I'd never thought I'd need them and somehow I'm still in denial that I have them. I don't know why, but to me they seem like something paranoid old people have like plastic on couches, yet here I am totally endorsing them....coasters. Not roller coasters, coasters to keep your drinks from creating little crop circles on your nice furniture.
WAIT! That's it! That's why I've never needed coasters...we've never really had nice furniture! I never wanted to get anything too nice when the kids were little which was a good idea (I have pictures of a couple of large drawings on couches with sharpee markers to prove my theory).
But the baby is 4 now and for the most part knows not to draw on things, so we decided to get a nicer dining set. Note the word "nicer" does not equal nice. It means it's nicer than our last one, but I didn't break the bank on it because I know my kids aren't grown up yet and I already have a lot of stress in my life, I don't need to add scratches and nicks on the table to the long list of things I get mad at my kids about. But it's nicer.
And a few nights ago husband suggests that we get coasters for our new table to keep it "nicer." "Coasters," I thought. "We're one step away from shoving kleenex up our sleeves." But determined to have cool coasters I hit the internet. There are plenty of cute coasters out there and so many ways to make your own, but most of them involved using tiles and decorating them. If I made tile-based coasters, water rings on my table are the last things I need to worry about. I'm sure my kids would drop them, or throw them at each other or use them to carve fun things into the table.
Then I saw these iphone app icon coasters:
Since we're iphone people, I thought these were great. But the $60 price tag wasn't so great. I was determined to make these. I looked for a while online to find these icons in a high enough resolution so I could print them to a 4inch x 4inch size which is standard coaster size, I guess. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ICON FILES.
Of course, you can always use whatever print outs you want. Pictures of family, magazine ads, beautiful flowers, funny sayings, whatever! I just happen to like Apple products.
I headed to Michael's to find a non-tile solution and I found a bargain. In their bargain bins in the front, I found a pack of 8 thick cardboard coasters for $.30 a pack. I had modge podge already, so I bought some cork ($3.29 for a roll) and some acrylic sealer ($7.99 minus 40% coupon).
So I cut out the icons and applied modge podge to the underside of the coaster (because the design showed through the paper) and I placed the print out on, making sure there were no bubbles (this is harder than you think. I'm not a very good modge podger...so this frustrates me a little).
After it was dry, I used an exacto knife to cut the corners off. Don't worry if it's not perfect, we are going to sand it.
Then take a fine sand paper (or here a sand block) and sand the corners to smooth them. You can sand all the edges, too. If you want to add an antique look to some vintage pictures or something, you can lightly rub some brown paint around the edges and sand it, too.
I applied a layer of modge podge on top of the paper and on the sides of the coaster "sealing" it in. And let it dry completely. Then (not pictured) I sprayed sealer over the coasters. I put on three coats, allowing each to dry before adding the other. This is to help make them waterproof and it also takes away the modge podge stickiness. Sealer makes them shiny and smooth.
Then I cut some cork just slightly smaller than the coaster and glued it to the bottom.
I set a couple of heavy books on them and let them dry and this is how they turned out. Here are my very inexpensive version of iphone app icon coasters. I chose our favorite apps...see words with friends? Who wants to play? My user name is nonobull!!
And I found a cute little box that fit them perfectly...it needs some decoration...but that can be another project for another day.
These personalized coasters can be a great Christmas gift for the person who has everything. Yes, I said it....Christmas! And as a couple of friends who use coasters have pointed out...coasters are your friends. They are not a sign of old age! I agree, especially these...they're not your mother's coasters!
Today I linked up to:
Sew Much Ado
The Thrifty Home
Blue Cricket Design
The Trendy Treehouse
Lucky Star Lane
Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom