Combine spurts of creativity with being a streak-crafter, and that’s me- a craft junkie. I’m on the constant Pinterest lookout for new and neat items to create. The prospects must meet two basic criteria: A- It must make my heart sing, or as my Mama jokingly says, “Suck air.” And B- It’s got to be relatively easy. I don’t do difficult. I don’t like difficult. My husband can attest to that.
My latest ‘streak craft’ involves decorative stone coaster sets. Naturally, the progression to my current state began on Pinterest (don’t they all??) when I ran across a tutorial on the making of these beautifully stamped and sealed drink coasters from travertine tiles. The design on the set pictured was absolutely pristine, and the outcome enticing. It looked so easy, and I realized that I had almost everything needed– rubber stampers of various designs, ink pads, spray sealant– all that was missing were the stone tiles. Immediately that Pinterest-induced internal glow began; I would soon be in handmade stone coaster bliss. This deal was practically sealed.
I acquired some travertine tiles from my local hardware store- well, almost local. Our closest home improvement goto no longer carries the style we needed. My husband searched and discovered that a competitor in a neighboring town who does keep them, so acquisition required a bit of a drive, but not a distance that wasn’t doable. And thank goodness too, for the initial letdown almost broke my craft-heart.
So the plan to stamp my little craft-heart out survived, and I prepared to get started. However I started to realize, as I looked through this first bundle of tiles, that this endeavor might not be quite as easy as I had imagined. Apparently a defining characteristic of this particular style of stone tile is its variability. Some tiles were indeed perfection, but the rest of the 9 in the package looked like the surface of the moon. I tried my hand at the stamping nonetheless, giving numerous different styles a whirl. I made one good one. ONE. It’s of a key, and it sits proudly on my counter, occasionally under a cup of tea. I soaked the rest (the rejects) in rubbing alcohol to erase all traces of my shame.
Overall, my whack at creating decoratively-stamped stone coasters produced straight up junk that looked like crap. My husband knew it immediately; he tried to tell me. I finally admitted it, after some time, reluctantly. Clearly this failed attempt was to be filed under ‘too seemingly easy to be true.’
But this blog entry isn’t one of those ‘NAILED IT’ stories in which I offer an attempt at a witty description of my failed crafting fling, and end with being thankful for bottles of wine, corkscrews, and episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I wasn’t ready to give up on this craft-dream. Plan B was afoot. I still had 8 blank tiles that needed decorating, by God. Back to Pinterest, my trusty creative drawing board.
It was during this next go-round that I decided to try transferring printed photo images onto stone. Now I can add my personal touch to the design without relying on pre-made stamp designs. After much research and trial and error, I finally arrived at a particular combination of adhesives/sealants and a procedure that works for me. The process is more complicated than originally anticipated, which seems to go against my mantra, but the results are worth it.
This journey has been one of collaboration between myself and my husband. We are constantly brainstorming ideas for possible themes, and injecting a few of our own passions and experiences into the mix, like his love for pop culture and hair metal, and my love for rustic decor. You can find differently styled versions of our travertine and ivory stone coaster sets available on my Etsy shop. Whether you’re looking for kitchen decor or special events like wedding and baby showers, you can request your own personalized stone coaster set via my Etsy shop. Just email me! And check out this cool stainless steel cooling rack from IKEA, that now doubles as my coaster drying rack. Use what ya got lying around- another fantastic mantra by which to live.