>> Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is a little project I just finished which is very easy - anyone can do this for sure. I started out with an old coaster set from Goodwill. It had a plain wooden box and all the coasters had the same Kate Greenaway illustration. I love Kate Greenaway, but this particular image was a little bland, and also they were all the same.
I found my new illustrations from an old Golden Book anthology. Before you are horrified, please note the very bad condition of this book! (Still hard to cut the pages though). The reason I used a book rather than illustrations of my own are because I needed something professionally printed that wouldn't get damaged if it got a little damp. I wanted to be able to actually use the coasters!The next step was to trace the coaster onto a piece of white paper, then cut out the rounded square shape. This gives you a little window so you can frame the exact part of the illustration you want to have on the top of your coaster. After you have determined the placement you can trace an outline in pencil then cut it out. I find that it's best if you make it slightly larger than the coaster, then trim the image once it's attached to the coaster.
I attached the images to each coaster with a little pva glue. I found this kind of glue at an art shop, but other glues would probably work. The tricky part is to brush on enough glue so that your picture adheres everywhere, but not so much that it ends up wrinkled. Try doing a small amount first, then if it's not enough gently lift the paper up and reapply a bit more glue. I found the best amount is the amount you would apply if you were painting the coaster. I didn't add glue to the top of the image - this isn't decoupage - you don't want damp glue on the bottom of your drink!
Finally I primed the wooden box and painted that white. If you already have the glue, an old book you can cut up and some paint, this project can be very cheaply done. I only spent $1.99 at Goodwill for the old coaster set. And look how cute the finished set is!
These illustrations are by the wonderful Mary Blair. Look to vintage Golden books if you'd like to see lots of lovely illustrators. I found some other stories in the book illustrated by Garth Williams, and some by Richard Scarry. It inspired me to see earlier work by these artists (and cheered me up). Just a reminder that most artists aren't overnight successes.