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
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
images (FREE PDF download). We provide three 3.5" x 3.5"
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
Several bristle or foam paint brushes.
Scissors, craft knife or paper cutter.
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
Prepare the tiles by washing and drying them
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.
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.
Trim the self-adhesive cork sheet to 3.75" x
3.75" squares, and apply to the back of the coasters.
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!
marble tiles are 4" x 4" x 3/8" squares cut from marble or travertine
light-colored porous calcite stone). They are "aged" by abusing them
mercilessly with gravel until their edges and surfaces are worn and
perfection. Bargain tiles and seconds often have chipped-off corners,
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.
relaxes the decal film so it will drape better. (2)
Before applying the decal to the tile, liberally brush turpentine over
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
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
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.
are close-up pictures of the three designs for the New Year Coasters!