Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade with Love!

CAUTION: YOU'RE GONNA RUN OUT AND GET SUPPLIES TO DO THIS!!! I'm just saying... it's THAT easy and makes a wonderful gift!

This past Friday, I made a Homemade Gift with LOTS of love! It was a hostess gift idea I originally got from my sweet friend Sandy over at Reluctant Entertainer.

She and her Balcony Girls made homemade coasters for their mothers last year. I TOTALLY bookmarked this page, lost it when my computer crashed, but then went onto her newly designed blog and was able to search for it! Ahhh -- the power of the Internet.

I was so excited to make these for a Hostess Gift for our Pastorman and his wife. Every year, they host a Christmas party for the entire church, and every year, I try to take a Hostess gift that is Homemade with Love. Last year I took Apple Pie in a Jar that Sandy posted about also! The previous year, I had a painted tin bucket with a poinsettia in it. This year? Homemade Stone Coasters.

I know that natural stone can absorb liquid, and this will make a great coaster... The one thing I kept stumbling over is... if the coaster is supposed to "absorb" liquid, then would it still "absorb" if it was sprayed with a fixative? I didn't think it would absorb as well, so I did a google search for other homemade coasters, because I wanted to make sure I had the perfect materials for this project!

I found a website that hit it right on the nose: Elegant Crafts and Homemade Gifts. That's me rolled into one semi-incomplete sentence. Anyway, she also gave some tips for using the spray finish, but I went radical and did my own thing. I know... shocking, isn't it?

Also, being a naturally gullible person, I wanted to make sure they really did work, so I tested a stamped sample with an ice-cold glass of water, and to take it one step further, I dropped water directly ON the tile and watched. Not only did it absorb, but the image stayed intact. IT WORKED! IT WORKED! WOHOOO! FYI: This is true to NATURAL UNFINISHED STONE only.

I made 8 coasters (for a big family), and it only took me a total of 2 hours to complete (if that), and dry-time for the glue.

Here's what you need:

Tumbled tiles - mine are tumbled travertine from Home Depot - box of 9/$5-something
Waterproof Ink pad: Staz-On for Every Surface ink is a dye-based pad, so that's what I used.
Rubber stamps of your choice
Cork for bottom of coaster
Elmers Glue-All
Ribbon and packaging materials

Optional: Waterproof markers to embelish your project (Stampin' Up! sells some)

I decided on two stamps I already had: a flowery-vine stamp, and one that had several words that I felt described things their family has given or taught us... hope, faith, friendship, help, strength, determination, love. Those words describe my Pastorman and his wife, and their great kids perfectly.

I gently took the tiles out and sorted through them, choosing the 8 that I thought matched best and weren't chipped or scratched. I then wiped them off on all sides with a damp paper towel, followed by a dry one (they are dusty when you get them).

Next, I applied the ink to my stamp, then centered the stamp on the tile and smoothed over it, being careful not to rock the stamp at all (you'll get a mirrored/blurred/crazy effect if you rock it).

I let them dry completely (which was almost instantly), then I cut out cork to the size of the tile (just a little bit smaller on each side but enough to cover the entire tile bottom), and glued them on the back of each tile with Elmers Glue-All. Be careful not to apply too much glue, because when you smooth the cork out, it will bubble out. If it does bubble out, wipe immediately! Also, make sure you cover every outside end so it doesn't peel up.

Allow the glue on the tiles to dry completely (cork side up).

Stack your newly finished coasters in sets of 4, tie off with a pretty ribbon and package in a nice sturdy box. Christmas in a jiff, and Handmade with Love! (Thank you Sandy for the great inspiration, and thank you Elegant Crafts and Homemade Gifts for the extra tips I was looking for!

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