Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DIY Coasters

Sorry we are a little delayed in getting a post out this week. I guess the long weekend just distracted us a bit. I was actually at a conference for work last week too so I feel like I'm still catching up on everything (laundry, cleaning, posts, etc). Anyway, I thought I would finally post about the coasters I made for my work desk a couple months ago. I was inspired by this pin:

Source: Joy Is At Home
I am sort of a neat freak at work. I am constantly dust-spraying my keyboard, filing my paperwork, disinfecting my desk/phone/keyboard, and I have been known to take a paperclip to my mouse to clean out the crevices. Joe thinks its funny that I am so clean at work because he thinks I am the complete opposite at home - not entirely true. I am cleaner/neater at work but our house isn't a disaster, at least not all the time. I just have such limited space at work, and am there for so much time each week, that I want it to be neat and organized. At home I can just close the door to a messy room or cabinet. It doesn't work like that in a little cubicle! With that background, you can see why I needed some coasters for my desk. I start the day with a coffee and usually wind up with another one sometime in the afternoon with the occasional fountain soda thrown in as well. I also try to drink a lot of water throughout the day too. Constant drink rings on my desk were driving me crazy so I thought these coasters would help with that problem. I like that the lip would catch the condensation.

I picked up some terra cotta pot saucers and spray primer from Home Depot (I actually used the spray primer for the Mother's Day Thumbprint Bug Pots too).

I gave them all a light coat, paying more attention to the sides and top than the bottom.

I was a little worried because some of the edges looked like they didn't pick up any primer:

but I decided to just leave it be and not give it another coat of primer. After they fully dried, I painted them with some acrylic paint I already had. 

The first coat was streaky, as you can see below.

So I wound up giving them two more coats - using a foam brush for the last coat. I got much better coverage that way.

Next I pulled out a couple pieces of scrapbook paper I had in my craft closet and cut out circles once again using my Creative Memories cutters. 

I used some (really old) Mod Podge I had to glue them in and coat the tops. This is where things started to go down hill. I am not sure if it was because the Mod Podge was old, or I should have been using something else, or it was a user-error, but the paper started to bubble. 

I tried my best to flatten the paper out but I wasn't getting very far. I decided to just leave them to dry and deal with it the next day if the paper wouldn't cooperate. Once they dried, them seemed to flatten out and looked much better. I gave them three light coats of a matte spray sealer and let them dry completely. Unfortunately, I left them out in the garage a little too long and in the reach of JJ. He ran into the garage to go for his bubble mower (or so I thought), but picked one up and dropped it.

It chipped and I was disappointed because it was my favorite pattern. I thankfully made more than I needed so all was not lost. The last step was to attach some felt on the bottom. I had some leftovers from JJ's felt Christmas tree and just rubbed some chalk along the bottom rim of the coaster and used it to make a circle on the felt. I cut out the circles and hot glued them on. For whatever reason, I didn't take any pics of this process, but here is the finished product.

Be careful when using hot glue. I went to pull off one of the "strings" that always appear when gluing and took some of the paint off:

They definitely aren't perfect, but I thought they came out cute. 

And here they are in action on my desk at work:

Forgive the crappy phone pic.

There's nothing like a fresh fountain Diet Coke in the middle of a long afternoon.

I have been using them for a couple weeks now. They are holding up pretty well, but I am starting to regret not giving them a second coast of primer. I can see a couple bubbles in the paint and know that I could probably pick at them and chip it off. I wasn't really expecting them to have long lives to begin with once I saw the quality of the Mod Podge I was using, but I have a couple spares so there are replacements if I need them. They help brighten up my desk and I am happy to not have to wipe down the surface of my desk as often as I was. Joy had some helpful tips in her post (and I wished I had distressed the edges of my paper like she did - looks so much more polished!) so check it out. I will probably do an update post after a couple more months of use so check back if you are interested. 

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