These watercolor coasters were created in partnership with Q-tips. As always, I only work with brands I love that I think you will love too. Thanks for supporting the brands who support Lines Across.
If you’re a long time reader, you know how much I love watercolors! And even when I’m not painting, I love creating a watercolor effect (like these magnets and these pumpkins). So it’s no surprise that I ended up making these DIY watercolor coasters. There were actually a couple of craft fails along the way in this project, but hopefully my mistakes will help you! This was also my first time using alcohol ink, and it was really addicting! Ever since I saw these gorgeous coasters and these beautiful cups I have been wanting to try it.
I used plain white tiles that you can find for about 16 cents at the hardware store. I love them because they are so cheap and like tiny blank canvases. The biggest issue is that the bottom is completely unfinished, and that’s where the NEW Q-tips Beauty Rounds save the day!
What you need:
- Plain white tile
- Q-tips Beauty Rounds
- Hot glue gun
- Alcohol Ink
- Rubbing alcohol
- Flat paint brush
What you do:
- Start by cleaning your tile surface with a thin coat of alcohol. The Q-tips Beauty Rounds are actually perfect for this!
- Using your paint brush, brush a medium coat of rubbing alcohol across the tile. You may want to play around with different techniques. At first I covered the tile in alcohol from corner to corner. In the end, the ink spread all over the tile. However, when I kept the alcohol mostly in the center circle of the tile, it created more of a watercolor spot effect.
- Before the alcohol dries, drip one or two drops of alcohol ink near the center of the tile. It will start to spread across the tile in different directions. You may also want to add a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to the center of the drops to help the ink spread. One thing that surprised me is how different each color ink was to work with. The blue ink was very dense and I only needed one or two drops of color. With some of the other shades, I had to use 5 or 6 drops. You can definitely play around with different looks. And even after the ink has dried, it’s really easy to remove it all and start over with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips Beauty Rounds.
- Let the ink fully dry. It actually dries pretty quickly. Some of the colors dry differently than I expected. For example, the pretty pink color dried reddish and blobby.
- This is where the craft fail happened for me. I tried using Mod Podge (which I usually love); however it mixed too much with the inks and left colorful streaks all over the tiles. Even when I tried to very gently apply a light coat, I felt like it messed up the watercolor effect. So I ended up using this spray sealant (called Painter’s Touch by Rustolem) that I had from another project. It’s basically like a clear spray paint that completely coats and protects the surface. It worked SO WELL and it even made the colors more vibrant. I used the matte version of the sealant, but I bet the glossy would be beautiful too. Make sure you give it plenty of time to dry, and spray it with two separate coats. The bad thing is that the sealant spray smells very strong for about 12 hours. It will completely go away after about a day.
- Now flip over your finished tiles to add your soft Q-tips Beauty Rounds. Four rounds fit perfectly across the bottom of the tiles. Create a circle of hot glue all around the outer edge of each round, as well as a little bit in the middle too. I wouldn’t recommend cutting the rounds, since a lot of their strength is in the sealed edges. There are two sides to the rounds, one is very smooth and one is more textured. I found that the smooth side adhered much better to the bottom of the tile and the hot glue.
And that’s it! These watercolor coasters were extremely fun to make. The alcohol ink is addicting to watch! And I even ended up making a few with watercolor paints and water. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but the sealant spray was perfect. What colors would you make?