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Category Archives: Tutorials

Comic Book Superhero Coaster Tutorial

DIY Comic Book Coaster SetIt’s not quite Thursday but it’s time for a flash-back.

A project I did a loooong time ago for Mod Podge Rocks has been getting some attention and I wanted to do a little updating.

As you know my Etsy shop is all about coasters.  I also love comic book graphics but can’t make comic book coasters (pesky copyright law) and I thought it would be fun to share a way to make a set of that’s easy and doesn’t break the bank.

In the electrical/lighting section of Home Depot, I came across these metal blanks that are made to cover up unused outlets ($1.40 each).DIY Comic Coasters Cheltenham RoadYou can, of course,  buy round chip-board blanks for coasters and they are fine but a bit too light weight maybe.   A lot of people use ceramic tiles which are great (and could certainly be used here) but seem a bit large and heavy to me.  So I liked these outlet covers – sturdy, thin, moderately heavy and inexpensive!

For this project I usedSupplies for DIY Superhero Coaster Set

  1. The blanks – they come with a rubber gasket that will come in handy
  2. Outdoor Mod Podge (update! Mod Podge now comes in a dishwasher safe version which would be great!)
  3. Foam Brush
  4. Copies of comic book pages made with a laser printer
  5. Glue (not pictured – I used E6000)
  6. Spray paint (optional)
  7. 220 grit Sand paper

Step 1 Painting.

I wanted a white coaster so after lightly sanding the blank with some 220 Grit sandpaper (just to rough up the surface and give the paint something to stick to) I just popped them on top of some plastic cups and used Heirloom White spray paint.Geek Gifts Comic Book Coaster Tutorial Cheltenham RoadStep 2 Images

For my images I used cut-outs from a book about comics (I found it on a remainder table) but you can scan any comic books that you like and just print them (or have them printed out) on a laser printer/copier.  Do not destroy actual comic books!  It makes the nerds very angry.

Sometimes I find it hard to visualize what a section will look like when it’s cut out so I used my Fiskars Circle guide to get a sense of where on the page I wanted to cut. You could do the same by just cutting an appropriate sized hole in a piece of paper.Comic Book Coaster Set Cheltenham Road Tutorial

There are two screw holes in the blank and your paper will need to cover them. I chose to leave a little edge showing but it would also work to cover the entire surface with paper. If you go that route cut a circle a little larger than the blank and after applying it and allowing it to dry cut away the excess paper with a craft knife

STEP 3 MOD PODGING

After checking to make sure that my images were the right size and would cover the screw holes it was time to Mod Podge.

I like to dampen my images before attaching them as it reduces the bubbles and wrinkles that plagued me in my early Mod Podge attempts.

I fill a container with water and drop the image in to soak while I spread the Mod Podge on the outlet covers.

Super Hero Comic Book Coaster DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadWhen I pull the image out of the bath I run my fingers along either side of it to remove any excess water. After that I lay it on the surface and gently smooth it out pushing out any air that gets trapped or any excess Mod Podge (having a paper towel handy is helpful) and allow it to dry.

STEP 4 TOP COAT

After about 20 minutes I top coated the coasters with a layer of Mod Podge and allowed it to dry. I like to use a fairly thick coat as it minimized the brush marks – but, be warned, that method is a little messy.DIY Coasters with Vintage Comic Books a Cheltenham Road Tutorial

After that top coat had dried I  gave it a light sanding and applied another coat of Mod Podge.

STEP 5: GLUE ON THE BACK

I glued the foam rubber gaskets that come with the blanks onto the back using E-6000 glue. The gaskets are just a tiny, tiny bit bigger than the blanks so if you don’t like that look just use cork, some felt or some self-adhesive furniture pads.

And that’s all there is to it.

Vintage Comic Book Graphic Coasters Cheltenham Road Tutorial Just make sure you give the coasters plenty of time to cure before using them – several days to a week is best especially if you live in a humid climate.

If you use the diswasher safe Mod Podge they will be even sturdier – just don’t, you know, put them in the dishwasher.Superhero Coasters a DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadIf you wanted a truly hard surface on the coaster that would be more heat resistant you could use  Envirotex Lite – you can find it at Michaels.  It’s easy to work with just be sure to follow the package directions precisely.

