Monday, February 4, 2013

DIY Natural Wood & Key Art and Easy Slate Coasters

I'm a mom. I'm a writer. I run a household and I spend most of my day doing things for other people. I do get asked from time to time what I do to escape: Where is my Happy Place?

Crafting and creating art. That's my Happy Place. It doesn't matter if I'm at my kitchen table, in the middle of the floor or at a friends house; when I am creating art, I am truly happy. There's just something that makes me feel wonderful inside when I am adding to the beauty of the world. Working with my hands, taking ideas and making them tangible, decorating my home- all things that make me happy.

A friend of mine and I decided to get together and have a craft day at my house. We headed to Michael's, stocked up on supplies, and then rock n' rolled. Because I have a huge love of keys and doors, I decided to take that idea and run with it. We were also in desperate need of coasters, so when I saw the supplies Michael's had, I was thrilled.

Y'all have to excuse this post if it's not a traditional crafting DIY post; it's my first. I tried to take pictures of every step... Next time I'll nail it, I promise. For the pictures of the individual steps, just click on it to make the picture bigger.

DIY Natural Wood and Key Art

Supplies for Natural Wood and Key Art

 Supplies Used:

  • Natural wooden slab (small ones are $14.99 at Michael's)
  • Replica iron key- this one is about 4 inches long; I think I got it at Hobby Lobby, but I collect keys, so I really have no idea
  • Vellum paper
  • Modge Podge
  • Sheet of background paper- I chose a 5 pack of tissue paper with words written on it. Tissue paper works really well for a project like this.
  • Skeleton leaves
  • Computer and Printer
  • Hot glue gun
Step 1

1. Rip edges of tissue paper to roughly fit edges of wooden slab. It doesn't have to be perfect.

2. Apply a layer of modge podge directly to the wood, place torn tissue paper on top, then carefully apply modge podge on top of the paper. Some bubbling may occur. Try and smooth out bubbles as best as you can, or leave some for a more rustic look.

Step 3- Before Modge Podge

Step 3- After Modge Podge
3. Once that first layer has dried, arrange skeleton leaves on top of tissue paper in a desirable pattern. Apply modge podge on top of skeleton leaves to secure them in place. Let dry.

4. While skeleton leaves layer is drying, find (or make your own) a quote that you like. Design it on the computer with your favorite font and anything else you'd like to see on the wooden slab. Print out your quote onto the sheet of vellum paper. Be sure to use the 'normal' print setting on your printer, and allow the ink to dry for a few minutes before applying it to the wood. 

Step 5
5. Cut printed vellum into a rough shape to match the wooden slab. Apply a layer of modge podge on top of skeleton leaves and place printed vellum on top. Bubbling will occur. To hide the edges of the vellum, arrange various skeleton leaves just along the edges of the vellum and apply a layer of modge podge on top of everything- the vellum and the skeleton leaves covering the edges. Be careful not to apply too much modge podge on top of the lettering, as some ink may smear.

6. Once vellum and skeleton leaves layer is dry, hot glue the replica iron key to the bottom of your wooden slab. I've also found it helpful to apply a little bit of modge podge around the glued object to help keep it in place even more.

7. Apply modge podge to outer edges of wooden slab where the bark is to seal the bark in and keep it from flaking off of the art piece. 

I display my Natural Wood and Key Art in a mini-canvas display easel. Because it is natural wood, you could install a hanging mechanism to the back to display it on the wall, too.

DIY Slate Coasters

Supplies for Slate Coasters
 Supplies Used:

  • Pack of 4 slate coasters from Michael's ($2.99)
  • Same tissue paper with words from project above
  • Modge Podge

Step 1
1. Cut paper to fit tops of each slate coaster. Tear edges of paper to create a rustic look. 

2. Apply a layer of modge podge directly to the tops of the slate coasters and place torn paper down. Bubbling will occur, so take the edge of a credit card or spatula to smooth out bubbles. 

3. Apply a layer of modge podge on top of torn paper. Continue to smooth out bubbles. Make sure to go to the edges of the coaster with the modge podge, especially if you chose glossy modge podge to use. Allow to dry. The modge podge acts as a glue and automatically seals your craft in so water doesn't affect it.


I absolutely love these coasters, and they are one-of-a-kind. They are actual coaster size, too, which I liked. Other tutorials use tile from a home improvement store, but I felt that was too big and bulky for my taste. These are perfect, and they come with little felt feet on the bottom. Real slate custom coasters... not bad for $2.99!

Beautiful home decor pieces for a fraction of the cost to buy them in the stores. Most importantly, I was able to take a trip to my happy place to create them... I love crafting!!

If you enjoyed this craft tutorial, let me know so that I know to do more of them! Share on pinterest or with your friends, just make sure to link the pictures back to here, please. Stealing isn't cool.

I teamed up with Meghan over at Crazy Casa K for her Happy Monday blog hop. Hit the logo below to find out how others define their Happy Place!
Crazy Casa K

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  1. Beautiful! Love BOTH projects!

  2. I love your craft projects. Thank you for your comment on my blog at I have another site at where I have been showing off my craft projects.