DIY Marbled Coasters

DIY Marbled Coasters by For the Makers for Design*Sponge
I’ve never been someone who was very precious with their things. I like to save up and buy things for my home that mean something to me and have stories behind them, but I also believe that objects were meant to be used and lived in, so stains and little scratches aren’t my biggest concern. That said, I do like to protect high-quality pieces when there’s a big chance of major damage, like during a party or event when a high volume of people will be using something. Tablecloths and coasters can be your best friends when you want to protect your surfaces from heavy traffic, so today we’re sharing a beautiful (but surprisingly easy) DIY coaster project from Janet Crowther and her team at For the Makers. For The Makers delivers DIY tutorials (and materials) to your doorstep via a subscription service, so they know a thing or two about projects that work well every time. This is one I’m definitely going to add to my repertoire, because it would be easy (and affordable) to change out with trends as they come and go. Thanks so much to Janet for sharing this with us! xo, grace

You can sign up to receive the next collection from For The Makers using the code DESIGN20 to receive 20% off your first collection! Sign up by August 4th to receive their next collection featuring marbling tutorials and techniques.

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

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Tools:
-Kraft paper or old newspapers
-Stainless cooking pot
-Measuring cups/spoons
-2 large ceramic or metal baking pans
-Glass or plastic cups (1 for each paint color)
-Pipette droppers or spoons (1 for each paint color)

Materials:
-1.5 Tbs powdered cornstarch
-Water
-Acrylic paint in tonal colors (you can mix white or black paint into existing colors to create tonal/complementary shades)
-6 ceramic tiles (4″ x 4″)
-Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray
-24 felt pads

Steps:

1) Gather your tools and materials. To protect your work surface put down old newspapers or kraft paper. You’ll want to fill one large baking pan with water.

2) The other baking dish will hold liquid cornstarch. Here we will show you how to make your own liquid cornstarch which is super simple, but you could also buy liquid cornstarch at the store. To make the liquid cornstarch, mix 1.5 Tbs of powdered cornstarch with 2 Tbs of room temp water until all lumps are removed. Pour into 3 cups of boiling water. Allow to boil on high for one minute, stirring vigorously. Turn off the heat but kept the pot on the hot surface for an additional 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally, making sure to prevent any coagulated lumps from forming. Allow to cool.

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3) Pour the liquid cornstarch into the empty baking pan. You want at least 1″ of liquid in the baking pan. If you are using a larger pan make more cornstarch as needed.

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4) In empty cups combine equal parts acrylic paint and water (we used 1.5 tsp each of paint
and water). If the paint is too heavy it will fall to the bottom of the starch, if the consistency is too light the paint will spread too fast. Once mixed your paints should be the consistency of milk.

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5) Using a dropper or spoon, start pouring the paints gently over the cornstarch. Your dropper should just graze the starch as you lay the paint down. Some paint will fall to the bottom but most should sit on top of the starch.

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6) Layer the paint to create a nice pattern.

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7) Lift the dish and give it a gentle swirl back and forth. This moves the paint around and creates a natural marble pattern.

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8) Find a spot on the marbled paint where you like the pattern. Turn your ceramic tile face down and evenly place it into the paint, just the top, not fully submerged. Pull it out and turn over.

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9) In the water bath rinse it gently by moving back and forth under the water for just a couple seconds. Set tile aside to dry.

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10) Repeat with the remaining tiles. You should add more paint on top of the previous batch to create a stronger marbled pattern, remember to give it a slight swirl each time.

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11) Once all the tiles dry, spray them with a waterproof sealant. You will probably need more than one coat. Allow each coat to dry fully before spraying the next. Follow the label to determine drying time.

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12) When the tiles have fully dried place self adhesive felt pads on the four corners to prevent furniture scratching.

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Christina

This is so awesome! I would look at a project like that and not imagine that you can DIY! Crazy. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely pin!

– Christina

Kim

This is so cool! I’m also really into the subscription kit from For the Makers – this could take my DIY obsession to a whole other level!

For the Makers

Hi AMENITY! We did use unglazed tiles, sorry that’s not clear here. Your thinking is correct as using unglazed tiles would not produce this same effect as the paint would not have a good surface to adhere to.

amenity

Ah, good to know. Thanks! Where did you get the tiles you used?

For the Makers

If you search for “unglazed bisque tiles” you should find some good and inexpensive options on Amazon and Ebay!
Also, there is a typo on our above comment which should have read: Your thinking is correct as using *glazed* tiles would not produce this same effect, as the paint would not have a good surface to adhere to.

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