>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I've enjoyed figuring out how to make fun coasters over the past few months (see them here) and, in response to your requests, I offer this tutorial as one possible way of making them. I am sure there are other (possibly better) ways out there, so take what you can from this and go forth, be creative, and have fun. If you don't want to make them, you can buy them from me here.
*Tiles (available at hardware stores, tile stores, and, often, at recycle/reuse places)
*Paper/Books (for the coaster tops)
*Glue (I recommend ModPodge available at most craft stores)
*Varnish (again, available at most craft stores)
*Felt Circles (available at most craft and hardware stores)
*X-Acto Knife & Self-Healing Cutting Mat (optional; alternatives include a paper cutter or scissors)
1. Measure your tile (they are typically 4" x 4" or 4.25" x 4.25" but measure to check) and decide how big you want your coaster top to be. I usually cut mine 3.75" square.
2. Cut out your squares. You may elect to do this by tracing a square and cutting it with scissors, using a ruler and X-acto knife, or using a paper cutter. The latter is obviously the easiest but not everyone has a paper cutter handy. Remember that you don't need to follow the direction of the paper. In the pictures you can see that the lines are straight in the original, but I cut diagonally because I think it looks more interesting.
3. Turn the paper square over, and coat the back with glue using your paintbrush.
4. Take the square, center it over the tile, and press it onto the tile. You have a few minutes in which the glue is still liquidy and you can move the square around until it is placed exactly where you want it. Make sure there are no air bubbles by smoothing a ruler or your fingers (or a bone folder) over the paper.
5. Once centered, paint a layer of glue over the papered tile. Make sure to paint in one direction. (As you can see, I spread out paper bags over my table to keep the glue away from the tabletop; this also makes clean-up much easier.)
6. After the glue has dried, paint another coat of glue on the tile. You can decide if you want to paint the glue in the same direction as the last time or in the other direction (e.g., horizontally instead of vertically). If you are making multiple coasters at once, the glue on the first one will usually dry by the time you get to the last one. If you are only making a few or you are stopping in between steps, make sure to wash out the brush so it doesn't dry and harden.
7. When the 2 layers of glue have dried, use the paintbrush to coat the tile with a layer of varnish as a sealant. Varnish usually takes longer to dry than glue.
8. When the coasters are dry, turn them over and add felt circles in each corner to protect your furniture.
9. Congratulations! Your coasters are ready to be used.
If anything needs more clarification, please let me know. This is the sort of project that anyone can take on as well as one whose creative limits are endless.
You can use fun paper,
or anything else you think of.
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