DIY Custom Coasters

Would you believe this set of four coasters only cost about $1 to make???  Customize them to make the perfect gift!  We are making these as “fish extender” gifts for an upcoming Disney cruise, but we will also make some as gifts for teacher appreciation week.
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Supplies needed for this project:
– plain tiles (these are 4″ ceramic tiles from Lowes, $.16/each)
– card stock
– computer with photo editing software
– printer (I use a laser printer; inkjet ink can smudge)
– Mod Podge (I paid about $6 at Wal-Mart for a 16 oz. bottle)
– foam paintbrush
– clear acrylic sealant spray ($3/bottle with a coupon at Hobby Lobby)
– thin cork squares ($2.50/roll with coupon at Michael’s,
makes 16 four-inch coasters)
– Tacky glue
– Mod Podge or rubber crafting roller (mine is a “Speedball”)

Step 1: Design the graphic you want to have on your coasters.  (I’ve used Adobe Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Digital Image, as they’re very user-friendly.)  These are Disney-themed for fish extender gifts, but you can do anything!  Monograms, family photos, a cute quote, etc.  Make sure your design is just slightly smaller than the tops of your tiles.

Step 2: Print on cardstock.  Regular paper may fall apart when you do the Mod Podge.  Cut the designs out.

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Step 3: Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the top of your tile and bottom of your design with a foam paintbrush.  Center the design on the tile, and push down evenly across the top.

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Step 4: Brush another layer of Mod Podge on top of your design/tile.  Use your rubber roller, roll somewhat firmly top to bottom and left to right (edge to edge) to make sure all of the air bubbles are out to prevent creasing.

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Step 5: Allow to dry for 20-30 minutes, then apply another coat of Mod Podge over the top.  Allow to dry for another 30 minutes.

Step 6: Spray evenly with a clear acrylic sealing spray.  Allow to dry for 15 minutes.  This step is important, because it makes the coasters waterproof!
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Step 7: Apply a second coat of the acrylic spray.  Allow to dry overnight.

Step 8: Cut your cork to fit the bottom of the tiles.  These tiles are actually about 4.25″ square.  For this set I traced the cork and fit the cork close to the edges.  However, this is not necessary.  You can utilize your cork better by cutting 4″ squares.  Note: little bits of cork will fall onto your workspace after you cut.  Be careful not to get these pieces on the top of your tiles, as they might be a little tacky still and the cork will stick easily.

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Step 9: Cover the bottoms of the tiles with Tacky glue and adhere your cut cork.  This cork roll I used had a more smooth side, so I made that the bottom and glued the rougher side to the tile.  You will probably need to set something heavy on top of the coasters (like a book) to make sure the cork glues completely to the tile.  Allow to dry for an hour.

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Step 10: Give your gift!  Note: you should wait a few days before setting hot containers on these tiles, to make sure the acrylic spray fully cures.

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