Wednesday, June 20, 2012

of Map Coasters for Amy

No food today but  I did take pictures during yet another art project, and by pictures I really just mean finished shots. I will try to add some process shots during my next coaster adventure. This one is actually pretty easy to do (easier than I thought) and it is a great way to personalize any sort of gift. Amy is one of my illustrious roommates and is a great sport whenever I'm on some sort of cooking mission or another. She also participates in several of my food adventures and is always up for trying new things.Amy was recently accepted to medical school and is heading for the hills (desert) of Arizona to start out her magical medical tour. Another roommate and I wanted to do something special for her to remember her time in DC and I stumbled upon this decoupage map tutorial. That of course gave me the idea to make Amy something a little bit more personalized.

Despite relocating to the East Coast for a bit, Amy is still very much a California girl at heart. Her eclectic room accessories range from a cool wall hanging she found in China to an old birdcage/lantern type thing. All around her room there are trinkets from her world travels and splashes of a very particular color: pink. Her room is generally harmonious, feminine and pretty/chic. It definitely brings a bit of California sunshine to our dreary East Coast winters. We put some thought into the kinds of colors she would like. I decided to do muted brights (with plenty of pink and several splashes of purple) and added them to a great little map I found online and edited of our neighborhood. The results turned out even better than I expected.

Today's Cast of Characters:

Keeping it simple again today with just a few necessities. Printouts of whatever you want measured to the size of your tiles; a wet Paper Towel; Tiles, picked up for mega cheap at Home Depot; Felt or Cork for the bottom; Modge Podge; Acrylic or Urethane Sealer ; an Xacto Knife; cheap Hair Spray; and a foam brush or two. Seriously this is all you need to make something pretty! Sharon and I were pretty enthusiastic.

What to Do:

This project has very few steps and that is one of the things I love most about it. Choose whatever you want to decoupage to your tile. For this step I whipped a little something up in Photoshop. If you fee comfortable doing that go right ahead, but if not you can search online for all kinds of images or use some of your own, like photos or old wrapping paper. If you want to get the handwritten effect I used, you could use a permanent marker on what you choose with similar results.

Once I finished editing my Photoshop project, I sized each section to the size of the coasters they would be going on. The result equaled a perfectly cut off map that still matched up. I then used an Xacto knife to cut the paper out around the tile. It is perfectly acceptable if the edges do not match up exactly because you can use sand paper after the Modge Podge dries to level them off.

To seal the ink, I sprayed each sheet with the cheap hairspray lightly before I cut and waited for it to dry completely. I am not sure why this works, I just know that it does. I found this little tip out on the internet and it has changed the way I feel about decoupage.

Apply a thin layer of Modge Podge to the coaster and gently but firmly place your paper on the tile. Be sure to smooth any bubbles or ripples because you want a sleek even look for your final project.

After letting the paper adhere to the tile, apply a very thin layer of Modge Podge for your first go round. Allow it to dry for 15 minutes and add another thin layer. After the second layer dries for 15 minutes, decide if you need a final coat. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. It really all depends on how much you put on during the first two coats.

I allowed my coasters to dry for about an hour and a half before I applied 2 coats of polyurethane sealer but only because I was working on the Modge Podge a little late in the day. As long as you allow the coasters to dry completely you are able to use the polyurethane spray. I use polyurethane instead of acrylic for several reasons but the main one is that I cannot stand the way acrylic smells until it is aired out. I also think that polyurethane leads to a more waterproof finish and since I am frequently doing projects that deal with wood, having the polyurethane around is much more versatile.

After you let the polyurethane dry according to package directions and apply a few little felt or cork pieces to the backs to protect your tables, you are free to package your creations up. I just used some kitchen twine to make them easy to pack for Amy's cross country move. We sure will miss her at our house but I know everyone is pumped that she's following her dream. Best of luck Amy!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a neat project. I look forward to trying this out! Thank you for the post!