1.13.2015

Can you ever have too many coasters?

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The answer is yes. And I do. But I can't help it! I keep finding DIY coaster tutorials on Pinterest and I just have to make them all. I can assure you if you ever come over to my house and enjoy a beverage, I'll certainly have a coaster for you.

Tile coasters, clay coasters, bead coasters, OH MY!
This all started about two years ago when I found a tutorial on Pinterest for making tile coasters (which has apparently been taken down since then). My first attempt at making them went really, really well, and suddenly I found myself wanting to make them all the time.


My first four tile coasters. Obviously they're glittery. 
I knew I didn't need a million of them for myself (although I did entertain the idea of turning them into wall art before I gathered my wits), so I started making these bad boys for pretty much everyone I know.

Coffee table covered in coasters
Pretty ribbons are a must
I got creative with it and even bought larger tiles to make trivets. There was a major flaw in the plan, though, because even though I sealed the coasters with heat resistant sealant, they aren't really heat resistant. Even a cup of hot tea kind of sticks to these coasters, so a burning hot pan off the stove did not go well. You live and you learn.

Coasters on the left, trivets on the right
So, that kind of held me over for about two years, and then in October I found this tutorial for clay coasters and I was intrigued all over again. I like how they have the marbled look to them and the gold edges -- they seemed sophisticated, for lack of a better word.

Marbled clay and gold rims 
Honestly, these aren't as great as I had hoped they would be. I have enough clay to try them again, and there are some things I'd be interested in adjusting. First, I think I tried to make too many with the first two packages of clay, so a few of them were a little too thin. Second, I didn't use a sharp enough cutter to make the circles, so the edges weren't smooth (which you can kind of see in the picture above). I should've either used sandpaper to smooth them, or ideally used a sharper object to cut them. And third, I used the type of gold ink pad the blog post suggested, but it literally never dried. Literally. I didn't touch these things for more than a month and then I picked them up and there was gold ink all over my hands. I bought a gold inky pen recently and redid the edges and it dried right away.

My most recent coaster experiment happened at the end of 2014 when I made these pony bead coasters. The tutorial said to use a muffin tin, so I borrowed a jumbo muffin tin (the kind that makes 6 rather than 12) from my mom, but the base of it was still pretty small. All of the cups I own are pretty standard in size, but they're bigger than the bottom of a jumbo muffin so I knew it wouldn't work. I ended up buying a pack of three 4-inch round springform pans from Amazon (because bakeware for crafting is totally normal).

Laying out the design in the pan
The tutorial said the colored, yet still clear, beads don't cook very well, so I stuck with truly clear beads and non-clear colored ones.

Fresh out of the oven (actually, 20 minutes out of the oven. I had to let them cool).
I ended up making six of these. I'm not entirely in love with the designs I made, but they were just a test. I like how they turned out in terms of functionality. I had to sand the edges to even them out, but otherwise they were ready to use right away. It was surprisingly hard to lay out designs in the pans because the beads move around, and I was kind of in a hurry since I made these the night before going on a trip (priorities, you know?), so next time I'll slow down a bit and try harder to make some fun designs.

A million beads (give or take). Six coasters. 
So, as you can see, the last thing in the world that I need is more coasters, but I found several more tutorials I want to try one day. If you've tried any of these, or any others that you recommend, let me know!

Alcohol ink-dyed coasters by The Crafted Life

Scrabble tile coasters by Incredible Things (these seem simple enough, right?)

Mini pallet coasters by Cooking Like Lou (I'm weirdly into pallets these days, and this type seems pretty manageable as opposed to a full size one)

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