DIY Home: 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.


DIY Home: Kitchen Towels

For those who don’t know, I began sewing a couple years ago (for the first time in my life). I taught myself on my mom’s Kenmore sewing machine that was older than I am, literally. It basically had two stitches: forward and reverse. So when I got my fancy brand new machine for Christmas last year, boy was I excited! Since then, I’ve been trying to broaden my portfolio of sewing projects. I made all the valances for my house and I recently made my first tote bag.

And now, these adorable kitchen towels! I used THIS TUTORIAL. If you read closely, depending on your fabric, you may be able to make 4 towels from the fabric supply list. That’s what I did. I purchased 4 sets of fabric (main + accent) and was able to make 16 towels from that. I did need to order extra twill tape, per the instructions. (Note: Don’t do what I did and forget to purchase matching thread. Fortunately, I found what I needed buried in my sewing bin, but that was a total oversight on my part.)

Once you get the pattern down once, you can move quickly. I never have enough time, so I’m not above taking a shortcut or two. My shortcut for this project was that I chose fabrics that could all be sewn with the same color thread. That way, I didn’t need to spend time rethreading my machine and making bobbins. That worked for all but the black breakfast sandwich fabric. I made that the last one I worked on for the same reason.

So, two towels from each fabric set are Christmas gifts for my mom, my mother-in-law, my brother (the breakfast sandwiches, of course), and my son’s babysitter. The other pairs from each fabric set are going up for sale in the carolyncrowndesigns ONLINE STORE.

They really are cute and useful and would make a great holiday gift for anyone! Happy sewing!

DIY Holiday: Printable Christmas Gift Tags

I don’t know about you, but I love to wrap Christmas gifts in plain brown paper. I usually use yarn instead of ribbon to dress them up as well. Red yarn means the gift is for my husband, green yarn means the gift is for my son.

That’s just one way to wrap. Another is to use fun gift tags to write in the recipient’s name. And here’s my early holiday gift from carolyncrowndesigns to you…I made three different gift tags in InDesign this weekend, and they’re all ready to be printed and cut out! All you need to do is download the template HERE, print them out in color on white cardstock, cut them out, and punch a hole in the top to string them to your gifts. I think they’re so cute and hope you enjoy them as well.