Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Coaster Project

The coaster project began when Michael and I decided to make coasters as our wedding favors. The first thing we did was look for slate that we could acquire freely or cheaply. We were successful and found a Craigslist posting for old roofing slate from a home in Altamont, NY. We drove there on a snowy, winter day and bought a large amount of the slate. Once he (the seller) heard what we were using it for, he gave us an awesome deal.
Roofing slate in the back of Michael's pick-up.
The next major step was Michael's job. He rented a wet saw for the weekend from a local hardware store and got to work cutting the slate into 4 x 4 inch squares.
Michael cutting roofing slate with a wet saw.

Michael cutting slate.

The slate tiles beginning to pile up.
 I washed each square and shaved off any loose pieces and checked each square for soundness.
Washing and shaving slate in kitchen sink.
 I used 2 different stencil designs (from Jo-Ann's) and 2 colors of metallic, acrylic paint (coordinating with our wedding colors) and painted each square.
Fleur-De-Lis stencil on slate tile.
 I used various clips to secure the stencil to the slate tile.
Medallion stencil done with metallic orange paint.
After the paint dried, I sprayed polyurethane in a thin layer to seal-in the paint and make the coasters water-resistant.
The polyurethane spray I used.
 I purchased (online) felt circles with adhesive backing in a "stone" color and affixed 4 to the bottom of each coaster. The adhesive backing wasn't as strong as it could be, so I super-glued each felt circle.
Felt, circular, adhesive dots.

Letting the super glue dry.
I painted and completed a little over 100 coasters. Originally I wanted to make a set of 4 for each wedding guest. As the wedding got closer, I settled for painting a set of 2 coasters. But I quickly became realistic and had to settle for painting 1 coaster per guest.
Yes, this took months.

Here is a finished coaster at our wedding.

If you look carefully in this photo, you can see that the champagne flutes at each person's place-setting have been placed on their slate coaster. 
 The Coaster Project continues...

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