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My sister did a lot of DIY projects for her wedding day, and we are working together to showcase these projects on my blog! Her DIY Wedding Favors were handmade coasters. I think they turned out amazing, and I use these coasters in my home all the time (thanks, sis!)
Some of the great things about this wedding project include:
- Low cost
My sister shared her project insight with me:
I made 300 of these over the course of multiple months – it was a long process! And, I won’t lie, it got tiresome at times. If you plan to make more than just a few coasters, my recommendation is to do them in batches. You’ll find a system that works for you with the space you have available in your home. For me that meant working on about 50 at a time. For each batch, work on one step at a time. Don’t move on to the next step until every tile in your batch has completed that step before.
While it was a long process, it totally paid off. I’ve had so many wedding guests tell me they use our coasters all the time in their home. I love knowing that each of our guests have something specially made from us that reminds them of our special day and all the fun we had! (See below for supplies and instructions.)
Note: the instructions may seem a bit lengthy, but once you get your flow it is an easy process!
Photo by Carlson Photography
- white ceramic tiles 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ (can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot)
- scrapbook paper (or use photos!) cut to 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ (for straight edges, use a paper cutter if you have one or a ruler and craft knife)
- modge podge
- sponge brush
- optional: personalized stamp and ink pad (you can order resonably priced personalized stamps from many Etsy sellers)
- plastic cups
- newspaper/broken down cardboard
- cardboard squares (I recommend cutting them about 2″ x 2″, but they don’t need to be perfectly cut)
- latex gloves
- scotch tape
- Envirotex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Resin
- wooden stirring sticks (I grabbed free paint stirrers from Lowe’s when I purchased the tiles)
- optional: straws
- adhesive felt pads
- (if giving as a gift) twine/string/ribbon to tie coasters together
Note: Envirotex is the BEST coating I’ve found to make the coasters truly waterproof and durable. One coat of Envirotex is equal to 50 coats of regular varnish, so while it may be more expensive and a pain to use in large batches it will by far give you the best result. Your coasters will last for years!
Before you start: If you are adding a personal touch to your coasters with a stamp, you’ll want to stamp each of your scrapbook paper squares. The ink can take some time to dry, so set them out for a while (without overlapping) so they don’t smear. Make sure the ink is fully dry before beginning the first step.
- Make sure tiles are clean and dry first, then take your scrapbook paper square and cover the backside with modge podge. Place in the center of the tile and press down to edges. I recommend using a flat edge as a “squeegee” to get rid of air bubbles. I used an old gift card because it was something I wouldn’t mind getting glued up (because you will get glue on it!)
- Once the modge podge from Step 1 is reasonably dry, apply modge podge from edge to edge on top of the coaster/scrapbook paper. I like to brush all in the same direction. This will help seal it to the tile. It’s important your paper is completely sealed to the tile so the Envirotex won’t seep underneath and discolor the paper. Let the modge podge dry completely. I recommend waiting at least 24 hours before moving on to the next step. Note: If you have a personal stamp on your paper, this is when the importance of dry ink will come into play. If the ink is even slightly wet it will likely smear when you brush the modge podge on.
- Cover the edges of the bottom of your tiles with scotch tape. This will make it easier for you to remove drips from the Envirotex later on.
- These next few steps are very important to follow closely! Now is when we add the Envirotex coating to make long-lasting, waterproof coasters. First you will want to read your instructions included with Envirotex.
- Before pouring any Envirotex you will want to set up your work area. For this you’ll need large, flat surfaces. The amount of room will depend on the number of coasters you are making. I used my kitchen island, dining room table and an 8-foot folding table to work on about 40-50 coasters at a time. Cover your surfaces with newspaper, then place broken down cardboard over the newspaper. You will definitely want to use more than just newspaper because the Envirotex will soak through the paper. The cardboard gives you extra protection. If you don’t use newspaper you’ll be exposing some of your surface to potential drips from the Envirotex, since most boxes won’t fully cover every inch of your working surface.
- Once the surfaces are covered, place plastic cups upside down around the edges of your working surfaces. This will prevent your coasters from sticking to the table. Keep them spread out by about 5-7 inches. The more space between the easier it will be for you to wipe away drips from the coating. Place your coasters on top of the cups facing up.
- Now you’re ready to mix the Envirotex! First, put on your latex gloves to protect your hands (this stuff is NOT fun to get on your skin!) In a plastic cup, mix the amount of resin and hardener you need based on the instructions include with your Envirotex. For about 50 coasters, I had to mix two batches of 8 oz total solution (4 oz resin, 4 oz hardener) to cover each tile. You’ll stir for about 1 minute in the plastic cup, then pour into a second, clean plastic cup and mix for another minute. It is important to keep stirring, but not stir so vigorously that you create a lot of air bubbles.
- As soon as your Envirotex is mixed, begin pouring on the coasters. You’ll have to move quickly while still paying attention. Pour enough that a nice pool is in the middle of your coaster but it doesn’t need to spread to the edges (we’ll do that in the next step).
- After all the Envirotex is poured, immediately begin spreading on your coasters. Use a scrap piece of cardboard (the 2″ x 2″ mentioned in your supplies) to spread to the edges and sides. Make sure the entire coaster is covered. You don’t have to worry about it being even because the Envirotex will self-level. Just make sure every part of the top and sides are covered. Note: Drips are normal and expected! This is why we laid down plenty of newspaper and cardboard first.
- About 15-30 minutes after pouring the Envirotex, you’ll notice tiny air bubbles forming on the coasters. These are normal and can be popped by blowing on them (it’s the carbon dioxide in your breath!). I found using a straw to blow on the coasters was more efficient at popping the bubbles. This is also where I enlisted the help of my non-crafty / impatient husband. He couldn’t handle any of the other steps of the project, but he liked helping to blow out bubbles!
- After about 30-40 minutes you’ll want to wipe away the drips that have formed on the bottom of the coasters using the scrap cardboard squares.
- Wait. Blow. Wipe. Repeat. I found I had to blow out air bubbles and wipe drips multiple times within the first few hours while the Envirotex was drying. The first batch I ever did, I only blew out air bubbles once then went to bed. When I woke up most of my coasters had permanent tiny air bubbles in them! I recommend checking them every 30 minutes for air bubbles for the first 3-4 hours. The further into the drying process you are, the harder the bubbles will be to pop. But less and less air bubbles will appear until they stop showing up altogether! Also be sure to continue carefully wiping drips off the bottoms.
- After waiting a full 24 hours for the Envirotex to dry, peel the scotch tape with drips off the bottom of the coaster. if desired, you can use sandpaper to smooth out the bottom or help remove any stubborn drips.
- Now attach the adhesive felt pads to each corner of the coaster and they are ready to use! You may also use cork board instead of felt if you prefer.
It’s recommended to wait at least 72 hours before using the coasters. Then you can bundle up using twine, string or ribbon and your gift is ready!
Photo taken by Carlson Photography