Sunday, August 30, 2015

Personalized tile drink coasters

I was at a craft fair a few weeks ago when I came across a woman selling adorable drink coasters. They were made from tiles that were covered in pretty patterned papers and maps. Instead of buying a set of four, I decided I could make them myself. The result? They were super easy and would make perfect gifts. In fact, if you are related to me and get Christmas presents from me, chances are pretty good this is what you are getting this year.

Half the fun of making these is finding the perfect tile. I spent some time at Home Depot walking up and down the tile aisle considering all my choices. There were  shiny glazed square tiles that were super inexpensive, or larger tiles that would make nice trivets. In the end, I chose a tumbled stone tile. A pack of nine costs about $3.50 and I loved that no two tiles were alike.


Next you will need some kind of artwork for your tiles. I chose to use maps. I love the idea of personalizing these with your hometown, or the neighborhoods you used to live in. How about a set of tile coasters for a pair of newlyweds with all the places that are special to them? I used Google maps and my computer's snipping tool to "cut out" a square picture of a map I wanted to use. That's the before picture below. Then I used a photoshopping tool - in this case PicMonkey - to add a little character and make the photo look old. Then I simply printed in out using a color printer and cut it to just slightly smaller than the tile using my paper cutter.

Using a foam craft brush, I applied a thin layer of ModPodge to the tile, smoothed the picture on top of it and then added another layer of ModPodge. In all, I painted three layers of ModPodge - letting it dry in between coats - on the tile. I used three coats of spray sealer to make the tile waterproof. Remember to let each coat of sealer dry before spraying on the next one.

The last step is gluing cork to the back of each tile. You can buy cork in rolls at the craft store. Or I bought cork cut-to-size with an adhesive back. I didn't trust the adhesive, though, and used a glue gun to affix the cork to the back of each tile. I've seen these done with felt, too, but I think the cork matches the rustic look of the tiles, and is a nicer finishing touch.

I used a burlap ribbon to tie the tiles into bundles of four. Isn't this a fun and easy gift? And you could personalize it in so many ways.

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