Coasters & Drink Charms

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I am feeling so accomplished today! I haven’t had a chance to do anything crafty in awhile, but a wedding shower this weekend forced me to get two complete projects done. 

I’m one of those people who can never stick to a wish list or a registry. My favorite part of gifts is the anticipation before opening them, so I just can’t imagine having every gift you open be something you essentially picked out yourself. As a result, I tend to use those registries as a starting point. I usually try to find something unique that the registrant didn’t think of but which still goes along with their theme; this time I chose to get a set of tumblers from the list and make some accessories to match. 

The first part of the gift is to go with the stemware. Everyone who entertains should have at least one set of drink charms, to make it easier to identify the glasses. I designed this set around the theme “The Key To My Heart” since it’s for a wedding. 

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Judging from the full registry, my friend Sarah has contemporary taste, so I didn’t want the charms to look too “antique” – a challenge when looking at key charms! I combined the keys with some asymmetrical heart charms and added some sparkle to each one to keep them looking modern. The top of each charm includes a small and a large Swarovski crystal in similar colors (a 6mm and a 4mm, as my stock allowed) with a clear-crystal silver spacer between them. The rainbow order will look nice in a gift box, and the varying colors will make it easy to distinguish drinks at a party. 

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The second part of the gift makes a little more sense with the tumblers I chose off the registry – coasters! This is an idea inspired by Pinterest. The original idea was to cut 4″x4″ squares of scrapbook paper and use Mod Podge to adhere it to a 4″x4″ tile from the hardware store. I stuck to the general concept – four white tiles and four black tiles, Mod Podge and clear spray paint were purchased. But what to do about decorating the tiles? Well, scrapbook paper is cute, but for something truly elegant, it’s time to whip out the Silhouette. 

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That’s right! Instead of going to my trusty Cricut and digging through the cartridges for an appropriate swirl, I tried out the Silhouette Cameo we bought my mom for her birthday. 

The paper I picked out was a thick, sturdy glitter cardstock. For those who haven’t used a Silhouette before, it plugs into a computer and is controlled completely through the Silhouette Studio software. This is awesome, because you can put multiple shapes on one page and cut them all out at the same time, or you can utilize those tiny scraps you have left over because you know exactly where the machine will cut. The software also tells you what blade settings to use for the paper you are using… to an extent. 

When I first started using my Cricut, I had good days, where everything cut out perfectly and it was magical; and bad days, when I would destroy entire sheets of paper because the blade was shredding shapes instead of cutting them. I have since discovered an amazing app (Cricut Cutting Guide for iPhone) that gives you the correct settings for each brand and type of paper you work with. Suddenly, I adored my Cricut, because it always worked. Amazing!

I have not reached that epiphany with the Silhouette yet. 

Here’s what I did discover: for my rather thick, uncooperative glitter paper from The Paper Company, the Silhouette recommended a blade setting of 3. This perforated the front of the paper, but didn’t even indent the back. After some experimentation, I finally got a perfect cut with a blade setting of 8, on double-cut. Lesson learned? Don’t be afraid of those big numbers on the Silhouette!

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It was well worth the frustration, because the damask shape I cut out of black glitter paper was gorgeous. Seriously, I’m going to make myself a set of coasters and they’re all going to look like that one. 

Not all of the shapes I used for this set were cut from the Silhouette. Actually, most of them came out of an old K&Company set of pre-cut embellishments. The only thing to watch out for with coasters is dimension (you don’t want a glass to tip over on a shape!), so you could really do this with paper, thin stickers, or potentially even rub-ons. 

The process to follow is to “glue” the shape to the tile with Mod Podge, then use an additional coat of Mod Podge to make sure the edges of the shape don’t curl up or make any strange bumps beneath the glass. In some cases, such as with intricate shapes or glitter papers that tend to shed, you may want to coat the entire shape with Mod Podge. A glossy Mod Podge will dry clear and shiny, you just want to make sure there aren’t any obvious ridges or streaks  before it dries. 

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Once the Mod Podge dries, spray the clear spray paint over the tile and let it dry to seal the paper from any liquid that may drip off your glasses. Easy, and beautiful! I’m super excited to give these to Sarah and her fiancé this weekend. 

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