Monday, March 10, 2014

Just finished another set of homemade coasters, this time as a housewarming gift for friends of ours.  The ones I made for my own home were made from decorative papers, and one was my own drawing. This time, I did little Chinese ink paintings to make into coasters. 

 After the paintings were finished, I gathered up the supplies to make the coasters.  I have a box of 3.75"x3.75" white tiles left from the last set I made.  I also cut up pieces of thin, sticky back cork for the bottom. I cut the cork a little smaller than the tiles so it doesn't show from the top. 

After attaching the cork to the tiles, it was time to fix the drawings to the front.  I brushed a nice, even coat of Mod Podge adhesive to the front of the tile, and carefully laid the drawing on top.  With a large, flat paintbrush, I smoothed down the paintings from the middle outwards to set it in place, and then I put a clean sheet of paper over the top of it and used the brayer to really glue it down.  After the paintings had some time to dry on the coasters, I brushed another coat of Mod Podge over the top to seal it.  You have to be careful here, because some of the ink smeared.  I used black Chinese ink, which was pretty waterproof. I also used Chinese watercolors for the colored parts, which was not so waterproof, and I got a little bit of smearing.  I had to be extra careful not to brush over and over, and cause more damage.  Once that layer had dried, I painted one more layer over the top with no fear of any more smearing.  I left them to dry over night, and then sprayed them with one more layer of a clear, waterproof varnish. And voila! Nice, new coasters.