Here in the Southern United States, the heat is blazing and we’re keeping cool with lots of refreshing, icy beverages– and those beverages demand coasters! Today, Spoonflower crew member Theresa stops by to share a quick and easy tutorial for how to make your own personalized drink recipe coasters with no more than a swatch of fabric and a few handy supplies!
Now that the weather has gone from pleasantly mild to hotter than Hades in North Carolina, a tall glass of something cold and delicious on the porch to cool off is essentially part of my daily routine. Is it just me or do drinks look kind of sad and lonely sitting there by themselves? They need coasters! My wood furniture whole-heartedly agrees with me on that. I’m having the family over for dinner soon, so I thought it would be fun to put together some personalized drink recipe coasters for each of them. These would also be great for Father’s Day / Mother’s gifting or birthdays. Using the magic powers of digital printing and some tiles that cost next to nothing, I put each of my family member’s favorite drink recipes right on to their very own coasters. Let’s begin!
I used Adobe Illustrator to create my four different coaster designs. I started out by creating a new art-board with dimensions 8″ x 8″ (same size as a Spoonflower swatch of fabric), at 150 DPI and in the RGB color mode.
You can use any digital design program you like to make these. Here is a list of free or nearly free programs including several that work in vectors similar to Illustrator. All your program really needs to be able to do is create text and save as an 8″ square at the mentioned specifications (JPEG or PNG, 150 DPI, RGB). Learn more about what types of files you can upload to Spoonflower here.
Once my art-board was set up at the correct dimensions, I placed a faint gray dotted stroke down the center vertically and horizontally to divide the space into 4 equal parts, one for each coaster. Then, just start filling in each coaster with your drink recipes! You can design this as minimalist or as embellished as you want, just make it your own and try to create something that reflects the drink recipe you’re putting onto it.
Log into your Spoonflower account and upload your design by selecting “Design” > “Upload.” Choose “test swatch” as your size, depending on how many coasters you want to print. The four coasters should fill up the swatch size perfectly, but if you want to print more than that, just select a “fat quarter” or “yard” and make sure “basic repeat” layout is selected. The preview will adjust to reflect what the fabric will look with your design once printed.
Any fabric will work pretty well, but I am going with Silky Faille* since it prints so vividly, has a nice medium weight, and it’s polyester which means it’ll wrinkle less while I’m working with it.
*While this fabric has since been retired, you can learn more about all of Spoonflower’s available fabrics here. Satin or a woven cotton like Organic Cotton Sateen are great alternatives!
Here’s the printed swatch! It turned out great. I probably should have given the yellow “Tom Collins” drink recipe title a little more contrast to make it more easily readable, but that’s okay. As long as we can read the ingredients clearly we’re good! Now that we have our printed swatch, we’re ready to gather up the rest of our materials and make these babies into coasters.
-Four 4″ square tiles. I found these at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store for about 65 cents a piece. You’ll find tiles like this in the Flooring section of most hardware and home improvement stores, and they’re remarkably cheap!
-Fabric with printed drink recipes
-Small sponge brush
-Adhesive backed small felt pads
-Clear glaze spray coating
I think my whole world got a little bit brighter when I first discovered Mod Podge. If you just ran out of your bottle or you want to take your crafting to the next level, here’s a great recipe I found for homemade Mod Podge that you could also use.
Using your sponge brush, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge onto your ceramic tiles, and onto the back of your fabric. Stick your fabric onto the tiles, then go over the fabric again with another thin, even layer of Mod Podge.
Place the freshly Mod Podged tiles in a cool, low humidity spot to dry completely for about one hour. Once dried, you can spray them with the clear coat glaze to create sealed, moisture proofed coasters.