Sunday, May 18, 2008


We're still at the coast for our annual Parker Ladies' Night Out. It's a quarter to nine in the evening, and we're home from dinner. Now there's a group of women lounging in arm chairs and on the sofa, talking and laughing about relationships, kids, sons-in-law, babies--all those sorts of perennial favorite woman subjects. We'll probably start up a Bunko game soon, with a concurrent pool tournament and maybe some ping pong going on downstairs.

We always have a craft to do. This year's was a simple one, but lots of fun, and a lot more time-consuming than I'd envisioned. I should have known better, given what I came up with.

Here's the finished product, and I'll explain what to do below the picture.

Generations Coasters

To make your coasters, you'll need:

  • Non-functional Cd's

  • Family photographs

  • Felt

  • Clear self-stick plastic

  • Glue

If you have the clear plastic disk they put on the top of a spindle of new Cd's, that makes a great pattern for marking your photographs. Otherwise, use one of the Cd's as a pattern. Cut your photos to fit the Cd. Glue the photo to one side of the Cd. From the felt, cut a circle the same size as the Cd and glue to the other side. Cover the photo with a piece of the self-adhesive vinyl that is slightly larger than the Cd, and trim it to fit.

That's the gist of this craft. With a photo editing program, you can refine your pictures, and also expand or shrink them for a better fit.

We had albums and boxes of family photos to work with, and spend hours pouring through them. Picking just a few was not easy, and I think a number of us made copies of the pictures for later use. There were so many stories, and more questions than I'd have credited--"Who is this adorable kid?" "Mom, I know that's you, but who is that?" "Why did they call Jennifer Polly, if her name was Cordie?"

The Cd coasters I've shown above are specially sweet for me. The one farthest left is my maternal grandfather as a young man, then comes my Mom and Dad, posing joyfully the day they got engaged. Then there's a photo of my beautiful Mama, holding her newborn baby, my older brother. The last photo coaster shows Mama with one of her granddaughters, a grandson-in-law, and her great-granddaughter. I love the obvious fun and love of it.

Mama is planning a set of all of her siblings' photos, and another of her children. I'd like to do more of the very old photographs. There was even a picture I don't think I'd ever seen of my great-great-great-great grandfather, a wonderful picture of him standing beside his horse, two dogs at his feet. He's dressed in typical cowboy garb. It's a treasure. I'm sure there would be many more themes you could use for these coasters, even beyond family.

We spent time after we were finished comparing and sharing. It was a treat to see the different pictures my aunts and cousins selected, and hear the additional stories and memories come out.


SisterDG said...

Fantastic idea for those ever-present unusable CD's! I can also see them with pretty paper covers, or color copies of vintage fabrics.

iHanna said...

What a great idea, I too love old photos. Maybe one c ould do the new onesin b/w to match everything a bit more?! Thanks for sharing the instructions!

Jessica said...

What a great idea! Just curious as to what kind of self adhesive vinyl you used and where to get some?
Many thanks.

CraftyJennee said...

So cute! And we all have a million unusable cd's lying around, it's such a waste to throw them. I think I might use clear contact paper as the plastic.

EyePopArt said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. You should make some like Diane suggested and bring them into Trillium!

MommySecrets said...

I love these!!

HansRojz said...

Hi Aniatra. What a lovely idea! I just love it cause i'm wondering myself what to do with my reject cd. Thanks a lot.

Elizabeth said...

So I've been making these over the last couple of days. I'm here to provide additional useful information. (If anyone cares) Clear contact paper is not the best solution because it is actually slightly opaque and it comes off fairly easily. I used it anyway because I couldn't find clear vinyl anywhere. If I ever make these again, I'll look harder. Rotary blade 'scissors' are a must to do all the cutting required. I had all of my photos blown up to 5x7 and when I was placing the photos on the CD, I held everything up the light so I could see exactly where the photo and CD were going to be. I used rubber cement and it takes a fair amount of time to dry. But, I think they turned out really well.

Mary Emma Allen said...

What a marvelous idea! And thanks for visiting my post at Blisstree and letting me know about this family reunion/memory craft.

Lonna said...

thanks for the idea. this will be great for my family reunion raffle gift next year. I do have one question. what kind of glue do you recommend for durability? I know felt if kinda hard to put glue on and it not seep. want it sealed pretty good. thanks.

Ani said...

Lonnie, to tell you the truth, it's been so long since we did these that I'm not sure I remember correctly! But I think we glued the photos on with rubber cement. I actually had plastic foam disks a friend had given me for the backs, but recommended felt because it would be easy to find. I've never seen the plastic disks again; seems to me they were packing for something. Anyway, what I'd suggest for felt would be either Tacky glue, spread on the Cd and allowed to dry for a few minutes before applying the felt, or Okay to Wash It, which is intended for fabric; again, I'd spread it on the Cd and let it set up just a bit, so that it isn't runny enough to bleed through.

Thanks so much for your comment. The coasters have held up well; the only problem I had was with one that was in a sunny window, and the photo curled and had to be reglued. Hope your family enjoys them as much as we have!

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