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Friday, July 19, 2013

Family Vacation Coasters

My father seems to be one of the hardest people to buy gifts for. Not because he is picky or unappreciative, but because he has everything he needs. If he really wants or needs anything, he generally picks it up when he's at the store. That doesn't leave us a whole lot of options when it comes time to get him something. If there is something he has his eye on, but doesn't own, it's usually a "man toy" that probably has something to do with hunting. And they tend to cost quite a bit. As much as I would LOVE to be able to spend a large sum on a gift for Dad to show my appreciation for everything he has done for us though the years, our pocketbook won't allow it. Therefore, this last Father's Day, I decided to make him something. I wanted it to be creative and useful, but it also had to fit our budget. 

While road tripping with my sister years ago we stopped at a rest stop in each state that we passed through to grab a map. They've just been sitting in my glove compartment ever since. I knew that being a hoarder was good for something!

I decided to take those maps and tear out the places that Dad and Mom have taken us on family vacations.
The maps I already had contained three of the locations I needed:

Itasca State Park in Park Rapids, MN
Grotto of Redemption in West Bend, IA
Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, TN

Since I only had maps for three of the states that I needed, I figured, if these turn out and he actually likes them, I could make another set with the rest of the locations for his birthday or something. (Nebraska, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, etc.)

I bought 4x4" rough tiles, spray adhesive, and medium sized felt pads at Home Depot & the high gloss finish at Craft's Direct. 
{At first, I tried using the Thompson's waterseal (below on the left) instead of the high gloss finish. Not good. They were sticky and definitely not waterproof. Cut straight through to the high gloss finish and you will be much happier.}

Start by wiping down your tiles to get all the dust and powder off of them.

Then select the locations you want to focus on and cut a large square around it.

I wanted rough edges to go with the rough tile, so I tore off the edges. 
You can use a clean cut, if you'd like.

I was doing this on our balcony, and didn't want to get spray all over the wood, so I put the tile in an old box.

Following the directions, use the spray adhesive to adhere the map to the tile.

Using a craft/popsicle stick, smooth it out and press the edges down.

Let it dry completely.
(Mine was still a little sticky, even after weeks of drying, so just make sure you've allowed adequate drying time and it's not wet before continuing.)

Following the directions for the high gloss finish, pour it on and allow it to dry completely.
{Be sure not to let it dry too long before making sure it's not stuck to anything! I had them propped up on craft sticks, thinking that would be fine....I had to call on my hubby for help, and he had to pop the sticks off using the edge of the counter and a steak knife. Not so safe.}

Once you're that far, all you have left to do is to apply the felt pads. 
{Now, I really didn't think about how messy the bottom would look. If that bothers you, just adhere a piece of felt that is almost the whole size of the tile instead of these little pads. It will cover the whole bottom, while still protecting the surface that they will be set on.}

You're ready to go!

***Adjust the project to fit the decor in your home or to showcase your memories. You can use scrapbook paper or fun brochures from a zoo or conservatory! 
If you try photos, let me know if it turns out! I would like to see. :)

1 comment:

Check these out!