The Coasters That Almost Ended Me.


portfolio-oklahoma-custom-coasters               blog-3-finished-emo-coasters                  blog-3-finished-happy-plant-coasters


Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time, a little while back, when I first decided to try and pay my bills by selling my stuff, I was trying to think of a cool new project for me.  One that didn’t have super expensive materials, one that would be relatively fun for me to make, and one that people would (hopefully, fingers crossed) respond to.  Oh there is a great, glorious, glamourous art world out there, full of fun, exciting, cutting edge art to be made.  Me???? I chose to make coasters.  Yep, coasters.  I’m pretty much a trail blazer.

So coasters! Yay! I could write probably ten blogs describing how many different ways I tried to make coasters, and ten equally fun ways that I failed.  I started out painting with craft paint on those cheap, white ceramic tiles from the hardware store.  But that idea went out the window when I saw how many coats of paint I was using, plus it scratched so easy, so I was having to repaint them a thousand times.   Then I made myself crazy, trying different paints, different glazes, sanding the tiles first, and nothing worked. (Yes, smarty pants-es, I’ve heard of ceramic paint………now).  I gave all the failed coasters to my then 3 year old, who was more than happy to take them off my hands.   She loved them- she’d use them to make giant stacks of failure, so high they almost touched the sky.  Legendary.

I got kind of frustrated as you could imagine, but I had to suck it up, buttercup.  Still though, the thought of working with ANOTHER ceramic tile, kind of made me insane, so I moved on to greener pastures……wooden pastures…wood, I chose wood……ok its fiber board.  I love fiber board!!  It’s cheap, its light weight, easy to cut and it soaks up paint like its sunshine on a summer day. (Unlike those jerk ceramic tiles).   

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Fiber board comes in big pieces, so my first step was to measure and cut them down.  I hate measuring things, but I figured I should at least try and start with even little squares.  I’ve accumulated a decent pile of random tools and supplies, and it turns out I have a T-Square.  Cool!  Not gonna lie, it made it much easier to measure out my 4 inch squares.  Next came the actual cutting.  I’m aware an electric saw would have saved both my time and my arm muscles, but I hate power tools -I only use them if I have to.  Besides, I did use a power saw once but the saw’s teeth shredded the edges of the soft fiber board.  So yes, I hand-sawed all the squares.  Time consuming? Yes, but once the squares were cut, I did a light sanding down of the edges and was ready to paint!!

This is where fiber board became my new best friend.  I simply used pencil to sketch out my design, erasing if I made any mistakes- SO EASY!!! Then, when I was happy with it, I painted it using my good old trusty craft paint. 

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Next issue.  Coasters tend to hold things- cup like things- that hold liquid, and my beloved fiber board wasn’t exactly waterproof.  I had used a clear spray paint as a sealer before, but I wanted to kick my coasters up a notch.  Level them up, if you will.  I did some research and came across a resin that people use to coat bar tops.  It left a beautiful, glass like finish AND they sell it in a smaller size for crafts!  I followed the directions on the box, feeling like quite the chemist, mixing everything.  I poured it over the coasters and left it for a few days to cure.  The hardest part was keeping my kids and cats away from it.  I put some boxes over them, with a tastefully worded sign taped to the side.  When they were cured, I used my craft knife to carefully trim off the excess resin, and then cut a piece of cork to hot glue to the back.  

Boom! Coasters. 

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