This week is “Birthday Hell Week” in our family. It kicks off with my husband and then we have 10 birthdays in 10 days between our combined families. It’s almost like Christmas in terms of crafty gift season, because Lord knows, I can’t afford to buy for everyone at once.
Rob knows that we have to start planning early, so last month he brought me the National Geographic catalog and told me he wanted to order these nautical map casters for his parents. We needed to pay $50 plus shipping and need 2 – 3 weeks for delivery. I took one look and told him I was pretty sure I could make those… so I did… and I did it for about $1/each.
Directions for Tumbled Tile Coasters
- An image. I used nautical maps right off Google. You can also use photographs. Pick strong graphic images, lots of detail gets lost in the tiles.
- Tumbled Tiles: You can get these from Home Depot or Lowes in a box for about $10. Pick through the box and get tiles with the smoothest surface; many will be pitted, and that’s normal, but you want the smoothest ones.
- Mod Podge
- Polyurethane: I got the smallest can of liquid. You can use spray as well, but I liked the thicker coating.
- Tissue paper: just regular from the grocery store.
- An ink jet printer
- Cork or felt for the bottom of the coasters.
Let’s get started:
- Iron the tissue paper to remove the creases and wrinkles. Use a low iron. This step is optional, but not really. Go ahead and do it. You’ll thank me later.
- Tape the tissue paper, along the edge that will feed into your printer, to a sheet of cardstock. Trim off the extra tissue so that the tissue and the cardstock are both 8.5×11. I used double sided tape like Scor-tape for this. Taping the paper and tissue together tricks the printer into seeing the thin tissue and running it through. You only need to tape the end that rolls into the printer.
- Print your design onto the tissue, and cut down to a size that fits your coasters.
- Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge onto your coasters.
- Gently lay the tissue on top of the coaster and smooth the edges. Be careful — the tissue is very delicate and will rip and tear if moved. I think it’s easiest to lay down one edge and then smooth as I let the other edge roll down onto the coaster.
- Once the Mod Podge has dried, add a couple of coats of Polyurethane, letting the tile dry between coats.
- Finally, glue some felt or cork to the bottom of the tiles to protect your table.
- Put a glass of wine on your coasters and take a picture of it. Marvel at your fine craftsmanship. Marvel at your ability to reproduce stuff you see in catalogs. Marvel at your ability to read snarky blog posts all the way to the end. Drink the wine.
Enjoy! Please, if you make these, post pictures in our gallery. I’d love to see your take on this project.