So many gifts, so little time and money. Trying to come up with a unique gift for someone that’s also personal and doesn’t cost a fortune can be challenging. I was recently at a restaurant/winery out of state that happens to be a favorite of a friend of mine. He also has a milestone birthday coming up. Sitting on the bar in front of me were a stack of cocktail napkins with the restaurant’s logo on them. Inspiration struck, I grabbed a few, and decided to make these fun coasters for my friend. The whole project cost me less than $30 and now I have a fun and person gift to give him that I know he’ll love for years to come. Here’s how I did it:
- 4-8 cocktail napkins (plus a few extra in case one gets damaged)
- 8-16 Plexiglas squares, 5” (the number you need depends on the number of coasters you’re making – 2 per coaster)
- Clear-drying epoxy that works on plastic
- Spray paint in a complimentary color to the napkins
- Clear, self-adhesive “feet” for the bottoms of the coasters (4 per coaster)
- Painter’s tape
- X-acto knife
- Straight edge
- Drop cloth
- Using your straight edge and X-acto knife, cut the edges of the napkins off so they fit inside the Plexiglas squares about a ½ inch in from each side. Work slowly so as not to damage the napkins. If you get some small tears or flaws, it’s okay, they won’t show when sandwiched between the Plexiglas.
2. Make sure your Plexiglas pieces are clean and free of dust. Squeeze a small bead of epoxy all the way around the very outside edge of one piece of Plexiglas. Carefully place a trimmed napkin in the middle of the glass and center it. Place another piece of Plexiglas on top and adjust so that all edges match up. Place a heavy book or canister on top of the coaster until the epoxy dries and sets.
3. Repeat with remaining napkins and Plexiglas.
4. Once all coasters are dry and set, mask off two of the edges to be painted. Your tape should be placed about ¼ inch in from the edge, but not so far that it doesn’t leave any clear space between the edge of the napkin and the area to be painted. Once the edges are masked off, be sure to cover the centers of the coasters with tape, as well, so they won’t get paint on them.
5. Lay down your drop cloth and use some old blocks of wood or something you don’t mind getting paint on to elevate the coasters for painting. Spray the bare edges of the coasters with paint, being sure to get the sides, as well. Flip the coasters over and spray the other side. Let dry and repeat until you have the desired coverage.
6. When the paint is dry, but not completely set, remove the tape. Let set at least 24 hours to cure.
7. When the paint is cured, repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 to paint the other two edges.
8. When all paint is completely cured, affix a rubber “foot” in each corner on the back of your coasters.
9. The coasters are now ready to wrap up and give as a gift!
Note: You could use the napkins from a wedding, baby shower or milestone birthday party to make an exceptionally personal gift for the bride & groom, parents-to-be, or birthday girl/boy.
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