Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Gift Idea - Comic Book Coasters

Hello lovelies!  While I try to get the hang of blogging, I thought I would post about a DIY gift that my family and I made recently, for a very hard guy to shop for.

Come on!  We all have them.  Maybe it's your husband, or a dad, brother or Uncle.  My hubby is easy, he tells me what he wants for Christmas.  However, my dad pretty much has everything he needs and one of my brother's is just hard to get any info out of.  The other one...well, I can't afford him, ha! So, my dad and one of my brother's birthdays are just days apart from each other.  I wanted to make them something that would mean something to them.  I'm a live think outside of the box kind of girl.

Has anyone ever seen this super cool tutorial?

Yep!  You make coasters from old Comic Book Strips!  Gasp!!, you say?!  How dare you cut up a perfectly good comic book!!  Chillax, it's all good.  That adds to the authenticity of the coaster, in my opinion.  And, the Vintage Comic Book belonged to my husband.  My husband took great time and pleasure in being able to select the perfect scenes from his book for my brother.  Plus, we got to work on it together!  But, if you just cannot fathom the thought of a Collectible succumbing to death by scissors, then you can always have the pages copied. If you have them copied, make sure it's with a laser printer, NOT ink jet!

The tutorial is extremely easy to read and simple to follow
                                                        Yay for awesome tutorials!

Photo from:

We did use the metal cover plates, because they are the shape of a coaster and MUCH more durable than cork ones.  The rubber gaskets (also used) came with the metal plates. You can get them pretty inexpensively at Lowes.  We ended up deciding to not paint the bottoms, but fair warning, you WILL need to do so.  So, be sure to follow the original tutorial to the tee.

You can buy Mod Podge at Walmart, or use your 40% off coupon from Michael's and get it from there.
You can get that coupon here

Following the tutorial, you will lightly sand the metal covers with a 220 fine grit sand paper, to allow the paint to adhere to it.  Let it dry.  We then picked out photos from the Comic book that we wanted to put on each Coaster.  My husband took the metal plate and put the comic book photo over it to trace around it for the exact measurement.  He then took an exacto knife to cut out each image, which did take a little bit of time.  The original tutorial has an easier way to do it, if you have the tools available to you. We did not, so we improvised. :)

This is a very important next step, as we failed to do this for one of them, with disastrous results.  Here is what their tutorial said to do: 

"I like to dampen my images before attaching them as it reduces the bubbles and wrinkles that plagued me in my early Mod Podge attempts. NOTE: This method will NOT work with images printed on an ink jet printer as the ink will run - you should always test a little section of the paper to make sure it will hold up. I fill a container with water and drop the image in to soak a little while I prepare the surface.
Photo From: 

From the Original Tutorial: "when I pull the image out of the bath I run my fingers along either side of it to remove any excess water. After that I lay it on the surface and gently smooth it out, pushing out any air that gets trapped or any excess Mod Podge (having a paper towel handy is helpful) and allow it to dry.

!!STOP!! {Collaborate And Listen} Haha! I always think that when I hear !!STOP!! Okay, so when I was at this point of the Tutorial, I did not understand that the metal should have already had a base coat of Mod Podge on it. So, make sure that you do that before you place your photo onto the metal plate. You would then continue on with the directions above directions : "when I pull the image out of the bath I run my fingers along either side of it to remove any excess water. After that I lay it on the surface (metal plate that already has the bottom layer of Mod Podge on it) and gently smooth it out, pushing out any air that gets trapped or any excess Mod Podge (having a paper towel is handy).

The original tutorial continues on with "After about 20 minutes, I top coated the coasters with a layer of Mod Podge and allowed it to dry, then sanded it with my 220 grit sandpaper and gave it another coat." (of Mod Podge)

This is yet another critical mistake that we failed to do, thinking we didn't need to. And, when I did try to give it a light sand, the comic book photo would tear. I believe it ripped because it didn't have that bottom layer of Mod Podge to adhere to. Plus, we did not allow the Comic Book photo to dry completely first before putting the top layer of Mod Podge on. {Have I mentioned that I don't read directions, that I just kinda start and see if i'm doing it right}? I don't have time for directions man!

The last Coat, after being given a light sanding with 220 extra fine grit sandpaper.
Photo from: 

You are almost done!!  The last step is to use the rubber gaskets that came with the metal covers. You can use E600 Glue to glue the gaskets onto the bottom of what now is your new Comic Book Coaster!
Photo from:
Ta Da!  Don't you love it how you are given a commentary of a tutorial, instead of a tutorial, haha?

I wish I would have had the foresight to remember where my photos are of this process.  But, you can see our end result:

I wish I could show you close ups!!!  I wasn't thinking of a future blog post when I snapped these photos. :)

Lessons learned:

 1. Definitely give each photo a little bath (we put ours in a small Tupperware container, filled it half way with water).  We allowed it to soak for a few minutes.  
2. Put a bottom layer of Mod Podge on the metal cover before the Comic Book Print is put on.  You can use your fingers, or a foam brush.  We then removed the photo and ran our fingers across the photo to remove excess water. Then,  lay the picture on the surface of the plate, gently smoothing it out over the plate.  
4. Allow to dry and then  lightly sand before your top coat of Mod Podge is applied.

