So, here we go again – this time with something completely different. But before I start I want to dedicate this post to my best friend Ola! CZEŚĆ OLA WIEM ŻE CZYTASZ.
These are coasters with various cities, white buildings on black background create beautiful patterns. I like how they look together, they are different but equally interesting. Scale is the same for all of them. First I had to choose between creating map based on buildings and creating map based on roads. I’ve picked buildings because I’m dumb and dumb people like to make their lifes harder. This takes way too much time, roads are just as good. So be reasonable, not dumb.
I’ve seen some tutorials on making coasters but I thought I would just figure it out myself and use tools and materials from my stash. So everything you will see below is just my take on the process of making coasters. The whole trick is in using two forms of clear varnish – spray and liquid. Spray is for setting and liquid is for securing. This is also how I varnish water-based paint on plywood.
1. Paint regular cork coasters black. I used black ink and a sponge to apply a thin layer. Let them dry.
2. Varnish them with a clear spray varnish to avoid bleeding upon the contact with water.
3. Print out your designs. Cut them out. You can use regular printing paper.
4. Now the important part. Use the same spray varnish on paper (picture 4.a). Be generous (picture 4.b). Repeat at least once just to be sure. Believe me, no matter how much you apply the edges of your printout will still look sharp, because we avoid touching paper. At least they should, that is the point of using varnish in spray form. We are trying to make paper waterproof without laminating it. After drying the paper should have a distinctive shine to it (picture 4.c). If you do it wrong, you will find out later.
5. Stick your shiny paper to a thicker paper with spray adhesive. This glue is extremely strong and will not soak your paper. Thicker paper will make your work easier.
6. Time to fit paper to cork. Diameter of paper circles should be smaller than diameter of coasters. If you do them exactly the same size you can accidentally peel off the paper. Cork coasters might be irregualar, so use pencil to trace them.
7. Use spray adhesive again, this time to glue paper to cork. With thick paper it should be easy. They almost look like finished, you just have to do one more thing.
8. Which gets us to the fun part. Prepare any stable form of pedestal to rise your coasters above the table. I used tapes, I have a whole collection. Use brush to apply a thin layer of clear liquid varnish. Focus on the egde of a paper circle. Let it dry completely. Repeat at least three more times. Keep the layers fairly thin, they dry faster and make less air bubbles than thicker layers. Done!
You are probably wondering, why is this step the fun part. Well, if you mess up step number 4 – like I did the first time – you will notice it now, at the very end. If you apply liquid varnish and your paper is not secured enough with spray varnish, the ink on your printout will bleed as you can see in the picture below. So you have to peel off the paper carefully to keep the cork intact, go back to step number 3, listen to this and stay cool. It also depends on the design, if the bleeding occurs and it is barely visible you can just roll with it, which is not the case when you have tiny white buildings on the black background.
After completing the whole process your house should smell like a meth lab with all the varnish and glue particles floating in the air. Serioulsly, do this outside if you can. I was tripping balls going through step number 7 the second time. Also, I recommend protecting your workspace with plastic bags or newspaper and using disposable gloves.
They should be fairly durable but they are definitely not dishwasher safe, just avoid soaking them in water and they should be fine. If they need cleaning, wipe them with a wet towel. If you need heavy duty coasters, you have to look somewhere else.
Make them with your own desing and enjoy. :)