How to Make Your Own Fabric Covered Tile Coasters with Stencils
Cocktails are more fun when they're on cute coasters, don't you think?
We'll show you how to create some like these using our cactus and succulent stencils.
In addition to the stencils, you will need (some affiliate links provided):
- Colorful fabric
- 4" tiles (we bought ours at Home Depot for .16 cents each)
- Mod Podge (get some here)
- Foam Brush (this set of four brushes from Plaid is great)
- Fabric Paint (we like DecoArt SoSoft paints)
- Stencil Brushes (we like bristle stencil brushes best)
- Washi Tape or Blue Painter's Tape
- Paper Towels
- Fabric Scissors
- Cork or felt to cover the back of the tiles
- Pen or pencil (we use a disappearing ink pen, but anything will do as the pen lines will be glued to the backs of the tiles)
- Paint palette
- Freezer Paper
First, iron your fabric nice and flat. Then, using a tile as your template, use your pen or pencil to draw a cut line, leaving about an inch of border on the sides (you will be wrapping the fabric around the tiles and decoupaging it to the base, so just make sure you have enough to go around).
Tape a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up) to your work surface. This will protect it and make cleaning up between tiles really easy. We found that working on one piece of fabric at a time was best. Lay out a square that you've cut and tape a stencil onto the center of it.
Lay out your palette and put a folded paper towel out to use for dabbing off your brushes as you work. Pick which colors you want to use first and squeeze a little of each onto your palette.
The trick to having your colors come out with crisp, clean lines is to be sparing with the paint, so dab a bit of color onto your brush, and then dab some off onto your folded paper towel before beginning on your fabric.
Use an up-and-down stippling motion with your brush on the stencil, and keep dabbing lightly until the area of fabric you are working on is covered with the paint. It's better to keep layering the paint lightly; if you put too much on at once it can soak the fabric and blur your end result. Go easy and be patient!
You can use as many or as few colors as you want. It can be fun to do a blend of colors; we've done a gradient out from the center as you can see below. Start with one color like light green in the center and stop about halfway through, then with a new brush -- add in a darker color for the second half. You can then blend even further by picking up your first brush/color and stippling over the second a bit where the two meet. You could even do a rainbow effect using multiple bright colors by applying this technique.
Once you've finished stenciling your first square of fabric, carefully remove the tape and stencil. It's always fun to see how your paint effects have turned out!
Take your stencil to the sink right away and gently rinse it off. You don't want to wait until the paint is dry because it won't come off very easily, and you don't want to rub too hard and damage the stencil.
Set your stenciled square aside to let the paint dry completely. Now get a damp paper towel and wipe off any paint that soaked through the fabric to your freezer paper. This is why you want the shiny side up! It just wipes perfectly clean.
Repeat the process with your next cut square of fabric.
Once you've finished stenciling all of your fabric, let the paint dry completely before moving on, probably about 30 minutes. You can use a heat gun if you want it to go faster.
When everything is dry it's time to Mod Podge. Lay a tile out on your work surface and get your decoupage and foam brush ready. Once again, working on one tile at a time is easiest.
Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to your first tile and lay one of your dry stenciled fabric squares on top of it, patting it down flat with your finger to ensure it's adhered nicely.
Now stand the tile up and add Mod Podge to each side, one by one, again using your finger to press the fabric around each edge. Once you've got fabric adhered to all four sides, turn your tile over face down and press all sides down to the back of the tile.
Now add a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the fabric on the back, pressing the corners and mitering them your fingers and the glue (we trimmed our corners a bit with the scissors and then folded them under and pressed with the glue). You will get a little messy and might want to have a wet rag nearby to clean up as you go.
Leave the tiles face down like this and let them dry for 30 minutes to an hour, then check them and add another coat of Mod Podge if any of your edges require it.
To finish the backs, you can add a soft protector for your tabletop to the bottom of each tile. Cut some cork or felt to fit and then use the Mod Podge as a glue to adhere it to each. Or, if if you can find sticker backed felt or cork this step is super fast!
Once your tile bottoms are dry and ready, it's time to flip them over and apply your Mod Podge to the front, on top of the fabric.
The decoupage glue will look white and cloudy, but don't worry, it will dry clear. Once you have them all covered with a nice and thin layer of glue, let them sit and dry thoroughly.
If you'd like to make them completely waterproof, you can spray them with a clear acrylic gloss or matte sealer.
Viola! You are done. Time to make a cocktail and admire your work.
Alternatively, you might also mix and match your fabrics for a fun summertime vibe. We made some with green and turquoise, too.
Whatever you do, we'd love to see it. Tag us with #gbicraft on Instagram, and we might feature your project!
Want more inspiration?
You might also like our tutorial on How to Stencil on Fabric -- we show a flour sack project and more! Click the photo below.