Make a Set of Coasters Complete with Caddy
Coasters are an easy item to add to your home décor. You use them in multiple rooms and the themes are endless. They save your furniture from pesky rings and they’re also a decorative element that truly serves a purpose. My husband suggested I make a few sets when our repeat customers ran out of wall space but wanted my new pieces. He had purchased a single coaster at a recent art show and apparently he had been YouTubing ways for me to make my own. Always the dutiful husband! I was happy to oblige, and it’s been such fun creating new ways to display the same ole’ cows.
Materials and The Best Places to Get them
I researched and did some homework to find the materials that would work best, and were the most affordable. Home Depot sells ceramic tiles that are the perfect size of 4”x4”. They’re subway tiles that are meant for bathrooms and kitchens but they also happen to be perfect for this project. They’re currently 11 cents each and I bought a case of 100 because I made them in bulk. Oh, my aching fingers! Just pick up a few for this diy. You’ll also need some flat cork for the backs of your coasters. You can get a square of that at The Dollar Tree or your favorite craft store. I bought mine in bulk and precut from Amazon. I made twenty-five sets of four coasters each, and if you’re a reseller this is a great product to offer. People like items that are functional as well as beautiful. I included a wooden caddy to hold my coasters and I picked those up at The Dollar Tree. Michaels has them too and they’re currently 99 cents.
You’ll need some mod podge or your favorite decoupage medium. I used the dishwasher safe variety and as an added precaution, I sprayed my finished product with polycrylic.
Okay. Now you need some artwork. You’re at the right place! Creative Fabrica has hundreds of graphics you can download today. I used my own artwork because I was making these for a show where I was a vendor. Like I said, I made mine in bulk, so I had a lot of pictures to transfer. I had my pictures printed at Office Depot on 11”x17” paper so I could fit six per page. I like the sharp image a laser printer gives and it’s cheaper to use their ink! You can use whatever graphics or word processing program you like to create a PDF and send your order to Office Depot’s or Staples’ online ordering service. My order is usually ready the same day and when I pay online I can just run in and grab my package at the pickup counter.
Making Your Coasters
The tiles I chose are 4”x4” so I sized my image to cover the entire space. I used my paper trimmer to cut all my images down to a size just bigger than my coaster. I’ll tell you why I did that later.
To prepare your coasters you’ll want to give them a good cleaning because mine were super dusty. Rubbing alcohol or window cleaner will work just fine.
To apply my image to the ceramic coaster I brush a light coat of mod podge then I center the image over my coaster and lay it down one side at a time. To smooth the image, I apply another light coat while I’m working the image down. This is the method that works best for me. I never get bubbles or wrinkles this way but do what works for you. After the mod podge dries, I apply a thin top coat and let it dry. After it’s completely dry, I take my sanding sponge and sand the excess paper working away from the edges. That’s why I told you to leave a little border. I love the finish that sanding gives this process. It truly is worth the extra effort to show excellent craftmanship.
I buy cork squares that are already to go because I make a lot of these but if you’re just making a few just trim down from the bigger square to fit the bottom of your coaster. The adhesive on my squares was really strong and I knew when I stuck them, they were there to stay. If your cork doesn’t have adhesive, I would use a glue stick. Avoid hot glue because it tends to dry lumpy and your coasters need to sit flat. This is an important finishing touch and adds the high end look you want for your handmade products. And of course it will keep your furniture safe from scratches.
You’ll want your coasters to function like coasters should and last a long time. So when you’re finished with all the above steps apply a few coats of polycrylic. I let mine dry an hour between coats.
A set of four coasters fits perfectly in the mini wood crates that I buy from The Dollar Tree. They’re also available at Michaels for the same price. They come unfinished but I like to stain them. I use a foam brush for these because they’re small and it’s easier to get in all the corners with a brush.
So now you have a set of coasters that are exactly your style complete with a caddy.
If you craft for resale, coasters are a practical item to keep in your inventory. They’re pretty cheap to make and almost everybody uses them. I charge $25 per set of four including the caddy. But I also make them available to purchase singly for $5. Offering a handmade item for a reasonable price gives more people an opportunity to shop. I’ve sold dozens this past year and I’m so glad my husband thought of it. As I told him on our first date – he really does have a brain.
Until next time – happy crafting!
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