Scrabble Tile Treasure!

Last week, I was surprised by a small, tightly packed box from my cousin in Oregon. It rattled and bulged. What could it be? It was every upcycler's dream -- a stash of hundreds of Scrabble tiles!

I was so grateful to cousin Cindie, who parted with these treasures after she could no longer use them in her own creations. (She's a fiber artist who makes handwoven scarves, shawls, linens and hand-dyed roving. Check out her two Etsy shops, EweniquelyEwe and EweniquelyEwe Fibers.)

I make bracelets, cuffs, and even wall art using Scrabble tiles. 

I've noticed that many other craftspeople use the tiles, more sparingly, to make single-tile Scrabble pendants. This means that used Scrabble games are in very short supply. Every time I visit a thrift store, I browse the toy aisle, looking for the dark red boxes, but I rarely find one. And when I do, the tiles are often missing!

At a craft fair last summer, another vendor sidled by my table and offered, in whispered tones, to sell me some tiles. I almost wondered if there was an undercover cop watching! I did buy a few mini-tiles from the seller; they were overpriced but worth it.

Red Scrabble tiles are another rarity -- I buy them on Etsy whenever I see them. And I keep my eyes open for other, less famous games that use the same kind of wooden tiles. So far, I've found the eerily named "Jarnac" game, whose tiles are white with cheerful red letters.

I go through letters quickly, especially the rare ones (and you Scrabble players know which these are). So I owe my cousin a big thank-you for her very valuable gift!