Every year on Black Friday, my internal debate of what to get everyone for the holidays begins. Andrew and I knew this year we didn’t really have the option to get too crazy because we are working our tails off to live without credit cards, and be free of our credit card debt. But, there is nothing I love more than Christmas shopping and gift giving. What’s a girl to do? We were stuck between a rock and a hard place. That’s when it dawned on me. Homemade is the way to go! I ran the idea of giving the gift of craft project by Andrew, and he gave the green light. The real question was what to actually make. With my recent discovery of mod podge (yeah, I know…I’m a late bloomer), I started thinking about what I could make with scrapbook paper. The light bulb went off and coasters came to mind. Everyone needs coasters!
We started off by drafting a list of who would be receiving our DIY coaster project. The final tally came to 17 different sets of four. One trip to Lowe’s later, we came home with 68 4′ by 4′ white ceramic tiles, two spray cans of clear acrylic spray, and three boxes of pads for the bottoms of the tiles. We picked up a few books of scrapbook paper at TJ Maxx for less than 5 dollars for each pack, which had at least 25 sheets of paper if not more. Pleased with our purchases, and even more pleased with our gift savvy-ness, we embarked on our project.
The first thing I did was sort through the stacks of paper and grouped four different designs together to make a set. In the picture below, I stacked all of the same sheets together, but you don’t need that many sheets for this kind of project.
Once I had all the groupings together, I busted out my handy dandy X-Acto cutting board. I measured out four inches, and started cutting. 68 cuts later, my arm was definitely feeling the work out the following day. And the day after that…
Once the paper tiles were cut, Andrew started the mod podge station. All he needed was paper towel to lay the paper on when gluing, a plastic ramekin with mod podge and a small synthetic bristle paint brush.
Mod podge away!
Look at how he very gently is holding the now glued paper. That’s because once the glue is on, the weight of it make the paper a little goofy and it’s easy to get a crease. Once glued, just flip it onto the tile and press evenly to adhere here. It’s really easy. The only thing you have to worry about is bubbles but with even pressure, it shouldn’t be a problem.
As you can see, he’s tired of gluing and being delicate. Make your manly face! Grrr!
For the sake of masculinity, I gave Andrew the job of spraying the clear acrylic spray over the tiles. Make sure you do this outside, because this stuff will seriously get you high if you do it indoors. Even more so than regular spray paint. But, if you’re into that sort of thing…well, then you’re into that sort of thing.
Two coats of spray later, we kept the tiles out for an hour and a half for it to dry. The weather was warm that day, so it helped them cure a little faster. If it was colder out, we most certainly would have kept them out longer to make sure they were properly dried.
Look how cutie they are! Check out the sock monkey tiles on the right side of the table. Those were specially made out of greeting cards! That just shows that you can accomplish this project with any card stock, it doesn’t just have to be scrap book paper.
Once tried, we brought them inside and started applying the nubbies (clearly not the scientific term, but I dig it), to the bottoms of the tile. In doing this, we can hopefully avoid the tiles scratching anyone’s table surface.
Papered, glued, sealed, nubbed and stacked. We have a finished product!
To make it look all gifty, we bundled the four tiles with ribbon and added a glittery gift tag. With that, our time spent in DIY land has officially come to an end and we have a cute and completely usable finished product. The perfect gift, wouldn’t you say? We are extremely thrilled with the way they came out, and jealous over the fact that we didn’t have a set for ourselves! The recipients seem to love them, and we’re really happy about that! I can’t wait to see what Andrew and I cook up next year for our holiday gifts.
Love, J and A