add a layer of tape. I used blue painter’s tape because it’s easy to see. I expect masking tape would work well too.

Attach the sign you want to your tape. I used double-stick tape. It’s better than single-stick around the edges, but that also works in a pinch.

Cut through the letters using an x-acto blade. I used a sans-serif font to make this step faster.

Remove the paper, as well as the tape. You can use the x-acto blade to peel up the tape. Make sure not to lift up the “holes” in letters like ‘B’ or ‘a’.

Paint the tile. I used pale/pastel blue acrylic spray paint. Make sure to either not spray the sides, or cover them in tape too.

Then I let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

Peel off the tape. I used gloves, and took out the holes using tweezers.

Peeling the tape while the paint is slightly wet is easier than completely dry. When it’s dry, the acrylic clings to the tape and “stretches” rather than cleanly breaking.

If you mess up along the way anywhere, acetone took the paint off great for me.

Then I let the paint completely dry. Optionally, you can seal it with a clear sealant if you want extra waterproofing.

I attach the tile to my raised beds using z-brackets sized to fit the tile thickness and a screwdriver. They look fine on the dirt too.

Looks nice! Maybe I’ll switch to a higher-contract color paint for white?

Making signs on wall tiles

I recently made an art project as a birthday gift for a young friend of mine.

I hadn’t seen the exact technique I invented to make stencils posted anywhere, so I figured I’d share it. I don’t think this is a good method, but maybe it will inspire someone to do something better.

I started with a blank tile. On top, I put down a layer of painter’s tape (basically masking tape, but a little less stretchy).

I printed and taped a piece of paper on top (made using this online tool with the font BreeSerif):

I used an x-acto knife to cut through both the top paper and paper, then removed the paper. Then I peeled the letters out of the painter’s tape.

I painted the letters with acrylic, let them dry, and removed the tape. In retrospect, it probably would have been easier to remove the tape wet, because acrylic paint is a little stretchy and I went over the lines.

The letters happily lifted right off the glazed tile, which hadn’t been sanded or anything. I added a heavy coat of modge-podge spray sealant, which kept everything in place after drying.

Finally, I used a masonry bit to drill screw holes in the tile, so it could be attached to a door.

She seemed to like it :). But now she wants to make one too. I’ll have to see if I can invent an easier way.

Hack-A-Day, Day 20: Hillsfar Lockpicking Spritesheet

For today’s hack-a-day, I meant to clone the Hillsfar lockpicking minigame. Instead, I spent all day just extracting the sprites. But I had a nice chill time, so it was great.

Edit: See the updated post for the finished game.

Here’s the original minigame:

Here’s my spritesheet:

I made it by splitting up screenshots:

Hack-A-Day: Hack-An-MMO

It’s november, and I’ve decided this month that I’m going to do 30 projects in 30 days. It’s an all-month hack-a-thon!

This is November 30th, so this will be the last project.

Today’s project is Hack-An-MMO (demo, source). It’s a small collaborative art RPG. You can draw people, places, and things to populate the tiny world. Have fun!

Hack-A-Day: Hack-A-Battle

It’s november, and I’ve decided this month that I’m going to do 30 projects in 30 days. It’s an all-month hack-a-thon!

Yesterday’s project was Hack-A-Battle (demo, source). It’s two dueling music visualizers (sound warning!). Red vs blue. As each hits the other with bullets, they lose heath. As a band takes damage, it gets dimmer and quieter. Eventually one band will win out and be the only one playing.

I thought this was a cool idea, but I’m not really happy with the implementation

  • It’s a little laggy, especially when explosions happen.
  • It’s probably a little too fast of a battle.
  • I wanted to the things coming out to actually be linked to a music visualizer, which I almost had time to do.
  • It would have been better if the “bands” took turns playing instead of both going at once, for the poor listener.
  • It requires a fairly big display, and beefy computer/phone. It doesn’t work well on a small screen at all.
  • I wasn’t super pleased with the code. It was so-so
  • I wanted you to be able to upload your own songs and duel a friend