Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Upcycling Part 1: Coasters

Tile coasters

Even though I rarely if ever have time for it anymore, I love reading.  And by that, I mean actual books, not just stuff online.  I've been loyal to my paperbacks and just can't find it in me to switch to an e-reader.  There's just something about holding the actual book in your hands, something satisfying about turning that last page, and an e-reader can't replace that.

While browsing online, I ran into quite a few different project ideas that all involved reusing old books, and with a couple books on my shelf that were falling apart and doing nothing more than collecting dust, I thought I would put them to a better use.  The first book I grabbed off my shelf was How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler.  How fitting.  I had bought it years ago while thrifting and read through most of it, though a few of the pages towards the end were missing.  The book was beat up pretty bad, pages were yellowed and could very easily fall out (or apart).  In other words, it was totally and completely perfect for what I had planned.

My first project?  Coasters.  You know those tile coasters that are everywhere?  I love them because they're heavy and make it much harder for our cat to knock off the table.

Zoo on the table
"What are you talking about?  I am an extremely dignified cat who would NEVER do such things!"
I didn't want to just cover them with book pages though, I wanted them to be a little more unique and have more design to them.  So I hunted around online and found some images that I really liked, simple images that were either already solid colored or could easily be Photoshopped, and printed them directly on some of the book pages.  I also found a cheap photo book and clipped out some of the images I really liked.  Then I grabbed my Mod Podge, some felt, and went to work.

Tile coasters

Tile coasters

I glued the pages to the tile using Mod Podge, and once dry I applied a coat to the top.  For the coasters with images from another book, I gently placed them after I applied the top coat.  I let them dry for at least 30 minutes between each coat and added several layers to each.  As of the time I took the pictures, I haven't sealed them, but will be doing so before using them (just haven't decided if I want to use polyurethane or a spray acrylic sealer yet.  Decisions, decisions!).  A little Mod Podge on the back to stick the felt on like so:

Tile coasters - felt back

... and you're ready to go!  You can also use cork or those little felt pads that are precut, but this is the most inexpensive way and doesn't look too bad if I say so myself!  And there you have it.  Pretty easy to make, and affordable, and easy to customize in whatever fashion you want.  Print off pictures, use old books or magazines, or whatever kind of paper you want.  For my next set, I think I want to use some original vector art that I made.  Oh yeah, and these make great gifts!  I'm making extras to pack into goodie boxes for family this year.  Great compliment to homemade hot cocoa and truffles, right?

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