Another DIY – Photo Coasters!

You guys, I am so excited to share this DIY with you. I had to sit on it a while because it was a gift for my mom and I had to wait for her to get them.

For Mother’s Day this year, I made my mom a set of photo coasters featuring some of our favorite recent pics.

Photo Coaster DIY

The coasters are an idea I picked up on Pinterest (of course!!) and ran with.

The coasters are relatively simple to create. There are only a few basic supplies that you will need, and many of them come from Home Depot!

Supplies:

  • 6 ceramic tiles
  • 6 photos trimmed to fit
  • Sharpie Paint Pens (or vinyl)
  • Glossy Mod Podge
  • Can of Rustoleum Spray Sealer
  • Package of self-sticking felt pads
  • Ribbon, gift tag, bubble wrap – optional

supplies1a

The first steps are super easy – just decide how many coasters you want and then choose the photos for them. I wanted to make a set of 6, so I chose four photos and two designs for the set. (The designs are a foot print of my littlest and a handprint of my oldest).

I then bought six small tiles (I believe they were 4×4) from Home Depot. I used the size of the tiles as a guide for printing my photos. I printed them at home and was able to size them accordingly (for this step, you could print at home or have them printed and cut to size).

Photo Coasters

I wanted a matte photo (wasn’t sure how glossy would work) so I used regular printer paper.

Next, I used a sponge brush and put a light coat of Mod Podge on the back of the photo; I then placed the photo on the tile and gently pressed it down. This I followed up with a light coat of Mod Podge on top of the photo. Repeat with your other photos and coaster, and set them aside so they can dry thoroughly.

The coasters with the handprint/footprint went a tad differently – I gently pressed the kiddo’s tootsie onto the ink pad then pressed onto the paper, trimmed the paper and then put the Mod Podge on the back. Before sealing the tile, I used a Sharpie paint pen to draw the names and dates. After the lettering/numbering dried, then I sealed with Mod Podge and the spray sealer.

Photo Coaster

Finally, spray with a coat of sealer and attach felt pads on the bottom. I used these small self-adhesive pads I found at Home Depot, but cork sheets would also provide a decent backing.

supplies1b

I only did one coat of Mod Podge with several coats of sealer, and they seem to be holding up well; however, others have said that they have used multiple coats of Mod Podge – go with your gut.

Photo Coasters

Step back and take plenty of photos so that you can totally show off your handiwork on Facebook (you know you do it, don’t lie).

Since mine were a gift, I wrapped them with a pretty ribbon and attached a Zentangled gift tag, then wrapped them in plastic and plenty of bubble wrap!

DIY Coasters

I am thinking of making more of these, not only as gifts for others, but for myself as well. The opportunities are endless, and could be done with vinyl or even funky/unusual scrapbook paper to match your decor.

Hopefully this DIY will give you the inspiration needed to make yourself an amazing set of coasters! When you do, share with us!

Shrink Film Necklace Tutorial

I recently acquired an upgrade to my Cricut – the new Explore Air! I am in so much love with this little crafty thing, that I’ve been doing tons of little crafts that allow me to use the die cutter.

I’ve done vinyl projects – monograms on drinking cups, images on plastic catch-all plates, cutesy silhouettes for my machine and a fun shrinky dink cat necklace.


The possibilities with this machine are truly endless, and after watching countless Youtube videos and reading other blogs showcasing how-to guides, I finally feel like I can take the training wheels off and just enjoy my crafting time.

The best part is that I can use the machine to cut out images on various mediums, including shrinky dink paper!

Do you remember shrinky dinks??


I had completely forgotten about those fun little f*ckers until recently when Pinterest reintroduced them to rock my little craft world.

I am so excited by them!

Usually I share some amazing recipe, but this post I’ve decided to share my love of shrinky dinks and the little project failures that I (love) have created!!  

 I’ll also share some hiccups that I’ve encountered as well as the things that I’ve found have worked really well. Trust me, I’ve been playing with these for a while, and I think I finally understand how to get the best look.

First things first though, I bought the shrink film from amazon.com, but I didn’t get Shrinky Dink brand. I have the Graphix Shrink Film in white. I have “real” Shrinky Dink paper, too, but I haven’t opened it up to play with yet. When I do, I will report back on whether it’s very different from Graphix brand.


I don’t mind it so much, and I couldn’t beat the $2.99 price tag, but it does have its drawbacks. It’s fairly simple to use, but there are some issues. First, it’s glossy on both sides, so if you want to use pencils you will need to sand it. Some types of inks don’t work on them either – you will need permanent ink, not pigment. Don’t use pigment ink, period – it won’t dry and you will get frustrated. I’ve found that permanent markers and Staz-On ink pads work best.

I’ve also found that when trying for a solid color finish on a completed shrinky item, spray paint works best. I’ve used sharpies, paint pens and spray paint. In my fail and repeat opinion, spray paint gives a better coating all over versus the paint pens.

**As a note, I use the spray paint, paint pens and sharpies after baking the shrinky paper – but you can use the sharpies and the Staz-On ink pads prior to baking**

Sharpies are alright, but I’ve found that too much ink can erase itself out (I know, that’s so weird, right? But it does, it seems like it picks the color up instead of adding it on). Depending on the type of spray paint you use, it seems to dry faster than the markers, too.

