First, allow me to apologize for the flagrant appropriation of Devo's "Whip It." If that statement means nothing to you, it likely means that I am in dire need of new material.
But I digress.
This fun little project was how I spent a few hours of my New Year's Eve afternoon, just merrily crafting away and avoiding the -14 degree temperatures here in the frozen tundra of NE Indiana.
These mini clipboards are perfect to whip up for craft bazaars, quick "thank you" gifts, or to drop into your purse for when you need a hard surface to place pen to paper. Speaking of paper - your options for covering these little cuties are virtually unlimited -- choose your favorite scrapbook paper (or even use up those SCRAPS in your stash!), and you're off to the races.
- Wooden Coaster Set, 3.94" square
- Highland Self-Stick Notes, 3x3
- Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue
- Tim Holtz Idea-ology Hinge Clips 1x1
- Self-Adhesive Leather Pen Loop
- 7Gypsies Lille Scrapbook Paper
- Collage Pauge Decoupage
- Jen Manufacturing Poly Brush 1" Size
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Vintage Photo
- Latex Free Makeup Sponge Wedges
- Pilot B2P Bottle to Pen Gel Roller Pen
- Cheap nail file with a strong coarse side
- Bone Folder or Brayer
TIP: I prefer using the makeup wedges over the Ranger tool for the Distress Inks, but you are welcome to use your tool of choice.
Place a piece of wax paper (Dollar Tree has 65' rolls) about 18" in length over your work surface. This will give you ample room to work, and a small space to allow your boards to dry. Once you get the hang of this, the process is simple to do, and you'll quickly knock these out.
As we all know, getting crafty folks to come to a consensus on glue is about as easy as herding cats. So, that being said, I'll tell you that I am completely sold on Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue for a number of different projects, and this one is no exception. Remember, you are adhering paper to MDF particle board, so you want something that is going to be able to hold up. If you have a personal favorite, give it a shot - but remember that "your mileage may vary," as they say.
- Take your nail file and scuff up the surface of your coaster. This need not be a big production - a few passes over the surface to help create a little bit more for the paper to "grip" onto is what we're looking for. Be sure to dust off the surface to remove and debris before you get ready to glue down your paper.
- Apply a light, even coat of Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Glue to the surface of the coaster, making sure that you take it out to the edges.
- Next, place your favorite piece of scrapbook paper face down on the waxed paper. The side that will get glued down should be facing up. You DON'T need to cut the paper to size -- in fact, it's better if you don't.
- Gently place the glue side down onto the paper, making sure that it will be completely covered when we flip it back over.
- Take your bone folder or brayer, and quickly smooth the surface to eliminate any bubbles, and to make sure the glue is evenly distributed on the coaster surface. This glue sets in less than a minute, so act quickly!
- Once you are sure you have your surface smoothed down, you can do a rough trim around the coaster, allowing yourself 1/8" - 1/4" excess on all sides. Do what will make you most comfortable, but don't try to cut the paper to fit. I'm going to share a trick that will make sizing much easier and look much cleaner.
- In order to do the next step, it is EXTREMELY important that you are certain all of your edges are securely glued down. Check your edges, and hit them with a bit more glue if you have to.
- Once dry, hold your coaster in one hand, and tip it at a slight angle. Grab that nail file, and gently but firmly file the coaster edge with DOWNWARD, single strokes, moving all the way around the coaster. Remember, we are only wanting to remove that small bit of excess, and not the surface of the coaster, so file only at the edges, and always DOWNWARD. The paper will just fall away.
The "nail file method" was certainly NOT invented by me, but it was a trick I picked up while refinishing furniture. The tip works equally well with a decoupaged surface (like a table top), and a sanding block. It is a great way to get nice, clean edges.
- Dust off the surface of your coaster, and repeat this process for the other side.
- Once you have both sides finished, you'll want to ink your edges, both of the paper, and the edge of the coaster itself. Using your tool of choice, apply your desired amount of ink to achieve a nice, aged, look. Allow to dry completely - you are welcome to use a heat tool if you are not the patient type (I am certainly not).
- Next, we're going to decoupage a light, sealing coat on each side of our coaster clipboard. You will need an amount between a quarter and a half-dollar in diameter. Using your foam brush, brush on a light coat using smooth, SINGLE DIRECTION strokes. If your coat is light, you'll see that this stuff dries quickly. Go ahead and add a second coat, and make sure every bit of the surface is sealed. Repeat this process on the back side.
- Once your decoupage is dry, you can attach your pen loop. While these are quite nice loops, I give myself a bit of added insurance by placing a bit of the Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Glue on the adhesive pad before placing it on the back of my coaster clipboard. Make sure that you place the pad all the way at the edge, with the loop sticking out to the side.
- Add one of the Hinge Clips to the top of your clipboard, and your desired amount of self-stick notes (I am out of the correct size, and had to settle for dinky-sized ones). You can certainly use a larger clip if you choose, but I really love these mini clips.
Slip your gel roller pen into the pen loop. One quick note about these pens - they are created from recycled water bottles! I am a bit of a pen junkie, and I have tried more gel pens than Kellogg's has corn flakes. These are fabulous, and I absolutely LOVE them. I think you will as well.
Congrats - you're all done! Stand back and admire that masterpiece!