I had such a fun time making these coasters! Four marble coasters come in a kit by Tilano with all the things you need to whip up something special for your home or to give as a gift.
I'm keeping these one though since my house is in major need of coasters, the ones we had previously were just cork & they became one of our dog's favorite things to steal so they had bite marks in them...attractive...great for guests, LOL.
The thing I really like about this kit is that while it does take time to let the coasters dry in between steps, it really is a simple project with really cool results. It's also great to be able to have custom things for the home with whatever you want on them. Tilano has a great video of the whole process to create the coasters, but here's some shots I took along the way.
The first step is to figure out your design. I decided to make mine 3.5 inches square, although the coaster is about 4 inches square. The designs I used are digital scrapbook pages I created with a digital scrapbook kit from ScrapArtist.com (created by Dianne Rigdon). After you finish creating your design you need to use a laser printer to print your design onto Tilano's special paper. I took a .jpg of my designs to Kinko's and let them print it for me. The contrast on the printout seemed much darker on the Kinko's print out then on my test print at home. I'm not sure if that's due to Kinko's printer settings, mine, or what. I also think they resized it a bit since once I got home I notice they were just over 3 inches square instead of the 3.5 inches square size I created. If I were to do this project over again I'd try using my husband's color laser printer to see if there was a difference.
Oh, and an important thing to note is that you need to print out a mirrored image of your designs or your photos and text will be backwards. If you're clueless on how to print out a mirrored image Tilano will help you do it...look here.
Next, you brush on another layer of Tilano medium over the coasters & then place your designs over it. They give you a spreader to smooth out the paper & remove any air bubbles that may be trapped underneath. Once again you allow it to dry....they recommend 3 hours. With the warm dry weather we have here in CA it looked dry before that, but I obediently waited just in case 3 hours is the magical amount of time that causes things to work.
After it's dry, you saturate the transfer paper with water from your brush and let the water sit on it for about half a minute. The paper should become translucent (if not, add more water & massage it a bit). You can then peel off the paper and reveal your design. Yes, peel it off...the special paper let's you just peel it right of, no rubbing and fighting it like with other methods of photo transferring- love that!
Once your coaster has air dried you can sand any rough edges or areas where the medium oozed out around the transfer paper if you need to. Mine were fine & I didn't have to do that step.
Lastly, you need to apply 3 coats of the medium...letting it dry 45 minutes in between coats. This protects the coaster from beverage moisture. You can also add some little cork "feet" to the bottom of each coaster, they come with the kit.
So as you can see, it's pretty simple to make a set of these. It would make really great holiday gifts for friends and family. I think another great idea would be to make some wall hanging with these coaster too. B-A-B-Y would fit perfectly on them! -I'll have to keep that in mind for the next baby shower.
Edited to add: I ended up re-doing these coasters...to see how they turned out click here.
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Please enter your email address with your comments so I can contact you if you win. I will draw a winner on Thursday, October 22, 2009 and will announce the winner on Friday, October 23, 2009.
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