Make Your Own Mosaic Drink Coasters

If you are looking for a fun and easy craft project, that won’t ruin your budget, you can consider making these attractive customized mosaic drink coasters. They are both beautiful and unique, and you can save money on materials by using old broken dishes, pieces of rock, or glass beads, instead of actually buying mosaic tile.

The first thing you will need is a canvas to create your mosaic print on. The easiest way to create a coaster canvas is by using small 4” – 5” square picture frames. These frames should be gutted, with both the glass, and the backing material removed before you begin.

Next, take a small piece of plywood, sized to match up with the frame at either 4” or 5” square. This square should be sanded down so that it is nice and smooth, and then fitted against the backside of the frame, so that it acts as the new backing for the square. This will be the blank space where you actually create your mosaic design.

At this point the coasters frame and wood can be further sanded, and then finished with your choice of wood stain, and or polyurethane. It is best to take care of any wood finishing now, before you start inserting the contents of your mosaic design into the square. Before taking any further steps, be certain that your frame has fully dried, and is not tacky or sticky in any way.

Once the canvas is properly prepared, it is time to turn to the mosaics. As mentioned earlier, your mosaic pieces can consist of anything from broken china, to bits of rock and stone you find in the garden, to glass tiles purchased from a ceramic store. The only requirement is that the pieces you use are flat, and are roughly the same height as one another. They also have to be a material that can be easily broken into smaller pieces, so that you can craft the chips you need.

Your large units can be broken down safely by putting them into a strong paper bag, or a pillow case, and then breaking them with a hammer. You will want to break them up a little bit, and then take some of the pieces out of the bag, before continuing the breakage. You can always break a piece smaller, but you can’t always put it back together.

Once you have a group of nice sized pieces, you can start to work on a design. Symmetrical shapes, such as that of flowers, butterflies, and sunsets, are usually easier to craft, as larger pieces can be used to form up the pattern. More intricate designs will require many smaller pieces to be successful.

You should try and lay out your design before adding any adhesive to the frame. This way you know what it will look like, roughly, and can use that as a guide when laying down the final product.

When you are ready you should use a trowel to scoop tile adhesive onto the center of the frame. Try and spread it on evenly, so that the individual pieces will all rest at the same level. The thicker the pieces mosaic, the thicker the layer of adhesive should be.

The individual broken mosaic pieces can be placed carefully into the adhesive, using your hands, or a small pair of tweezers, for greater precision. If you do use your hands, wear a pair of latex gloves to protect you from getting the adhesive on yourself. As you lay each piece, try and get it into the exact position it needs to go for the beverage coaster design on the first try. Once you lay a piece in the adhesive, you won’t be able to easily maneuver it, without upsetting the even layer, or getting glue all over everything.

Press the individual pieces into the adhesive mix so that they are at an even level. Don’t worry about gaps between them; these can be filled in later.

Once you have laid down the tiles, allow them to sit overnight until the adhesive hardens. The next day, when they are firmly fixed in place, you can cover them over with grout, which will serve to fill the holes between them, and even out the surface of the coasters. Once set, allow the grout to sit for another full 24 hours before use.

The resulting coasters will be beautiful, custom, and special, because you made them yourself. They will also be functional, with a slip resistant surface that they gain from the grout and mosaic edges

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