Handi-hour Crafting: Tile Coasters
Handi-hour Crafting: Tile Coasters


[Music] Hi, My name is Katie Crooks, I’m a public programs coordinator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. Today I’m going to show you how to make your own coasters using tiles, the same type of tile you would use to tile your bathroom. What you can do, is go to a department store, and get their most basic, most affordable, inexpensive tiles. Ceramic tiles, either glossed or unglossed, matte, is fine. Any color works, white is usually inexpensive and a nice surface to work with. These tiles, I think, are maybe 4 and a quarter by 4 and a quarter, they’re standard size. You can go bigger or smaller, but these tend to work really well for most cup sizes. In addition to your tile, you’ll need some fancy papers to decorate them, preferably in a design or color scheme that is appealing or attractive to you. I’ve got this pad of papers that has a bunch of different, fun swirly designs, so that’s what I’ll be using today. You’ll also need some felt, here I have some black felt. This, you really won’t see with the coaster, what we’re going to do is put it on the bottom so that this rough, ceramic surface doesn’t scratch your table or other surfaces you might set the coaster on. So, with that, you’re going to need some glue, a basic tacky glue works well, also you can use super glue, or a hot glue gun. Also, for the top, you’re going to need Mod-Podge, which we will use to seal the paper onto the top and create a nice, good coat. You’re going to need a white colored pencil, a regular pencil, and some sort of brush. Usually, I use a foam brush. I happen to have this bamboo one, which will work just fine today. And, a pair of scissors. So, first I like to usually do all my tracing and get all that done so that I can make my cuts. What you’re going to want to do for the bottom is take a piece of black felt, and take your tile, and put that on top. What I like to do is put it a little bit off the corner, so it’s maybe an eighth of an inch off of the corner, I don’t know if you can see that from there, and so this way when I trace around it, I know I’m not going to have any felt overhanging off the edges. You want this part to be pretty much invisible on the coaster. So, take your white colored pencil and pressing pretty firmly onto the felt. If you do that, what you’re going to get is a nice, visible line, that you wouldn’t get with a regular pencil. If you don’t have a white colored pencil, light yellow or light green also works. So, go ahead and cut that out. You’ll end up with a nice square of felt, that if you just take some tacky glue, put it on down, and press, you’ll end up with something like this, a nice, felted tile that’s ready for a top application. So I’m going to take this one, and what I’m going to do is once again trace the coaster. Here you want to go, well, depending on your style, you may want a little bit of this glossy edge to show around the corner, so maybe you want to cut it so it’s a little bit smaller. I’m going to trace it on the reverse of the paper so that I don’t get any pencil marks on my design, and I’m going to try and get it so that it just about fits on there. I don’t want much of a white border. So you go ahead and you trace your tile. With nice, straight lines, or straight as you can do with the scissors, go ahead and cut it out. So this is a nice pattern, and if I line it up, it works pretty well. With Mod-Podge, you can get them in small or large bottles. For this purpose, what I’m going to do is I’m going to squirt some directly down onto the tile, and using my brush, I’m going to distribute the glue evenly across the surface so this way it will help my paper adhere to the top of the tile. So that’s pretty even. You don’t want it real gloppy, but you do want a good layer. Then, I’m just lining up my paper and pushing it down. Like so. Now, this is the cool part about Mod-Podge, is we’re going to put another layer of Mod-Podge on the top. This will, in addition to the bottom layer, help adhere it to the tile, but it will also create a nice, glossy finish over the top, so that it’s able to withstand a lot of wear and tear, and it will also have a nice glossy finish, which will be very attractive. It helps make the tile look like it has this design right on it, as opposed to just looking like it’s a piece of paper glued on top of it. And you can buy different types of Mod-Podge. This one here has a gloss to it, so it will have a shiny surface, and it dries clear, so even though this one here has, has white streaks on it right now, those won’t be visible in the end. So, just kind of go back and forth until you don’t have too many lines. Like so. And you go ahead and you leave this tile sit out until it fully dries. It might take an hour or two. Sometimes, I like to put on a couple coats of the Mod-Podge, and that really helps seal it. Once you’re done with the craft project, it’s ready to use with glasses that are filled with cold beverages, but you should wait at least a couple of weeks before putting anything with a hot beverage on top of your coaster so that it has time to cure. Otherwise, you might find that your mugs are going to stick to the top of it. And that’s how you do a Mod-Podge coaster. [Music]

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