Craft and Handmade Shows, Houseware Crafts, Tutorials

Seasonally Challenged

Remember back in July when I was all about Halloween?

And we laughed about how it was way too early for Halloween?

Welcome to October!  Now we can finally talk about surfing.


I know.

I am seriously seasonally challenged.

But here’s the deal.

I had the big Abott Kinney Festival (in Venice Beach) a weekend or so ago and I had to change gears radically to get stuff ready for the beach crowd.

Coasters are always my biggest sellers and I wanted some new ones.  So I upped my “beach game” by playing with some new colors for my Subway Art coasters:

And worked up some new vintage surf shop coasters as well

So far so good.

I wanted to add some other stuff to the mix and, as you may recall, I bought a bunch of metal trays a while ago and have been trying out various designs on them.

I liked one of my Surfing Coaster images a lot and had an idea about how to transfer it to one of the metal trays but wasn’t sure if it would work.

Spoiler: It did!

I painted the bottom of the tray using Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint – Ivory, blew up my graphic and printed it out in reverse on my laser printer.

I used my favorite transfer technique.

I simply lay down a decent coat of Minwax Polycrylic, place the image face down on the Poly, smooth it into place using my hands and a roller and let it dry for several hours in the sun (or overnight if you don’t live in hot, dry southern California).

Tip:  I’m always trying to improve a bit.  The only downside of this method is that you can end up with a faint outline of the edges of the paper.  I found that if you only put the Poly where you image is and only smooth down that area it cuts down on the “edge” problem a bit.  You can see in the picture above that the edges of the paper are not stuck down.

Once it’s dry I soak a rag in water, lay it over the image and let get good and damp

and begin rubbing away the paper.

until the image is totally revealed.

My concern was that the process would rub off the paint but it wasn’t a problem at all.

I actually had to go back in with some sandpaper and “distress” the letter a bit more (I kinda overdid it with “A” in California)

I really liked how it came out and the tray sold almost before I opened shop.

I plan to try it with a few fall-like designs as well.  Or, what the heck, it’s October, let’s talk Easter decor!!!!

(you may wonder what I’ve been up to since the Festival and now…..well, my faithful computer Blue-Screen-of-Deathed me just afterwards and I’ve been dealing with the hassle of buying a new one and getting up and rolling again.  Fortunately, most of my work was backed up but between passwords, fonts, bookmarks etc it’s been a slow slog to get my act back together)



13 thoughts on “Seasonally Challenged”

  1. Those surf-theme items are totally rad! My friend’s husband runs a surf school in Hawai’i, and they split their time between SoCal and Hawai’i. Seriously. The Salt Life for sure.

    Next post: Christmas?


    (I also hang my head in shame because that box is still sitting in my dining room.)

  2. I’ve discovered that the Blue Screen Of Death makes your heart stop and drives you to search for the nearest bar (mixed drinks preferred, less mix more alcohol). I feel your pain and in empathy have created a lovely mixed drink to get me through your misery.

  3. Your designs are always beautiful. I gave up with computers after my third one in about six years died, taking with it so many saved images and designs. I switched to iPad Pro, it’s great, and portable, l carry it to work each day in my backpack, something I just couldn’t do with my desktop!

  4. This tray is lovely. I like it a lot. The surf coasters are also nice–I like the light, beachy background colors. Perfect for next spring. By the way, I miss seeing Pi pics!!

    1. Hi Siobhan. Sorry to hear you’re having smudging problems. I’ve had some challenges with transferring but that isn’t one of them so without standing over your shoulder I don’t that I can pinpoint what might be going amiss. I can try to be super-specific with what I do and hope that maybe that will illuminate what might differ in our approaches.
      I use plain (Staples brand) paper and my prints are done on a laser printer. I’m using Mindwax, Polycrylic – Clear Satin finish.
      I lay down a good coat of the poly and immediately place my paper on it.
      Once the paper is down I can adjust it a bit (just to nudge it straight if it’s crooked or center it better) and then I go over it – getting rid of air bubbles and ensuring solid contact between the paper and the surface) using some combination of my hands, a paper towel and, sometime, a breyer.
      I let it dry – overnight is best but here in hot/dry Southern California I can sometimes get away with just a few hours of drying in the sun- and then begin rubbing away the paper.
      I hope that will help but let me know if you have any other questions or if something is unclear/unhelpful and I’ll see if we can zero in closer to the problem.

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