I hope you found this useful and if you do make some coasters please make sure let me know

 

 

UWUG Project 4 Knife Holder and a Learning Curve

Vintage Sign Knife Holder tutorialMy parents are Life-Long-Learners. In their 90s they are taking classes at the local college – history, literature etc. Always learning. Very admirable.

I, on the other hand, am not a learning fan.  Or, more specifically, not a fan of the learning curve.

I want to know exactly how to do everything right out of the box. I don’t want to look at the map I want to know where I am!  I want to come up with an idea for a project and execute it flawlessly.

Weirdly, it juuuust doesn’t seem to work that way (I get lost a lot too).

For UWUG Project #4 I thought it would be cool to make a knife holder that was a vintag-y sign.

Simple!  Totes know how to do that!

And then the dreaded learning curve kicked in.

OK, supplies: Another piece of that old  dresser (another of the drawer sides like I’d used for the scrap wood trays) painted and distressed.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road Some magnets I had lying around for…..no apparent reason (where do these things come from? Who buys them and why do they keep leaving them at my house?) and a few strips of scrap wood.Magnets for DIY Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadI laid out my knife collection on the board and drew around them just to get a rough placement.How to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Roadthen came up with a simple graphic – just textVintage Sign Knife Holder Tutorial Cheltenham Road

I printed it out in reverse and, using the Lenk tool, transferred it to my painted wood base.

I used scrap wood strips to make a little red frame around the sign just to give it some pop. Just strips of wood painted red and glued around the edges – butt joints again – nothing fancy.

I marked where I wanted my magnets to goHow to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Road drilled shallow holes with a forstner bit Scrap Wood Sign and Knife Holderand glued them in place using trusty E6000.

Done!

Nope!

It turns out that the wood surface is a bit uneven so my carefully drilled holes weren’t all the same depth. That wasn’t a problem for the knifes that only had one magnet to hold them in place but for the bigger knives I’d used two magnets which were now at different levels and….no worky.

So I drilled them out and did it again.  All nice and level.

Done!

Nope!

All the knives gave a solid, reassuring click when placed on the magnets and then, when I tilted the sign up like you would on a wall, all the knives just gently slid down and crashed to the floor (no I did not stab myself in the foot…..I came close to stabbing myself in the foot which is VERY DIFFERENT!….Nicki…..)

Awesome.

Why hello drawing board. I have returned!  Did you miss me?

I had some more magnets (still no clue why) – smaller, more intense. More holes were drilled. Small magnets were glued.knife holder tutorial Cheltenham Road

Done!

Nope!

These magnets were so magnetty that when I put the big knife on it it defeated the glue and yanked the magnet out of the wood.

More glue and more drying time solved the problem.

Done!

For reals!

I had learned. I had curved. And next time will be super easy.Vintage Sign Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadNo, the knife on the end didn’t fall off.  I had created a tableau – cause I’m artsy like that.  I picked flowers!  I baked banana bread!   But then realized I couldn’t quite get the tableau in the picture.

Better.

Make a vintage sign and use it as a knife holder  Cheltenham Road tutorialOK.  Learning Curve Summary.  Notes for next time.

  • Small, super strong magnets are better.
  • Two magnets per knife
  • Drill all magnet holes to the same depth
  • I sealed it with wax which is great…..just do it perhaps, I don’t know,  before you glue the magnets in place (I got ahead of myself)
  • Give E6000 lots of drying time
  • wear shoes.  just in case.

YTTSMain5hosts

UWYG Project 4 – Make Rustic Wood Trays from Scrap Wood

Make a tray out of scrap wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI have a billion projects going on at once.  It’s great and I thought “oh perfect I’ll be able to post regularly and a often!”  My goal was to do posts on Mon, Wed and Friday.

Happy Friday everyone…….and welcome to my second post of the week -because I think hat having goals is awesome but meeting them is totally over rated.

So you may recall my whole Use What You’ve Got Challenge started when I decided that, rather than trashing this old dresser, I’d see what I could make out of it.  Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road The first thing I made out of it was a big pile of crap.scrapwood pileSo many possibilities! (including tetanus – man there were a lot of old rusty nails)

I thought the (former) sides of the drawers  might make good trays so I grabbed them and a few lengths of  1/2″ x 1.5″ lattice strips that were leftover from a previous project.Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadI sanded and painted the scrap a basic white.*Image Transfer Tray Tutorial by Chelteham Road I decided to make them speak French and after perusing the ever-valuable Graphics Fairy website I had a couple of fun designs and one of my own creation.

