Last month I got to hang out with a few of my amigas to celebrate a birthday. A few of us are now in our 40’s but no cares given–40 is the new 30 and if we want to wear Vans (or in her case, blue metallic clogs) and eat at bougie French bistros in downtown L.A., then so be it.
I wanted to make the birthday girl a really cute set of tile coasters. Handmade gifts trump store bought gifts in terms of sentimentality, amirite? Don’t get me wrong, I love gift cards and expensive handbags as much as the next gal. But if a friend makes something for me, odds are I will love it and cherish it forever. Now my dear friend will always think of me when she is trying to prevent water rings on her furniture. Yesss.
I loved the way her coasters turned out. I like to think that tile coasters are almost like small works of art.
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This is what you do. Find some art that you’d like to see on a set of coasters. Do you have a favorite scrapbooking pattern? Grab a couple sheets. A few quilting fabric squares? Cut them to size. An old book with some vintage illustrations? A beloved photo? You can put them on the coasters, too. Are you beginning to sense a theme here? You can personalize your coasters however you like.
For me, I’m always inspired by my Design Motifs of Ancient Mexico (Dover Pictorial Archive) by Jorge Enciso book. Whenever I want to create an Aztec-inspired pattern–or just some really cool geometric designs–I thumb through the pages. Before Pinterest and the “chevron” craze, there was this book and its abundant resources on ancient Mexican designs. I’ve had my copy for nearly twenty years and it’s dog-eared and taped up, but it never fails to inspire.
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I decided to use this geometric design on my coasters so I scanned the page and printed out four black and white copies. Let’s make some cool coasters, friends.
What you’ll need:
Cut your copies down to the size of your coaster. Paint a layer of Mod Podge across the tile.
Press down the art that is going on your coaster. Smooth down any air bubbles, if any.
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Let it dry. Now you can start painting on top of the art, which is technically the printed paper copy. I use this technique over and over again because there are lots of cool ideas I like to build off of and I don’t want to get bogged down having to trace stuff and make it look the way I want. You can call it “cheating” but the art world has a fancy name for it: post-modern appropriation.
Can I get an amen?
Using craft paint, I decided to stick with a color palette of five colors and make each one different from the other. This makes them unique but they still appear to be a set. I also added some freehand designs to my coasters in small areas, to make them extra fancy. You can paint over the black areas but I wanted to keep them black. Make sure you paint the side of the tile, too.
Once the tiles have all been painted and it is dry, you can brush on two coats of Mod Podge Gloss. Let it dry for a few hours.
Your coasters should now look pretty legit.