Our mistakes:

We lost 2 of the lovely coasters from not the following directions!  I am one who will figure it out as I go, which usually leads to my having to re-do it all over again.  So, do it the right way the first time by reading the instructions folks! ;) 

They really are cute gifts and my hard to by for brother loved them!  The other cool thing is that the whole family can help!  It's inexpensive, only a little time consuming, and is super cool with the potential for family bonding time.  Plus, you get to make a cool gift for someone who is very hard to shop for! Next, will be a tutorial of a photo transferred to wood DIY Gift. 

So, what do you think?  Has anyone tried a similar DIY gift idea?  If so, how did it turn out?

Do you Dare me to try to make more? Following the whole Tutorial this time???

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Post

Hello beauties!  I promise i'll get to posting more on here soon. :)  I am guest blogging today over at Boots and Pearls!  I absolutely adore Kristen and the ladies at The Urban Farmhouse Market!  They are a brick and mortar shop, but are brand new to blogging.  Please stop by and show them some love.  I was asked to share my story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Online Trunk Show!

Blue Soul Designs will have it's first ever Online Trunk Show and YOU are invited!!  I have spent weeks creating one of a kind pieces that will be offered directly to you, from 15-30% off, on Blue Soul Design's Facebook page.  The prices will be fabulous and the items high end...with some fun and whimsy added of course.  This is the perfect time to do some Christmas shopping, or to score some lovelies for yourself. ;)

What is an Online Trunk Show?
* An Online Trunk Show is where you will have first access to one of a kind pieces of jewelry, that have NEVER been listed in my shop!  High end pieces that will be 15-30% off!

Where: Blue Soul Design's Facebook Page
When: October 5th, starting at 7pm Central time.

* How do I buy?
You must be a fan of the Facebook page to attend the show.  You can find it here.  I will post pictures of everything available in a photo album, labeled "Online Trunk Show."  The Album will go up October 5th.  If you want to purchase an item listed, please post a comment under the picture.  Leave your Paypal email address in the comments.  If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address, you can message it to me.  I will be online during the show to answer questions!  You may message me with a question on my page, or post a question under an item. Once the item has sold, I will mark it as such.

*What if I don't have a Paypal account?

No problem!  Just message me on the Blue Soul Designs Facebook page and I will make a custom listing for you on Etsy for the item you wanted-same price as what it's listed as during the Trunk Show. You can pay via a credit/debit card on Etsy.

A flat rate of $2.80 (within the U.S.) for each package will be applied to the invoice-no matter how many items you purchase!  Great time to stock up. :) Shipping to Canada will be $4.00 and International customers, $4.50.

* When items sell out, I will post a comment under the picture as Sold.  A few items will have multiples available and I will list as such.  I will email invoices out the day after the sale has been completed.  Invoices must be paid within 24 hours.  Items will be shipped out within 3-5 business days.  All items are available on a first come, first serve basis.  Please choose carefully, as these are all one of a kind items, so make sure if you post a comment for purchase, that you intend to complete the sale. :) Item descriptions will be listed with each picture.  The photos will be zoomed in, so you can see the details and quality of each piece.  Please go by item measurements.  I will include a coin in each photo, to give you a clear view of scale.

Items available will have include semi-precious gemstones, Gold filled components, Sterling Silver, Silver Filled, pearls, Crystals, etc.  I will be offering Necklaces, lots of earrings, wire wrapped rings, and bracelets and incorporating many of the Pantone Fall 2012 colors..don't you love them?!

Also, there will be 2 door prizes!!  All you have to do to enter is share the event via Twitter, Facebook...any social media outlet.  Then, comment here that you did.  One winner will win a $15 shop credit that you can use at a later date towards anything in my shop.  Another winner will win a gorgeous wire wrapped Moonstone ring!  ***For those who have already shared the event via my Facebook Page, I will add your name to the drawing.*** :)

Here is the link to share the event:  Don't forget to RSVP! :)

Thanks loves and hope to see you there! Enjoy some pics of just a few of the items that will be available! More pieces will be added, that have not been shown here or on my Facebook page, including some hand stamped pieces! :)

**These beauties were gifted to Mariska Hartigay from Law & Order SVU**!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Welcome to Blue Soul Designs!  My name is Sarah.  I'm a 30-something wife and mama.  I've been married to my hubby, Shannon for 15 years and we are still going strong. ♥  We've got 4 kiddos, ranging in age from 7 to 19.  2 boys and 2 girls. :)

I'm a coffee and reality show addict.  I'm a fighter and survivor.  I'm battling Chronic Lyme Disease and severe health issues from unknowingly living in toxic mold for many years.

Blue Soul Designs is my jewelry shop on Etsy.  I've been creating jewelry for almost a year now and have been loving every single second of it.  I love the ocean and all things blue.  The ocean is the one place my soul feels completely at ease out..hence the name Blue Soul Designs. :)

This blog will be a mix of things.  Jewelry yes, but it will also include posts relating to health, family, fashion, inspiration, and of course...Pinterest! Come join me for the ride...