I really wanted a shiny finish on my pieces so I played around with several different mediums before reaching one that I really like.

First, I started with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic – not too thrilled with it. So I moved on to Ranger Ink’s  Glossy Accents. Once again, just meh.

Finally, I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out a spray acrylic gloss finish. Bingo! I definitely, once again, prefer the spray variety over the other options.

DIY Shrinky Cat Necklace

These are the spray options I prefer.

The biggest downside to painting and finishing these is having to wait! I can be patient, but sometimes I just don’t want to be!!

Also keep in mind that you will want to punch your holes prior to baking. The shrink film gets considerably harder once it’s been in the oven, and that makes it difficult to punch holes afterwards.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, I thought I would share a small tutorial.

DIY Kitty Cat Shrinky Necklace

*please note that this project takes a few days to accomplish!*

What you’ll need:

  • Cat image (My image is from the Cricut Design Space and is free for subscribers!)
  • Scissors or die cutting machine
  • Jewelry chain and findings
  • Shrinky film
  • Spray paint in desired color
  • Clear gloss acrylic finish spray paint
  • Oven

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven according to package instructions.
  2. Trace and cut out cat image from shrinky film, or do this step with a die cutting machine.
  3. Using a hole punch, place holes in the cat based on where you want the necklace to hang – I chose to use a precut section of the ear and placed a hole in the tail.  
  4. Bake shrink film for 3-4 minutes or according to package direction.
  5. Once cool, spray cat with your desired spray paint (in my case, black) and let dry thoroughly.
  6. Once dry, spray with acrylic finish and allow to dry for 24 hours prior to handling the piece.
  7. When the cat is completely dry, attach your jump ring(s) and chain.
  8. Take a million photos of your awesome handmade necklace and wear with pride! I would make sure to avoid long dips in water while wearing, just in case.

DIY Shrinky Cat Necklace

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating jewelry with shrinky dinks. If you can think it, you can do it! I have a few necklaces in the works right now, one for my sister and one just because.

I am not selling them, so I’ve used inspirations from Pinterest as my first projects. However, from creating these, I’ve begun having ideas about my own projects. It’s pretty exciting!

The “just because” necklace I will share.

This is the inspiration:

 
Unfortunately I don’t have a link. I can’t find the original source on etsy. So if you know how originally created this beauty, please share and I will give credit where credit is due!!

These are the components I created for my version:

  
They’re still wet from a fresh coat of acrylic. When I have the necklace completed, I will share it in another post!

I fear that this post has gotten a bit long.

So I am going to leave you here!

   
 

Hello there, Puddin’

I’ve been horribly lazy of late. It’s not that I haven’t created anything interesting or lovely, it’s just that I’ve been terrible about photographing and sharing them…

Seriously, I’ve made some fun stuff!

Monogrammed my cricut… (slapped a cute little kitty on it, too).

Did some zentangling…

and most recently, E and I made (from scratch) Banana Pudding.
We’re talking no box, for real,  with eggs, sugar and vanilla, creamy, and indulgent from scratch.

Ohhh, it is soooo yum!

I adapted the recipe from the Food Network, it’s from Trisha Yearwood. Her version calls for meringue on top, but c’mon, you just need good ol’whipped topping! I followed her pudding recipe, but instead of making meringue, I used Cool Whip and layered it – pudding, banana slices, whipped topping, repeat.

The recipe is so simple, even E was able to easily help me, although his favorite part was eating it, rather than making it. There is no “trick” to it, and I honestly find it just as easy to make pudding this way as it is to use a box mix.

It did my heart good to hear him proudly tell everyone that he helped make the pudding.

I’m going to share the recipe, for sure, but in terms of photos, you won’t really get much – maybe a scraped bowl photo – because I so lost track of pictures and then it was all gone!!

  Proof is in the pudding, right? Haha

(I don’t know why the color is so off, sorry!)

  Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Box of vanilla wafers
  • 3-4 bananas

Directions

  1. First, we need to separate the yolks in three of the eggs. So in a separate bowl, place the yolks, then break one whole egg into it. The bowl will contain three yolks and one whole egg. Make scrambled egg whites with the rest of the other eggs, it’s what we did, haha.
  2. In a pan, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the eggs, and then the milk. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the pudding thickens, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla (don’t forget this step, or you’ll have no flavored pudding!)
  4. Take the pudding off the heat to cool, but try to consistently stir it, to prevent the pudding from gooping up. While the pudding is cooling, since the bananas.
  5. Once cooled, layer the pudding in a bowl – pudding, banana slices, cookies, whip topping, repeat. If you put it in a clear or glass bowl, it looks so pretty.
  6. Once you reach the final layer, which is whip topping, I would hope, I like to sprinkle crushed wafers and place a line of wafers along the outer ring. It just looks adorable that way.

I have some other posts that I am planning, that should have more photos (haha!!) 

You can find the original recipe from Trish Yearwood here. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

After making this pudding, I started thinking about variations on a theme (so to speak) and I want to try this recipe with coffee creamer – I was curious about whether flavored coffee creamer would bring another level of flavor to the pudding. I was thinking about half milk and half creamer – how yummy would Coconut Cream or Snickerdoodle creamer be?? 

If you make one of the variations, let me know!!