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Vintage New Year Coasters will start your New Year party in an old-fashion way!

New Year coaster craft photo
(click here for a larger
New Year Coasters image)
A classy party is all about the details. These New Year Coasters are the perfect accessories for champagne glasses and a slurred rendition of Auld Lang Syne. 

We made these coasters with a "New Year 1910" theme, but the technique can be used with any vintage images.

The design charm is in the old-world fresco effect. The secret is using 4" x 4" tumbled marble or travertine marble tiles, the lighter the color the better. We found ours at our local Habitat for Humanity thrift store for $.50 each, but many tile stores have a "bargain bin" of mismatched tiles.

The images are applied to the tiles as water-slide decals, which are then dissolved into the stone surface with turpentine. The result is an aged image that seems to be hand-painted on the stone. 

Materials for these New Year Coasters

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage images (FREE PDF download). We provide three 3.5" x 3.5" images.
  • Waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers (We used Lazertran Inkjet) (see Tips).
  • Tiles, 4" x 4", tumbled marble or travertine, white or other light color (see Tips).
  • Self-adhesive cork sheet.
  • Oil-base varnish or polyurethane (oil-base is necessary).
  • Several bristle or foam paint brushes.
  • Scissors, craft knife or paper cutter.

Instructions 

  1. New Year coaster craft, step 1Print the vintage images on waterslide decal paper. There are three images on the PDF page, so print a copy for every three coasters you want to make. Trim the images with scissors or a paper cutter, rounding the corners slightly. (You can also tear the edges of the images or cut a jagged edge, to make the edges blend into the stone a little more.)
  2. Prepare the tiles by washing and drying them very thoroughly.

  3. New Year coaster craft, step 2Follow the directions for applying the decals to the tiles, using the "turpentine application method." This involves using turpentine to melt the decal material onto the rough stone surface. The steps are: (1) Brush a wash of turpentine over the face and sides of the tile. (2) Soak the decal in warm water until it begins to separate from the paper backing. Dab off excess water with a tissue or sponge. (3) Slide the decal, face up, onto the tile. Position it quickly in the center of the tile. Dab off excess water again with a tissue. (4) With a foam brush or soft brush, apply a quick wash of turpentine over the face of the decal (see Tips for a warning). (5) Let it dry overnight.
  4. Brush on a coat of oil-based varnish. The oil-base will turn white areas of the decal to transparent, allowing the texture and color of the stone to show through. When dry, apply a second coat. If it dries with drips around the edges on the bottom, you can scrape them off with a craft knife. Remember, oil-based varnish takes days to dry thoroughly, so be careful about storing your New Year coasters until the varnish is completely cured.
  5. Trim the self-adhesive cork sheet to 3.75" x 3.75" squares, and apply to the back of the coasters.
  6. Happy New Year! Trot out your vintage-look New Year Coasters and serve some vintage champagne. Let "auld acquaintances" be careless with their glasses - you have beautiful coasters for the job!
Tips 
  • New Year Coaster craft, tile sampleTumbled marble tiles are 4" x 4" x 3/8" squares cut from marble or travertine (a light-colored porous calcite stone). They are "aged" by abusing them mercilessly with gravel until their edges and surfaces are worn and pitted to perfection. Bargain tiles and seconds often have chipped-off corners, which are just fine for this craft.
     
  • There are several brands of waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers. We used the granddaddy, Lazertran Waterslide Decal Paper for Inkjet. Whichever brand you use, follow the instructions carefully, especially concerning how to set the paper and inking configuration on your printer. We experimented a bit, and found that configuring our Epson printer for "presentation paper" was significantly better than "plain paper." Here are a few decal tips for this project: (1) Use warm water. New Year coaster craft, decal damageThis relaxes the decal film so it will drape better. (2) Before applying the decal to the tile, liberally brush turpentine over the surface of the tile. (3) Before applying the soaked decal, dab off excess water with a tissue. (4) Try to position the decal on the center of the tile immediately, because it may not reposition easily due to the turpentine. (5) Dab off the excess water again with a tissue and let it dry for a minute or two. (6) Gently brush turpentine over the entire decal and let it dry for eight hours or overnight. If the decal does not completely embed onto the stone, use a spray bottle to mist the decal with some additional turpentine. Too much turpentine or heavy brushing can damage the decal like the photo above (VOE - Voice of Experience).
  • There are several excellent books with more ideas and instructions for applying waterslide decals to porous surfaces such as leather, wood and stone. Debba Haupert wrote the image-transfer bible, The New Book of Image Transfer, which is available from bookstores, craft stores, and at Amazon.com and other online retailers. Layer by Layer from Martingale & Company has a similar coaster craft using a different application method. Of course, Lazertran describes the turpentine method in their decal packaging.
  • Here are close-up pictures of the three designs for the New Year Coasters!

    New Year coaster craft closeup #1

    New Year coaster craft closeup #2

    New Year coaster craft closeup #3


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