Monday, July 16, 2012

Lesson Plan: DIY coasters

As I've mentioned before, I am on a tight budget this summer. Moving to a new city on top of not starting my job until the school year starts has really made me conscious of my spending. Necessary expenses include:

  • rent and utilities
  • cable and internet
  • groceries
  • gas
As for everything else, either goes by the wayside, or is bought at the cheapest price possible- preferably free. Luckily, my parents gave me a lot  almost all of the furniture in my new place.

I have found myself upping my creativity and thrifty shopping skills. Lots of antique shopping and garage sale hunting, and even more making things myself. This is one project that I am really happy with the end result... and it's keeping my grandparents furniture safe. Cute and functional! Win!

Lesson: Patterned Coasters
Necessary materials:

  •  Cork coasters (I got this pack for $1.37 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Masking tape
  • acrylic paint and brush
  • scissors
  • Modge Podge
1) Use scissors to cut masking tape in fun, geometric patterns and adhere them to the coasters. Make sure to press them down and smooth them out completely to eliminate bleeding (note: there will be some bleeding because the cork is absorbant. I decided I didn't care about that, but if it bothers you, try wood or other materials)
 2) Paint over tape with acrylic paint. I chose an orange/yellow color palate that complemented the living room.
 3) Remove tape while paint is still wet. This makes sure that the paint doesn't act like glue and make removal impossible later. Then, allow to dry completely.
 4) "Seal" the paint by covering the tops of each coaster with a layer of watered-down Modge Podge or other sealer. I did this just to ensure that the water from cups wouldn't ruin the paint. Allow to dry completely.
Extension activities: This procedure (relief painting) couldn't be easier. It could be used to embellish any kind of unfinished object. I'm thinking about doing it on a wood serving tray and maybe some wooden spoons. If I use it to decorate things that are going to have more food/liquid on them, I need to buy a sealer that is a little more heavy-duty. Great, one more thing to add to the shopping list :)

I was really pleased with how these turned out. My mom tried to steal then when she was over the other night!

Bonus, Bubbe and Zayde's furniture is safe from glass rings!

Here's to making my house a home... on the cheapest budget possible!
~ Rach

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