I was thinking through what to give a friend for her birthday and someone gave me the idea of making her a set of custom coasters! I loved it, and after a little research, thought it would be a fun project. I had a few hiccups along the way (meaning that a friend had to come and rescue me from complete disaster once or twice), but in the end, it turned out great and was an enjoyable gift to give. For the complete how-to, check out the websites I referred to (listed below). Here’s what you’ll need:
- Four 4×4 square tiles (you can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot)
- Mod Podge (or a similar type of liquid glue)
- Something to spread the Mod Podge with (a sheet of paper works best, but I used a foam brush..more on that later!)
- A picture printed onto regular printer paper that can be cut down to the size of the tile
- Square 4×4 cork that can be hot glued onto the bottom of the tile.
- Envirotex Lite-This is a high gloss finish
After you’ve gathered all of the supplies, cut your picture down to the size of the tile (I used decorative scissors to cut out the pictures).
Next, glue your picture on to the tile using the Mod Podge. I recommend approximately five thin coats of Mod Podge to ensure that it is completely protected. (Also, I waited about 20-30 minutes in between coats, to make sure that the coats had a chance to dry before the next one was put on). Once the Mod Podge has dried, brush strokes will be visible. But after the Envirotex Lite has been applied, it will give it a glass-like finished look.
The last step is to apply the Envirotex Lite. Wait at least a day after using the Mod Podge before applying this, to make sure it’s completely dry. Be sure to follow the directions exactly. (Trust me on this!) If you don’t apply it exactly as written in the instructions, then it will not turn out correctly. A few valuable lessons that I learned the hard way while using the wonderful, but tricky, Envirotex include:
- Use a stiff sheet of paper to spread the mixture, not a foam paint brush.
- Do not place the coasters on foil when pouring the mixture. Instead, put them on a high surface and let the mixture flow over the edges onto something. If you put something right underneath, the mixture will pool, and it will all stick to the bottom of the coaster.
- Be sure to use exact, equal parts.
After finishing the coasters, wrap them neatly in a pretty bow, and – Voila! – you have the perfect gift for any occasion!
Overall, this was a really fun activity and I had a great time choosing which pictures to put onto the tiles. These personalized coasters are great gifts! It is a relatively easy project (not to mention being easy on the budget), is hand-made and adds a nice, personal touch.
Lauren Moody is a student at Southwestern Seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Women’s Studies. In her free time, Lauren is an ambitious runner, sometimes running over 10 miles in one day! She plans to graduate in May 2014.