tile coasters

Did you all have a fabulous time yesterday with your families? We sure did; my son is old enough now to sort of understand what's going on and it's been really fun sharing our traditions with him.
Well, today is December 26th (duh), which means that is the first of the twelve days of Christmas! Rather than sharing a partridge in a pear tree with you, I have one of the Christmas presents that I made this year. It's also one of my favorite ones and I can't wait to make more. :)
My brother-in-law is in the Navy so like most military families, they have moved quite a few times during their marriage; and I'm sure there'll be more moves to come. I wanted to make them something that  would in some way represent each of the places that they have lived so they can always have a little piece with them, so I decided to make them map coasters, one for each of the places they have lived in.
There are a ton of great tutorials online (*cough cough* Pinterest) for making your own tile coaster using Mod Podge and they're super cute, but not really the look I was going for on this particular project. Plus I kept reading comments about how long they have to cure before you can use them for hot drinks. I don't have experience with it myself of course, just something I read on several people's posts. Then I found one solitary post where the person used tile and resin; and when I saw how awesome it came out I was hooked. The resin just gives it a hard and glossy finish that makes it look like something you would buy in a store (see all that glossy sheen in the picture at the top?). I really can't get over it. I was a little scared that I would mess up, so I had my hubby help me with the resin, but we'll get to that.

Step 1: Cut maps to the size of your tiles and adhere with a layer of Mod Podge. Let them dry for the time recommended on your bottle. As you are cutting your maps keep in mind that once you adhere them to your tiles and use the resin on them, you'll be able to see whatever is on the backside bleeding through. I didn't notice till I was nearly done, but on the Virginia tile, you can see a lot of text coming through from the backside. :(
Step 2: Once the paper on your tiles is dry, apply the resin! Make sure you have prepped an area because this step is very messy! Very. Messy. And whatever you have under those tiles will now pretty much be ruined. This is the part I had my husband help me with, since as a dentist he works with resin a lot it just helped calm my nerves. I don't know why but I always get so freaked out whenever I do a new type of craft for the first time. As the resin sets you'll get little air bubbles appearing on the surface. Blowing gently through a straw a few inches away gets them out great. You also need to be ready to scrape off the drips that appear, that's what the plastic spoon was for.

Step 3: Once they have cured and hardend in a dust free area (the package I had suggested covering with cardboard so that's what I did) for the time recommended (that will vary depending on how much resin you mixed up, for me it was 72 hours) then you can admire them and put little felt bumpers on the bottom so they don't scratch anything up.

Step 4: Enjoy them! And be super proud of what you did and be ready to tell the many admirers (oh so humbly), "Oh, actually I made those myself." :)

Linked to: 52 Mantels, Lamberts Lately, Sew Can Do, Skip to my Lou, Lou Lou Girls

Labels: ,