27 December 2013

Self-made coasters

Tommorrow is Christmas Eve. In our family, that means that we each get to buy a gift for one other family member. We used lootjestrekken.nl, a Dutch website that is specialized in drawing lots. That way, everyone has a person for whom they have to buy a gift, and everyone can create and edit a wishlist (no more ugly sweaters for Christmas!) or anymously ask questions about the other's wishes.

Although it is really easy to have a wishlist, it also ruins the element of surprise. That is why I always want to give something extra, with a more personal touch. This year, I have the honor of buying a gift for my sister. She asked, among other, for wine glasses, which I bought. To accompany those glasses, I thought back of a really cool thing I saw when I went to "Rock of Ages". There was this banner with "Don't feed the drummer", which instantly made me think of my sis (because she drums). Using this idea, I made coasters with that quote on them.

What you need:
A nice design for your coasters
Cork coasters, or a cork sheet from which you can cut your ow coasters (I bought my coasters at Ikea, € 1,50 for four).
Paint (I used gouache) and fine brushes (I used nr 1, 2, and 3)
Mod Podge or decoupage vernis (In Belgium, you can buy it at Ava)
Also handy: Tracing paper

What to do:

Step 1
As my design involved a quote, I really wanted to get the letters right. That is why I first drew my design using Adobe Illustrator. I then flipped my drawing, and traced it using my tracing paper.

Step 2
The cork coasters I found, had a drawing on them, so I first gave them a big coat of white gouache painting, to avoiding seeing the black drawing.

Step 3
When the white layer was entirely dry, I traced the drawing back on the four coasters. That way, I could ensure my letters would be right.

Step 4
Using fine brushes, I painted the coasters.

Step 5
When the paint is dry, you can apply different layers of decoupage vernis. This will render your coasters waterproof. Make sure that every layer is dry before you apply the next one! I didn't have time to screw this up (I finished the paint job 24h before), so I waited a night before applying the vernis. I had the feeling the first coat did not dry very quickly, so I let it dry for about 3h. I do not know why this was, maybe the coat I applied was too thick. Anyway, the next coats were dry in about 30min-1h, which allowed me to apply 3 coats. This seemed sufficient for me. 

It is hard to see, but the vernis I applied was highgloss, giving it a nice finish touch!

All in all it took me a whole day to make these, but I had lots of fun! I would recommend it as a nice extra personal touch to a drink-related gift (gift baskets, wine bottle, glasses...). I found the painting painstaking, as I really needed to work in detail. Another option, is to use existing pictures, maps, newspapers, or a design you made on the computer, print it, and then use mod podge to apply that design to the coasters. You can find lots of example of this method in the internet.
Of course, the most important thing is that my sister seemed to like it!

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