I’ve been obsessed with Loteria — Mexican bingo — since I was a little girl. I mean, I wouldn’t be your typical Chicana cliché if I wasn’t.
Whenever the fam bam got together during our annual summer camping trip in Baja California, we always played Loteria by the campfire. My Nana would hand out a small pile of beans to each of us so we could place them on our game board. We would then each take turns pronouncing the words in Spanish. This was both comical and kind of sad because we were these little brown kids who only knew a few phrases in Spanish. Spanish speaking was saved for those conversations the adults had — the ones they didn’t want us kids to understand — so we struggled with the pronunciations. There we sat, calling out el alacran! and el borracho! and la chalupa! like the little pochos we were.
Being a creative soul, I was always interested in the images on each card. Each card has a little illustration with a number and a corresponding riddle. La Sirena and El Corazon captivated me because they were so beautifully illustrated. Loteria cards have grown in popularity over the years, and many artists have created their own unique spin on the iconic imagery. As an artist, I’ve used Loteria cards in my personal projects time and time again. I find Loteria sets at the local carniceria. I just toss another set of Loteria cards on top of my sack of beans, soy chorizo and bundles of cilantro. I have collected so many over the years and they’re just too pretty to toss into a drawer or bring out once a year. That’s when I decided to make coasters because no one likes rings on their furniture, amirite?
Make your own Loteria coasters
These Loteria coasters are super easy to make. You can cut your own wood to size (if you’re fancy) or you can just buy premade ceramic square tiles from the local home improvement store. Adding the Loteria images onto the tile squares with glue is a good way to secure the coasters and bring some color into the space. The glue also seals the tile and protects the Loteria card design. Anyone can try this DIY because it’s that easy!
What you’ll need:
– Mod Podge (gloss finish)
– foam brush
– Don Clemente Authentic Loteria Card Game
– 4×4 square tile pieces (I chose smooth white subway tile)
–Optional: felt square sheets, hot glue gun
Create a collage pattern
Choose the Loteria cards that you like the most, the ones with special meaning and/or contain your favorite colors and cut off the white border with a pair of scissors. I also cut the images from the game board so I could have a variety of sizes. Arrange your cards on the tile square, cutting them down to fit. It’s okay if you cut them–they’ll still look great. Make sure the Loteria cards don’t extend over the edge of the tile; position them so they are about a quarter of an inch from the edge all the way around.
Mod Podge is everything
I love Mod Podge simply because it is so versatile. You can use it in so many diy projects — I love to use it on collages — and man, I can’t count how many bottles I go through. For the coasters, I always chose the gloss finish to give it a shiny, finished look. Once you’ve arranged your Loteria cards into the design you like, you’ll need to brush a coat of Mod Podge on the back of each card. A smooth, even coat works best. Let it get tacky after a few seconds before placing it down on the tile. If the cards pop up, simply add a bit more Mod Podge and press down gently.
To add some extra security to the ceramic tile, glue a felt square to the back with a hot glue gun. Repeat this process and create as many tiles as you wish. Not only can you make coasters, you can also hang them up wherever you want some color and some culture. If you’re obsessed with Loteria cards, just having these babies laying around will bring you some happiness.