We had never even considered the need for coasters before, but after picking up a cool midcentury desk at an estate sale not too long ago – which has the type of veneer top known for bubbling – we decided to do the grown up thing and use coasters. But of course we made some of the geek variety, inspired by classic polaroid photos.
Anyone else remember making tile coasters in grade school art class, using sharpies? This was initially inspired by those, but then a quick google search of “Polaroid coasters” opened up a whole world of awesome DIY coasters. We decided to make ours using cell phone photos of some of our favorite
toys action figures, to bring a touch of geekery to the project. Geek coasters!
We started with $0.16 tiles from Lowe’s (yes, they’re THAT cheap. Just standard square ceramic tiles). We went with the “bone” color instead of white, so that they looked a little more aged. Then we just took photos of toys. Lots and lots of photos, of lots and lots of toys – then narrowed that down to about 10. We also threw an Instagram photo in the mix, of the worm from Labyrinth (‘ello!).
In our phone’s basic photo editor, we messed around with the saturation/contrast/etc, but you could just as easily do it in Instagram or any other photo editing program that implements filters. Then we printed out the photos, and cut them by hand into 3.25″ x 3.75″ squares, using a ruler to measure. We just used our basic cheapie home printer and regular paper to print the pictures – it was kind of low on ink which caused some faint lines on the photos, but we don’t even mind since we were going for an “imperfect” Polaroid style look anyway. 😉
Mod Podge time. You could use glue and clear spray sealer instead – whatever you have on hand. We used the matte Mod Podge formula, but in retrospect, the waterproof kind would work better – so use that. Use it as directed (or better yet, first read the FAQ at Mod Podge Rocks blog), SLOWLY pushing out air bubbles as you go. Seal the geek coasters with a couple more coats of Mod Podge – and if you’d like, finish them off with little felt stickers on the bottom, so they don’t scratch your table. If you want your coasters extra durable, wait a couple of days after Mod Podge’ing, then seal with an acrylic sealer spray.
That’s it! Super easy, and now we’re like real grown-ups. 😉 If you’re looking for more geeky coasters, check out this fantastic Doctor Who set from Your Friend Elle and these comic book coasters from Mod Podge Rocks. (if you’ve made your own geek coasters, let us know and we’ll add you to the list!)
What do you think? Are coasters even a thing people use anymore?