Let's make some coasters, shall we?
I found these homemade beverage coasters via pinterest here. And, here's my take on the project. In my typical skeptical manner, I wasn't sure that your basic ceramic tile would work that great for a coaster. I was picturing water piling up and rolling off the tile onto my delicate table and making a water ring. So, I picked up a preliminary 2 tiles from the home improvement store to test them out. The tiles were nothin' fancy, since I wasn't even sure this project would be a go. These puppies set me back 31 cents each. Ouch.
I used the tiles as-is for several days and determined that yes- they do indeed succeed in keeping water up off the furniture. I wouldn't say they exactly soak the sweat up, but they keep the furniture dry, and that's all I need. So, once I determined the coasters were here to stay, I decided to gussy them up a bit. I picked up 2 pieces of craft paper from HobLob for 44 cents a piece. Except they were 50% off, so they were really only 22 cents a piece. I spare no expense.
Then, I cut the pieces of paper to size. One sheet of the craft paper would actually be enough to make 9 coasters. The tile I picked up has kind of slanted edges. I wasn't sure if I should cut the paper to the exact size of the coaster or leave a border of tile where it starts to drop off, so I did one of each. Once the paper was cut, I got out the mod podge. I gave it several layers of mod podgey goodness.
After the mod podge, I coated it with a couple coats of this stuff.
I have never used this stuff before, but it says it provides a permanent, water-resistant coating, and that's what I'm after. The last step was to put little felt feet on the bottom. I already had these guys on hand from another project, but I think the whole pack of 24 of them was about $3.50. Some other options are homemade felt circles or cork cut to size.
All in all, I am very happy with the result. If I do this again, I might look for totally flat tiles. Not only are mine slanted near the edges, the entire surface is kinda textured, which causes the craft paper to look like it's not lying flat even though it is. I'm not sure anyone would notice, but still. Cost wise, this project can't be beat. I estimate a cost of less than 50 cents per coaster. I had some of the supplies on hand, but even if you had to purchase the mod podge and the acrylic sealer, we're talking about a 10 buck investment with a lot of leftovers. I especially like the project because it enabled me to make a totally custom coaster for my bedroom and one for my office/craft room. Since the color schemes in those two rooms are quite deviant from those of the rest of my house, it just made sense to do something custom rather than having to buy a set of 4 or 8 in a very specific color scheme.