Once the paint had thoroughly dried I printed out my reversed graphic and taped it in placeImage Transfer to Wood Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI’ve become a fan of my semi-dangerous Lenk tool – it’s easy to use once you get the hang of it (you can my more detailed Lenk tutorial here) Lenk Tool for Image Transfer  Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadAfter the transfer was done I sanded away around the edges of the piece and sealed the whole thing with a coat of Matt Mod Podge.  French Flower Market Graphic Image transfer to wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI’d previously cut and painted the lattice pieces for the edges so now I just  glued and nailed them into place.  I opted for simple butt joints rather than miters.

My intention was to pour a coat of Envirotex Lite on the trays so I needed to really make sure the seal between the base and the sides was solid.  Envirotex is awesome but it will find any tiny gap and pour through it with alarming and messy speed.  I just ran a bead of Mod Podge along the inside edge filling in any voids or gaps.  The Mod Podge will dry totally clear so, once the Envirotex is poured you’ll never see it.Seal the edge with Mod PodgeAlso, because I recently found out that Envirotex won’t stick to basic, transparent tape I ran some along the edges on the bottom just in case I’d missed any gaps with the Mod Podge.Tray Tutorial Cheltenham Road After all the Mod Podge sealing was dry I poured the Envirotex.  Envirotex is easy to work with but only if you follow the manufacturers directions to the letter.

For efficiency I actually made three at once in different colorsFrench Ephemera Scrap Wood Trays TutorialFrench Flower Market Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadAnd I used the leftover drawer handles from the dressers for the tray handles.DIY Tray Project from Salvaged Wood by Cheltenham RoadSo that’s Use What You’ve Got project number 3!Image Transfer to DIY Salvaged Wood Trays by Cheltenham Road

*Other thoughts and a Learning Curve:

1) The Lenk tool is great but it does work via heat.   For my first attempt I had under-painted the tray base.  I did a coat of green paint then white paint then sanded away the white so some of the green showed through.  It looked great but the heat from the Lenk tool melted the paint a bit and caused discoloration and a tackiness so I had to sand everything off and start again.

2) My graphics are printed with a laser printer.  I don’t believe the Lenk transfer process will work with an ink-jet.

Knick of Time Inspiration PartyHome Stories tutorials-tips-button

Let (Me!) Eat Cake!

DIY Cake Stand Cheltenham Road I like cake.

A lot.

I like a lot of cake.

Mathematically the situation this looks like this:

Cake EquationHowever, I am limited for storage of said cake plates

Cake SolutionSo my quest is for the easily store-able cake plate and I think I’ve put one together!

It’s my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial project and you can see all the details over on Amy’s site.

Basically it’s a tart pan and some plumbing pipe.DIY Cake Stand - Cheltenham RoadBut what makes it great (for me) is that I can take it apart so it doesn’t always have to be out.DIY Cake Stand Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIn truth, while I do like cake I’m actually more keen on these as a way to display stuff at the Craft Shows I go to. I’m enamored of the idea of having everything laid out on all the different levels. I’m going to make more so be prepared (warned) for variations on this theme.

In the meantime I’m on another one of my “clear it out!” kicks. I’m determined that, during what is a very predictably slow time for the Etsy Cheltenham Road store, to make mad use of all the various bits and pieces of stuff (scrap wood, leftover project parts etc) that’s lying around.

First up this crappy dresser that came with my house when I bought it.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadJust plywood and not all that great. It has been in the garage for years but had to go. I was preparing to haul it to the curb and I thought “wait, how many things could I make out of that?” so that’s my challenge.

Question: Can you dumpster dive your own home? (Question: Did you hear that in Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice too?)

Stay tuned (spoiler: the answer is “yes!”…….referring to the dumpster diving part not the sounding like Sex and the City part).

Back soon with my first project.

In the meantime – linking up to a few great parties:

Knick of Time Inspiration Party

Wine Charm Tutorial with Free Printables

Free Pintable DIY Mod Podge Wine Charms Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAs I teased on my Friday Blog Post my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial is up and ready for review.

These wine charms were easy to make (I used Mod Podge’s “Podgeable Shapes”) and I think they’d be a fun project or gift.New York Subway Art Wine Charms Chelteham Road Tutorial available via Mod Podge Rocks

As a matter of fact I’m going to work on making them into an official Cheltenham Road product!

