[crafts] Cartographic Coasters

This is another project that I saw in DIY/Crafts on Pinterest - Homemade Tile Coasters. It ended up being very easy and I love love love the finished coasters:

Map coasters

I mostly followed this tutorial.

Map coasters

Materials List:

- Cutting Mat
- Exacto Knife
- Ruler
- Pictures/Paper/Map
- Tiles
- Mod Podge
- Sponge Brush
- Adhesive Spray
- Matte Sealer Spray
- Felt
- Scissors

I bought the cutting mat and exacto knife (with extra blades) as a set at Joann's. Also got the Mod Podge, Adhesive Spray and Sealer Spray there. I waited until a "coupon commotion" event, so I got everything at 40% off.

The tiles I bought at Home Depot. A box of nine 4" x 4" was < $6 but there were two or three in the box that were unusable due to irregularities and imperfections.

The images that I used are from an old antique map calendar. 

Map coasters

So, my method for cutting was to lay a tile on top of the image and cut around it. Then, using a ruler and the grid lines on the cutting mat, I would cut away 1/8" from each side- to neaten them up and make the final images just smaller than the tile.

Brush on a layer of Mod Podge. Apply the image and smooth down. Wait an hour or so for it to dry. Then apply 3 - 4 more THIN layers of Mod Podge, allowing an hour or so of dry time between each layer. Don't apply a thick layer or else the image might pucker. Keep the head of your sponge brush in a sandwich baggie to keep it for drying out.

Here's what I'm most proud of- the felt backs:

Map coasters

I decided that I wanted FULL felt coverage- I don't want my countertop or tables getting scratched by the ceramic tile edge. Actually, first I wanted cork bottoms and I did buy a sheet of cork at Joann's but it didn't cut well at all and the edges of what I did cut tended to crumble away. So I moved on to felt. But the felt squares that I cut were not exact and not neat and... It wasn't working. The solution was to use the spray adhesive. Spray well a slightly-too-large square of felt and press the finished tile onto it. When dry, use a pair of sharp scissors to follow along the tile edge and cut away the excess. A felt bottom with perfect coverage. 

Map coasters

After I applied the tiles to the felt (but before cutting away the excess), I also sprayed the entire tiles, all over, with the matte sealer. After a few hours drying above the garage, they're ready to use:

Map coasters

This was an easy weekend project. Once you buy the supplies (apart from the tiles) you have enough stuff to make a hundred tile coasters. I'm not sure what theme to do next... but I have an urge to cut up a comic book. Also, any of those Dover Pictorial Archive books would have interesting images.


Natalie J said...

Those look fantastic! I love the map you used. I also saw that pin and my only hesitancy with doing them has been wondering how well the coasters will hold up with moisture. I really should give them a try though - I already have half the supplies. ;)

amy said...

I'm pretty sure the matte finishing spray is what makes these moisture resistant. I've not had any problems with them so far. Will know better next summer, when cool drinks create more condensation.