BULLETIN: I made today's crafty gift for a thrifty $1. Oh, it feels so good to write that.
Praise the clearance bin. As I was sifting through another one this week, I saw several sets of coasters, but didn't like the designs. So, I decided to make my own. BAM! I bought one of the packs for just 40 cents to use as my base. But, if you really want to go 100% homemade, you can make yours out of chipboard (see Crafty Girl's blog here to find out more about that). A thick chipboard or cardboard would be fine, or you can buy thin wood discs for about $2. I was happy with my 40 cent find knowing I'd be covering them anyway.
Here's what I used:
First, I picked out my pictures. If you have tools to cut circles, you're ahead of the game. I used a wooden disc to guide me, as it was exactly the size I wanted. I layered my base with modge podge and centered my picture (I like to show some border, which also helps seal the picture in the next step). Finally, I added another layer of MP over the top of the picture and sealed it in place. The white streaks dry clear, but be careful to smooth out the glue with your sponge and brush it on in one direction because you can see how carefully it was applied when it dries.
You can use kid's pictures, holiday designs (Halloween is coming), artsy shots you see in magazines, or make coasters showing a special occasion. The 40-cent set I bought in the clearance bin came with eight coasters. I decided to split them up. I used four to make an animal set. For the other four, I used black paper as a background to accent smaller black and white wedding pictures. They would make a fun gift for someone's anniversary. I have to warn you...they won't last forever. One week of drinks on mine left a clear ring. But, they are a fun temporary addition to your party or endtables. After you finish layering your modge-podge, let the coasters set for about an hour. Then, put your handy work to use with a well-deserved cocktail.