Every year I send out my couples a little gift to say thank you for booking their photography with me. It’s something I love doing, and even more than that I love the challenge of coming up with something new for each year too. I set myself two rules when deciding what to send them.
Firstly they must be personalised in some way
Secondly they must be useful or decorative and appeal to both the bride and groom.
These two rules sometimes make it hard as so often I think of things I love but then realise it probably wouldn’t interest the groom at all! So I’ve found its easiest to plan a gift that is useful for around the home. In the past I’ve sent out wooden initial blocks, framed artwork of each couples wedding date and also tea-towels with the year of the wedding printed on them. I love working on these items myself, as I love to do a little bit of art and craft here and there, and I’m not sure if my past couples have realised that certain items have actually been made by hand by me and not just purchased from somewhere.
This year I thought it would be fun to show you what my 2016 couples received in the form of a tutorial for you to try and DIY yourself.
You Will Need:
- Stone Tile Coasters – Mine came from Homebase
- Your Initials printed on ordinary printer paper
- Sticky Pads – Mine came from Homebase
- A Paintbrush
- PlastiKote Clear Sealer
Firstly you’ll need to print out your letters. I made mine in photoshop, and then flipped the canvas on the image so that they printed out back to front. This is important as you’ll need them to be back to front so that when they transfer to your coaster they’ll be the correct way round. You can print them out onto regular printer paper, and I find sticking to the colour black is probably best.
Once they are printed, use an exacto-knife to cut the letters out. Try not to leave any white paper around the letters.
Next cover your coasters in two layers of mod-podge. Cover the sides as well as the main surface and let them dry between coats.
Once the mod-podge has dried, apply some more mod-podge to the printed side of your letters and then place them onto the surface of your coaster.
Press the letters down firmly to make sure all sides are sticking to the coaster surface. Then leave to dry for about an hour.
Using a sponge wet the letter ready for you to remove the paper.
Using the back of the exacto-knife lightly scrape off the paper from the coaster. Be careful to not remove it entirely though, you’ll want to keep the inky part on the coasters. When you start, you’ll notice it moves away easily, you’re aiming to take away any white paper. Don’t worry if your letters don’t look perfect it all adds to the effect.
Apply two coats of Plasticote to your coasters to seal the letters down and make the coasters waterproof. Do this outdoors, or in a well ventilated area.
Take your sticky tabs and put one in each corner of the coaster. These will keep any surfaces safe from scratching when your coasters are in use.
Although a little time consuming, this is a project you can easily complete in two days, and probably less if you’re only making a set of four. For my couples I package two coasters up in a box with each of their initials on. I think they look great, have a purpose and are very useful too! In fact they would probably also make great wedding favours!
Let me know if you have a go at making these yourself.