DIY Coasters

When my sister, Loo, got married, my entire extended family rented out an estate with a couple of houses and a pool for us all to stay in.  Then my mom and I set to the task of making it homey and festive…especially since we ended up hosting a couple of BBQ’s and pool parties for the rest of the wedding guests.

So we decorated with burlap bunting, paper lanterns, candles and flowers.  I decided to make some DIY coasters out of cork, using my Silhouette to have around the house.  I figured it would be functional decor that couple double as a wedding favor for the guests of the house.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorSo I bought a couple of packs of cork coasters, some white acrylic paint, a stippler {sponge on a stick} and some vinyl for my silhouette.  I also like to use transfer paper when I use my Silhouette, to make placement of the vinyl a little easier.  {At the end of this post, I’ll have a list of the exact products that I used or recommend}  Then, I found some pretty designs by searching pinterest for “circular cut files.”  I decided not to do a monogram or anything, but there were so many options, that it would be so easy to customize.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorJust about any image you find, you can convert to a cut file.  Save whatever file you want as a .jpeg.  Then open the file and under “File,” click on “Export” and save as a .PNG from the drop down list.  Then you are ready to open the file in Silhouette.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you have your file open in Silhouette, use the corner arrows to adjust the size to what you are looking for.  From the menu along the top, find the image on the right hand side that looks like toast and click on it.  Then, in the right hand box, select “Select Trace Area” and draw a box around your image to highlight.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you have your image highlighted in the box, go back to the right hand column and click on “Trace the Entire Image.”  Uncheck the High and Low Pass Filters, and your image should be completely solid yellow when you hit that trace button.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you trace the image, you should be able to click on it and drag the image to separate it from the {red outlined} cut image.  At this point, either right click to delete your original image, or drag it out of the way, so you can focus on your red outlined cut image.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorThen, zoom in on your image, and then select the second arrow button on the left {looks like an arrow connecting the dots}.  Click on one of the red lines in your image, and you will see a bazillion dots show up.  In the right hand box, click on “Simplify” to cut down on the dots a little.  You can also click and drag the dots to alter lines, and highlight sections to delete.  Don’t feel like you have to though!  Just remember that every time there is a dot, there will be a cut…so you may want to zoom way in to make sure there are no imperfections in your image that you can’t see when you are zoomed out.  Delete what is not necessary.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorAt this point, your image is done!  Go ahead and duplicate it if needed, or add additional images.  And then you are ready to cut.  Make sure you chose the correct medium that you are cutting {in this case, vinyl} and make sure you cut all red lines, not just the outer edge.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce your image is cut out, use your Silhouette tools or even Scotch tape to weed out all of the little pieces.  Some of my designs were actually able to be used twice….once with the inner image on the coaster, and once with the outer image on the coaster.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorCut out a piece of transfer paper that is slightly bigger than your vinyl cut-out, and apply.  Center it over your coaster and slowly position the transfer paper, using a debit card or scraper to make the image stick without bubbles.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorAs you peel back the transfer paper, use the scraper to smooth out your design and be sure that the vinyl is sticking.  I’ll be honest, my original plan for this project was just to stick the vinyl on the coaster and be done with it.  But then I realized that the vinyl doesn’t stick well to the cork, and may have gotten worse when a wet drink was placed on it.  So I decided to stick the vinyl on as best as I could, and use it as a sticker stencil instead.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorWhen using it as a stencil, put just a little bit of acrylic paint on the end of your stippler, and dab it on a plate a bit to distribute the paint.  Then dab it over the negative areas of your coaster, being sure to use a straight up and down motion.  DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorDIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorLet it partially dry for a minute or so, and then peel the vinyl off to let the coaster dry completely.  Tweezers help with this process, as well as placement of small vinyl pieces.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecor

I love how these DIY Coasters turned out.  They were a beautiful, small addition to our wedding weekend, and I used a permanent marker to write the bride and groom’s name and wedding date on the back.  A simple project for a memorable weekend!

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