DIY Home: Coasters, Coasters, Coasters!

coasters
I came across several tutorials on Pinterest before the holidays and thought that DIY coaster sets would make excellent gifts for neighbors, teachers, and friends. (I also made a couple sets for myself.) I should point out that, in my opinion, this is a very easy craft, but it’s time-consuming, and larger quantities are your friend. I suggest you make a ton at one time because you won’t want to go back and do this over again.

What I love about this project is that you can make it as customized as you’d like. I used scrapbook paper for mine. But you could use maps, wrapping paper, etc. But be warned to not use anything you print out on your home printer because the colors will bleed. Here’s a list of supplies:

  • 4.25″ x 4.25″ white bathroom tiles from Home Depot (I think they’re like 16 cents each…get extra in case you mess up)
  • scrapbook paper (or wrapping paper, whatever…)
  • paper cutter
  • Mod Podge (I got mine from Michael’s and used “matte”)
  • sponge brush
  • clear acrylic sealant (again, purchased mine from Michael’s)
  • roll of cork (purchased at Home Depot by the contact paper/shelf liners)
  • adhesive (I used original Tacky glue in the gold tube)

Note: The cork backing is optional. You could just get some felt and cut it up into small squares to glue to the corners of the underside of the coaster. I prefer to cover the entire bottom of the tile with cork because I think it’s safer for furniture.

I strayed a bit from the tutorials I read, but here’s what I did. I know it seems like a lot of instructions, but I promise it’s really easy!

  1. Cut your paper into squares. I used 4″ x 4″ squares so that my coasters would have a white border, but you could cover the entire top if you’d like.
  2. Spread out all your tiles somewhere you can leave them for a few hours. Spread a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the surface of your first tile using a sponge brush.
  3. Immediately place your paper square on top, centering as best you can. You literally have like 1.5 seconds to slide your paper around before it sticks, so place it carefully.
  4. Repeat for remaining tiles, one at a time.
  5. Allow Mod Podge to dry (at least 20 minutes).
  6. Spread a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of your first tile (right over the paper that’s affixed there now). Go either left-right or top-bottom and remember which you do.
  7. Repeat with all remaining tiles, applying Mod Podge in the same direction.
  8. Allow Mod Podge to dry (at least 20 minutes).
  9. Spread a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of your first tile again, going in the other direction as the first round (if you did left-right before, apply the Mod Podge top-bottom).
  10. Repeat with all remaining tiles, applying Mod Podge in the same (new) direction.
  11. Allow Mod Podge to dry (at least 20 minutes).
  12. Spread a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of your first tile again, going in the same direction as the first round.
  13. Repeat with all remaining tiles, applying Mod Podge in the (original) direction.
  14. Allow Mod Podge to dry overnight. The coasters’ surface will be tacky now, but the sealant will take care of that.
  15. Take your tiles outside and lay them all out close together. I did this by placing them on a plastic trash bag in the backyard.
  16. Spray and even layer of sealant across all the tiles at once. Follow the instructions on the can for drying time.
  17. Apply two more layers of sealant, allowing time to dry in between.
  18. Once totally dry, cut cork or felt and glue to back of coasters.

I tie them up with pretty ribbon into sets of four. Good luck! Leave me a comment to let me know how they turn out. 🙂

ADVICE: If you stack your coasters to store them, slip some wax of parchment paper in between to prevent the felt or cork from sticking to other coasters. That may not apply to everyone, but I live in south Florida, and it’s hot and humid here. Better safe than sorry.

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DIY Holiday: Kid-Friendly Christmas Ornaments (Part 2)

plastic globe ornaments
Have you read my “DIY Holiday: Kid-Friendly Christmas Ornaments (Part 1)” post yet? (Click HERE to view.) I gave you instructions on some super-easy but surprisingly beautiful tissue paper ornaments.

Now, I have some other ideas to share with you. They’re so easy, and you may already have many of the supplies you need:

  • PLASTIC globe ornaments from the craft store (I get mine at Michael’s and they come in three sizes)
  • Assorted red, green, white, and clear beads (I just used whatever was in my stash)
  • Brightly colored feathers (from the craft store)
  • Glitter balls (I got these at Michael’s after Halloween on clearance–apparently, silver, green, and purple are now Halloween colors)
  • Yarn/twine (I used red and green yarn plus regular old twine)
  • Thin ribbon (to create a hanger)
  • Small-ish jingle bells (optional)

All you have to do is set out all the supplies for the kids. Then, remove the ornament caps and let the kids put everything inside the ornaments. (Obviously, some of these supplies post a choking hazard, so if your kids are really little, you’ll need to be extra careful.)

Then, you can put the cap back on. Again, I like to string a jingle bell onto a ribbon and use the ribbon to make a hanger as an extra touch. And since we’re using plastic globes, even if your kids drop them on the floor while making them (which happened in our house!), they should survive the fall.

There’s still time to make these before Christmas! Good luck!

DIY Holiday: Christmas Ornaments (Part 1)

spiral tree ornament
As you know, I really enjoy making my own Christmas ornaments. Here’s a cute Christmas tree ornament I came up with last week.

All you need is some wire (any gauge sturdy enough to hold its shape but pliable enough to be easily manipulated–I just used some I found in my craft bin in my closet), some beads, and needle nose pliers. I used “starflake” green beads as the main component of this ornament. I find these at A.C. Moore and I have them in green, clear, and red. They’re great for all kinds of Christmas crafts and I’ve NEVER been able to find these beads at any other craft store or online. Then, for the “ornaments” on the tree, I used a mix of random red, green, white, and clear beads I found in my stash. The gold bead at the top is a pony bead. If you don’t have gold, you could use silver, clear, or yellow.

For my ornament, I used a total of 30 green starflake beads, 1 gold pony bead, and 16 random smaller beads to represent mini-ornaments on the tree. I cut about an 11-inch piece of wire for that amount of beads (I like to err on the side of caution) and strung the beads on in a random order. You can absolutely use different amounts of beads than I used if you want a larger ornament. My ornament turned out to be about 3.5″ tall.

To start your ornament, I recommend stringing on the first bead (in my case, a gold pony bead), and then folding the wire back over and twisting it to secure that top bead (see picture). Then, just string on the rest of your beads until the ornament is a large as you want it. Then, snip the wire about 1″ from the last bead and twist that wire into concentric circles as far as you can. Then, I use the tip of the needle nose pliers to push the concentric circles against the bottom of the last bead to lock it in place. The final step is to twist the ornament into a corkscrew and add a ribbon hanger through the top bead. Viola!