There's something about a simple, inexpensive DIY project that I can't resist. Maybe it's just the lure of getting something for less, maybe it's the fun of doing and completing the project or maybe it's taking control over my stuff, rather than relying solely on retailers to present what's already been made. This project to design my own coasters encompassed all of the above qualities. With a trip to the hardware store and fabric store, I was able to gather up the coaster materials on the cheap. Who needs Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (for the small stuff) when you've got some DIY know-how? See below how I made these darling additions to my personal home decor.
Of course, every project starts with gathering your materials. Here you'll see a foam brush, a 4X4 ceramic tile and self adhesive vinyl "bumpers." Alternatively you can purchase felt backers, which cost a little less. I went with plain white tiles and bought one green sea-glass-looking tile just for fun. The more decorative tile, the more it costs. Since most of it will be covered at the end, it doesn't matter much which you go for. All of it was purchased at a local hardware store.
Tiles: $0.16 each at Lowes.
Bumpers: $4.99 at Amazon.
Brush: $0.99 at Amazon.
You've no doubt got these items hiding out somewhere at home. A ruler, a pencil and scissors. These scissors I borrowed and are specially made for fabric, something serious crafters pay attention to, so as not to dull their paper scissors. Seriously.
This is where it starts getting fun. I purchased a collection of fabric squares that are typically used by quilters. They're inexpensive and offer instant variety in patterns. Here you'll see the initial squares I picked out. Not all of my picks ended up being my favorite, so it's good to pick out say six or seven, to ensure you have at least four you like when all's said and done.
$7.60 at Amazon.
Start by cutting your fabric swatches to match the size of your tiles. I cut one down to size then used it as a guide for the others. You'll see here little threads that you'll need to cut off too.
Give your tiles a good washing and drying with dish soap. This removes dirt, dust and allows for better adherence to the tile. Here, you'll see the suds I quickly worked up on my "special" tile.
It's time for the Modge Podge. Pour some into a bowl, dip in your foam brush and coat the top of the tile. Then carefully lay the fabric on top and smooth out any bubbles. Wait about 15 minutes for drying. Then brush the top of the tile (fabric and all) with the Modge Podge. Wait 15 minutes. Apply a second coat, and wait for drying. You'll see here it goes on white, but it dries clear.
Once the glue is dry, take your tiles outside and spray them with the clear coat. Read all the instructions on the can first. Feel free to apply a second coat after the first dries. According to the can, one should wait a full 24 hours for drying.
Back It Up
Your last step is to apply the backers. A very important step, not to be missed, because this is what will prevent your coasters from scratching the surface of your tables. I recommend the vinyl backers, as opposed to felt, because they actually lift the tile off the surface of the table.
Voila! These are my four pretties. Coasters bought in stores come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of which are too small for large glasses, meaning the condensation on the outside leaks down over the coaster on to the table, negating its purpose. An extra bonus of these: they're plenty big enough to catch all the droplets sweating off your glass on the hottest days.