This Dec. 5, 2012 photo shows a set of handmade drink coasters inspired by vintage Christmas albums in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Holly Ramer)
Forget Bing Crosby's classic "White Christmas." For me, Christmastime will forever be evoked by David Cassidy crooning "My Christmas Card to You," and I still have the 1972 Partridge Family holiday record album to prove it.
The music has long since been transferred to my iPod, but the rest of my family can stand only so much of Cassidy's oddly melancholy rendition of "Frosty the Snowman." So I came up with another way to get my fix of nostalgia: I reproduced the album cover art on a tile coaster that now resides on my coffee table, not my parents' old turntable. In fact, I had enough vintage albums to make a set of four holiday coasters, and at a cost of 15 cents per tile, can afford to make more to give to my sister.
But why stop there? I'm also awfully fond of my 1973 Little Golden Book versions of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman," and I get out my battered copies every year. But the books end up lost amid my son's enormous collection, so I came up with a way to make them part of our holiday décor.
Instead of shrinking the covers as I did for the albums, I enlarged them a bit to fit 8-by-10-inch canvases and hung them on the wall. Slapping a print into a frame would be even easier, but I had the blank canvas on hand and didn't want to buy a new frame. I may be a hopeless sap at the holidays, but I'm also thrifty.
RECORD ALBUM COASTERS
— record album covers
— scanner or digital camera
— craft knife and metal ruler or scissors
— spray adhesive or adhesive tape (I used a Scotch-brand Advanced Tape Glider)
— ceramic tiles, approximately 4-by-4 inches
— clear enamel topcoat (I used Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel)
— felt, cut to the size of the coasters
1. Take a picture of your album cover. Scanning it would also work, but most small, desktop scanners won't be big enough to scan the entire cover in one pass. It's best to stand the album up on a shelf against a wall, so you can get a straight-on view for a photo.
2. Use photo-editing or word-processing software to crop and re-size the image to fit your tile. Print the image, then trim it to size using the craft knife or scissors.
3. Use adhesive tape or spray adhesive to glue the image to the tile. Many online tutorials call for using Mod Podge, a type of decoupage medium, for this kind of project but I find it messy. And because it is water-based, the finished coasters likely will not stand up to moisture or heat from a cold beverage glass or warm mug.
4. Allow adhesive to dry thoroughly, following product directions. Working outdoors, apply several light coats of the clear enamel spray, again following the product directions for how long to wait between coats.
5. Glue squares of felt to the underside of the tiles to prevent the rough surface from scratching your table.
6. Allow the finished coaster to dry for at least several days before using.
BOOK COVER CANVASES
— vintage books
— scanner or digital camera
— craft knife or scissors
— spray adhesive or adhesive tape
— blank 8-by-10-inch canvas
— optional: acrylic craft paint
1. Scan or take a picture of your book cover. If scanning, scan at a high resolution (600 ppi) so you can print an enlarged copy without harming the image quality. If taking a picture, use the highest resolution on your camera.
2. Use photo-editing or word-processing software to crop and re-size the image to fit your canvas. (Alternatively, you can simply create a duplicate image that you can print and frame).
3. Print the image, then trim it to size. I chose to print my book cover on high-quality photo paper to get the best image possible.
4. If desired, paint the edges of the canvas a colour that matches your book cover. Let dry.
5. Use adhesive tape or spray to glue the image onto the canvas.
6. If desired, spray the finished canvas with a clear sealant. I chose not to, since it will be hanging up for just a few weeks each year, and I wasn't particularly worried about the image fading or getting damaged.