I have noticed a lot of instructions on the web lately that teach you how to make coasters using tile. These tutorials always include great photos that induce thoughts akin to “What a great idea!”. It is, in general, a great idea to make homemade coasters out of tile. But this craft is truly all about execution and artistry. Grabbing a tile and a hot glue gun or Mod Podge kit will not result in heirloom quality homemade coasters.
So I decided to create this tutorial for making heirloom quality homemade coasters out of tile and lace.
Many of the tile / coaster projects I have seen online use Mod-Podge. I really like paper crafts with Mod-Podge and have posted a few on this site. However, Mod-Podge it is not a good product for use on a drink coaster. Mod-Podge isn’t really water proof – so a sweating glass would make a mess of your coaster. I image that Mod-Podge wouldn’t survive on a trivet either. The right product for use on robust homemade coasters is resin. I used a resin called Famowood Glaze Coat in this tutorial. As with all resins, it is a two part product. You need to add a hardner to the resin. When the resulting mixture dries it takes the form and substance of a thick glass like coating. You can find it or similar products at most hardware stores or at Amazon.
I became really excited when I discovered resin because I realized immediately that I could put a slightly textured item underneath it, and the hard resin coating would still be relatively smooth after coating the textured item.
I have a box of antique lace scraps and handkerchiefs with holes. I just cannot throw out these beautiful items. Often times, I longingly try to find a way to give these lovely hand made items a new life. This tile project seemed like a fine way to breathe new life into my lovely lace handkerchiefs. I was especially excited to see how well the corner of a decorative handkerchief worked when I cut it up and placed it on these homemade coasters. The hanky that I used at first had huge holes in the center. There was even a small hole in the piece I used on one of the tiles, but I just pushed the threads together when I glued the lace down to the tile. It was no problem at all!
I will also provide some great finishing instructions below. I expect the first time you use your homemade coasters, someone will pick up the coaster and check it out (they are just that cool). Just finishing the top might make for pretty blog photos, but if you plan to use or give away the coasters then the sides and bottom need to look good too.
Resin (Famowood Glaze Coat or like product)
Felt pads or rubber feet
Plastic cups (to mix resin)
Disposable paint brush
1. Pick your lace. The resin finish will make your lace look wet. So, it is best to wet your lace and place it on the tile to get a better indication of what the finished product will look like. Trim your lace to about a 1/8″ larger than you need. Give your lace time to dry before step 3.
2. Spray paint the bottom of your tile. I like to use black or gold. You can also use the paint on the top of the tile. In my photos you will see I sprayed one top surface of one tile a gold color.
3. Spray the back of your lace with the spray glue and position on the tile. Place the tile on a sheet of wax paper.
4. Mix your resin. Follow the instructions that come with the product closely. Once the resin is mixed, pour onto the tile (with the lace attached of course). Use the paint brush handle or a (popsicle stick) to spread the resin out to the corners of the tile. Take a close look at the lace. You will see small air bubbles trapped under the lace. Use the paint brush to push down through the resin and onto the lace to release the air.
5. Light your torch. I used a small kitchen torch. Pass the torch over the tile, heating the resin slightly. The bubbles in the resin will disappear. This is very easy, but if you are concerned you can watch my video and see me in action when completing this tile.
6. Check again for air bubbles trapped under the lace – the torch will not get rid of these. Use the end of the paint brush again to remove them. If this causes bubbles in the resin, use the torch again.
7. Wipe the edges of the tile to remove any drips. Move the tile to a clean sheet of wax paper. If you have a lot of resin that has dripped underneath the tile then you will want to move the tile a few times during the drying process.
8. When the tiles are dry use a glue gun to attach ribbon around the edge. Attach the felt pads or rubber feet to the tile bottom. If you have a lot of resin on the bottom of the tile you can use a layer of Mod-Podge to even out the sheen and make it more consistent before adding the feet.
Finished! Time to make matching trivets! I have been letting my mind ponder other things I could decorate with resin and lace scraps. There are certainly endless possibilities. Let me know if you think of any good ones!