Friday, March 8, 2013

Wanderlust Week: DIY Julie's Map Coasters!

I have this A-MAZE-ING, CAN-DO-ANYTHING friend, Julie! We grew up together and my childhood memories of her are full of ice cream cones after softball games,  our big '80s hair and her infectious joie de vivre. (In fact, she was the life of our recent high school reunion). Good times.  She's gorgeous. She's kind. She's smart. She juggles being a wife, mom, professional and GIRL'S GOT SKILLS:She is a perfectionist baker and crafter.
SO,  I can't wait to share with you her latest crafting coupe...

Julie's Map Coasters!  

Now, these aren't just any old map coasters...they are waterproof, made the right way, professionally finished and so special!

Here is the scoop in Julie's own words:
These are coasters that I made for friends that are moving away. I printed photos of satellite pics from Google Earth and mounted them on 4x4 travertine tiles. Each coaster has one family friend's house labeled on it. They are coated in resin with cork on the bottom. We then wrote farewell notes on the cork on the back!!! So fun and the resin makes them look "real" instead of homemade.

I was a little scared of the resin but it was really easy and it made them look like they were covered in glass. Just wish I had had the time to make more!!!

Here are Julie's steps:

(1) Tiles were really dusty so I tried to clean them with a damp cloth.

(2) Put one coat of Mod Podge on the back and let it dry.

(3) Placed each tile face up on a small cup and put one very light coat of Mod Podge on 

the rest of the tile including the sides and let it dry.

(4) Put Mod Podge on the back of the photos and put them on the tiles and let them dry 

for 15 minutes. 

(5) Put one coat of Mod Podge on the top and let it dry.

(6) Put a second coat of Mod Podge on perpendicular to the first coat. Let dry 


(7) In the morning put scotch tape along the back side of the tiles to pull off after resin is 


(8) Put tiles back on cups. 

(9) Mix resin according to instructions and pour on the tiles. Use a popsicle stick to coat 

the sides and smooth out. Let dry at least 24 hours.

(10) Remove scotch tape

(11) Cut cork and Mod Podge one side to glue it to the bottom of the tile. 


The pics didn't do them justice. They looked so "real".  It was amazing how professional they looked with the resin on top and on all the sides.
Julie used the instructions that she found on this link, detailing steps and epoxy usage.
Tips from Jules:
-I couldn't find the same resin mentioned here (in above link). Our Hobby Lobby only had Clear Cast which worked really great.
-I didn't like the look of the cheaper tiles at Lowes so I got a box of 9 travertine 4X4 tiles for under $5. I ended up mixing equal parts 3 oz each of the two step resin for a total of 6 oz but it would have been easier had I had 1 more total ounce for the 8 tiles. In hindsight it would have been better to make all 9 tiles so that could be put out on a table in a square pattern. If that were the case I probably would have mixed 4 oz each resin step for a total of 8 oz.
-If you are looking specifically to use satellite images you'll need to download Google Earth to save the images. It's free, though, and was easy to use and fun to put a marker for the family names at specific addresses.  

So, amazing, right? I've seen lots of versions on Pinterest, but I have to say, Julie's takes the cake. That is why when she posted them on her FB page, I had to say, "I NEED THESE ON MY BLOG"!!! 
Has this gotten the cogs in your wheels turning?
It did mine...I kept thinking about what a great going away gift this must have been for Julie's friends to receive. 

Then I thought you could do this with:
- maps of all the places you've lived
- maps of family vacation spots (how great would it be to give this to your parents with maps of old family vacation spots and you could write memories on the back?)
-College town/campus spots on coasters (great parent, man, coach, teacher, neighbor gift).
-beaches you love...
I could go on...but I hope that this has you thinking...because Christmas is only 9 months away, you know!
Thanks again, Julie, so sweet of you to share your time and talent!

1 comment:

  1. Amy, your eloquent review of me and my coasters is so very generous and kind!!!!!!!!!!! For a second I thought "is that really me she's talking about!?!?!?!?!" Honestly, this is such a fun project and really not that hard at all. I managed to pull it together in three days -- idea to finished product. I love the fact that Google Earth lets you set customized landmarks on the maps. That is what really got the wheels turning. And, I just adore your generalization to other scenarios -- perfect for a Mother's Day or Father's Day present with each coaster representing a family member and childhood homes. You could even add the mileage between the landmarks:) The options are endless!!!! Thanks for passing this idea onto all your devoted readers. It warms my heart knowing they will be sharing the love!!!!