I designed the subway graphics and they are available for a free download over on the Mod Podge Rocks site.  There is a black and white option, a white and black option and then just a set of blanks (all sized for the various Podgeable shapes) so you can add your own text.Tutorial Preview Simple Subway Art DIY Mod Podge Wine Charms Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksBut ideas for other graphics are pouring out of my mind.

I thought it would be fun to do book covers and The Muse and I began riffing on ideas.

Four wine charms to a set. Classic novels would workClassic Book Coversand then, maybe a fifth one, you know, for the Designated DriverSense and SensiibilityI’m excited about this one and can’t wait to get designing.

In the meantime, if you’re keen on making some of your own head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial.

Into the Woods! (or Into the Weeds) A Cheltenham Road Christmas Project Journey

Christmas Tree Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksMy latest Mod Podge Rocks project is up and viewable and it’s time for trees!

I’ve been wanting to do these and imagining them but unable to get it really done due to Christmas madness.

Of course, those aren’t the trees I initially planned.

I had planned (and attempted) to make these 3D trees.Dimensional Christmas Tree Centerpiece Cheltenham Road

I thought “I’ll use bits of scrap wood! It will be affordable! Easy! Fun!”The woods are made of wood Cheltenham RoadNOPE!

I kept trying different approaches and each one just became more and more complicated. I could hear all of you saying to yourselves “well, David, listen, it’s been a fun ride but you’re clearly insane so we’re just going to step away slowly”

My problem was I wanted to make them without using specialized tools. I didn’t want to be the Norm Abraham of the Glue-Stuff-To-Wood crowd. Did you ever watch his New Yankee Workshop show? Great stuff but totally frustrating:

“let me show you how to make this. You’ll just need wood and about 5 different, highly specialized power tools that no human being except for myself has and I only have them because my sponsors provided them to me”

So I tried and …..

NOPE!

I just couldn’t figure out how to make them without a scroll saw.  Or a really big miter sawChristmas Tree Centerpiece Cheltenham Road

So I came up with an alternate!

I will make them in scrap wood strips and then they will go on a dowel so you could rotate them, spread them out etc!

Well, first I almost cut my hand off cutting the strips of wood.

And then I almost drilled my hand off trying to drill a hole in the center with a handheld drill (trying to avoid using the drill press).

So……

NOPE!

I did come up with an alternate and I think it’s pretty fun.Vintage Wrapping Paper Christmas Trees Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

But I really do need to figure out how to make any of these ideas without cutting Santa’s face in half.Santa's face

I’ll keep trying!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Easy Illuminated Holiday Centerpiece

Easy Light Up Christmas Centerpiece Idea from Cheltenham Road Well that was a pause. Sometimes blogging makes me feel great and sometimes it makes me feel like the world’s worst pen pal.

Thank you all very much for the well wishes about my back. It’s much better though it’s still slowing me down a bit.

And thanks too for the votes about the coasters. You came up with logic and reasons that never crossed my mind. Club Ballyhoo seemed to be the least popular so it’s out!!

I’ve been in high factory mode – here is what part of a 500 coaster order looks like (having ice cream close at hand is necessary in these circumstances).Coasters and ice cream Cheltenham RoadAnd here are a bagillion blocks in various stages of done-nessbillions of candle blocks cheltenham road

So now, my mind has turned to getting the house ready for the annual Christmas Dessert party.

I was looking for an idea for the center of the table.

I just took a tiered stand (are they called Egg Baskets?) filled it with some greenery and a somewhat random assortment of ornaments.Hiliday Ornament Centerpiece with lights Cheltenham Road

I liked it! Looked festive. But it needed something more.

So I ran some battery powered lights up through it and hid the battery pack underneath the garland I had wrapped around the bottom.Festive ligted holiday centerpiece - hide the battery pack

Sparkly!!!!Light It Up Holiday Centerpiece Cheltenham RoadWell, you’ll have to just go with me here because I’m not good a photographing things in the dark and not ending up with, you know, this:photo fail

so trust me. SPARKLYLight Up Holiday Centerpiece Cheltenham RoadAnd easy.

OK, onward. I have ideas for wood Christmas trees that I have to make (and a giant LA sign, and 20 subway sign sets, and coasters…..)

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