Friday, December 28

DIY Mod Podge Coasters

A few months ago I came across a DIY tutorial for Mod Podge tile coasters. The idea is very simple. Using photos printed at home, some Mod Podge and inexpensive tiles, you can create coasters customized to your delight. I immediately thought of Jeffrey's mom when I read the tutorial and decided it would be a great DIY Christmas gift for her.

Jeff's mom adores her cat Riley. So much in fact that I knew using him as the subject for the tile coasters would be a win-win. I just took a variety of photos of him with my cell phone and then edited them in Snapseed to achieve a certain kind of look.

A photo of Riley, post-Snapseed doctoring.

I originally printed out two photos on regular paper and cut them to size for the 4x4 tiles but the quality was really not great once the Mod Podge had dried. I made one from a photo printed on glossy photo paper instead and the quality was instantly improved.

Coasters in progress. The bubble wrap made a great surface to work on to protect the table underneath.

Finished coaster. This angle is meant to show the striations left in the dried Mod Podge. When you look at the tile/coaster head on you can't really see the lines. 


This brush had a tapered edge, which I cut off after Mod Podge dried on it after first use. 


Materials Needed:

  • tile coasters (very inexpensive at Home Depot)
  • Mod Podge (I used the gloss-lustre version)
  • felt brush
  • desired photos (printed on photo paper)
  • felt strips
  • hot glue gun
Directions:
  1. Select and print desired photos. Measure and cut them to size so they will fit square in the middle of each tile.
  2. Using felt brush, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the surface of the tile. Try to get as even a coat as possible.
  3. Place photo directly on top of tile, taking great care to make sure the sides and corners are secure and there are no air bubbles beneath the photo paper. The photo will slip around if you move it so be careful with that. I used the blunt end of the felt brush handle to kind of hammer the photo down. 
  4. Once it has dried a bit (when the paper no longer moves around) use the felt brush to brush on a layer of Mod Podge that is slightly thicker than the first layer. Make sure to get it to the corners and sides of the photo. You may find the felt brush puts lines or striations into the Mod Podge, and this is okay. It dries clear and doesn't affect the quality of the photos. 
  5. Let dry. This can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.
  6. To finish, cut strips or circles of felt to fit the underside of the coaster and use a hot glue gun to glue them into place. This will make it easy for the coaster to sit on a surface and not damage it (it is, after all, a tile). 

This was a very easy project to make and there are so many creative possibilities with a project like this. I was unfamiliar with Mod Podge when I first found the tutorial, but since then I've discovered other unique projects I can create and I am so looking forward to doing them in the new year!

Finished! Now it's time to wrap them! 
I may have gone a bit overboard! Tissue paper, ribbon, foil tissue paper and more ribbon! There is a double thick lining of bubble wrap as well to keep everything safe and secure.

If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to Like Apartment 54 on Facebook! There will be so much more to come in 2013!
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Daily Inspiration, December 28, 2012

Wednesday, December 26

Daily Inspiration, December 26, 2012

Post-Christmas Blues

After a wonderful few days of Christmas I woke up this morning with a massive headache/migraine and this sensation in my belly that I couldn't tell if it was hunger or nausea. So I took some mess, went back to bed for a while and have been catching up on some YouTube videos for a while. I'm going to use this sick day as an opportunity to catch up on some posts I've been ruminating on and to just relax and take it easy.  

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19

Five Years in Ornaments

On our very first holiday season together Jeffrey and I started a tradition. Each year we buy one ornament to represent that year of being together. The very first was an animal and we've kept the tradition going ever since, buying new animals each year. I thought I would share with you our five years of ornaments as they sit prettily on our first real Christmas tree!


1st year: a penguin from Happy Feet 
(Hallmark)


2nd year: a frog prince/fairy 
(Target)


3rd year: a glass bird with gold and feather detailing 
(Pier One)


4th year: an owl made of twigs and branches
(Target)


5th year: a red knitted fox
(Target)

Daily Inspiration, December 19th, 2012

Monday, December 17

Holiday Video: Neighborhood Lights

This neighborhood in Santa Clarita is infamous for their extensive collection of holiday lights. It's like walking/driving through a parade at Disneyland!
Enjoy!



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Daily Inspiration, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 15

Apartment 54 is now on Facebook!

Since the 1-year anniversary of Apartment 54 is fast approaching I decided to branch out a bit and create a Facebook page just for the blog. Starting in the new year all of the Daily Inspirations will be posted solely on Facebook, so that's just one of many reasons to check it out and Like it today. I also try to update as much as I can with little posts and notes that don't really require a full post here on the blog.

Check out Apartment 54 on Facebook today!

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Daily Inspiration, December 15, 2012

Sunday, December 9

Festive Holiday Lights


Jeff and I found this house a short distance away from our apartment complex. All of the lights are choreographed to music  and the music is broadcast over a local radio station that you can listen to within proximity of the house. We sat across the street for a few minutes and watched and listened to the show. Every time a new song came on we noticed lights we hadn't seen previously, or decorations that were suddenly visible. It's clear this family has put a lot of time, money, and effort into making their home a jolly place to see. Funny enough, right after I finished recording this video the theme from "Star Wars" came on and the house lights danced along with it. It was really fun.

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Tuesday, December 4

I Love You, Poppin!

I wasn't going to blog this week because I'm finishing up some final projects for school, but I just had to share my love for all things Poppin. For the uninitiated, Poppin is an office supply company that makes the absolute loveliest and most colorful office supplies of anyone. They are Apple to Office Max/Staple's Microsoft. It's just the better version; the better working version; the more aesthetically pleasing version.

I don't even know how I found Poppin to begin with. It may have been via ColourLovers. But I'm glad I did because I won't order supplies for my desk or school from any place else. So anyway, on Black Friday I made an order and it finally arrived today to much felicitous joy! I even instagrammed a couple items:



See that beautiful red notebook with the golden C embossed on it? Well I have a larger version in brown (my very first Poppin purchase) and I am absolutely in love with it. I think the embossing is new because Black Friday was the first time I'd ever seen the option available, and it's only available on some colors. It looks very festive for the holiday season but I love a good red accessory any time of the year and that golden C just ties it together so chicly.

I also purchased the giant yellow sticky notes and they are truly, truly giant. They're about the size of a traditional mousepad. I did not think they were that big but it serves me right for once again not checking out the measurements (same thing happened with a necklace I recently ordered). 

I have a few other things from Poppin as well and I'm really looking forward to ordering even more in the future. I just love everything about them and their product line is growing every week it seems. I cannot say enough nice things about them. If you're in need of some really cute office supplies, or maybe if you're just obsessed with them like I am, head on over to Poppin.com and check out what they have to offer.


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Daily Inspiration, December 4, 2012

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