Painted Initials on Cork Mat

finished intial cork board

For my cousin’s wedding, I made a whole stack of projects themed on cork (since it was at a winery) and the color blue (her and her husband’s favorite color). After sewing a recycled sweaters blanket, and making a chalk and cork message board, I wanted to add another little something that was personalized for Lindsey & Max. While at the thrift store, I found a whole stack of large cork coasters and decided that I would paint their initials onto one of the coasters as a finishing touch. Lindsey had admitted to me that she knew they would be very short on decorative items to hang on their walls when they moved in together after the wedding, so I thought something like this painted cork mat would be a fun, personal little piece of art that would fit nicely into their house and hopefully make them think of their wedding (and smile!) every time they see it. And, although it makes a great wedding gift, it would be perfect to give for an anniversary gift or even as a couple’s holiday gift.

Supplies for painted cork board

You Will Need:

Cork mat (often sold plant coasters at nurseries or hardware stores)
Acrylic paint (artist paint or craft paint, use a color and white)
Paint brush
Epoxy or Gorilla glue
Wedding Invitation or an example of a font you want to copy

streaky paint

To give the painting depth, work with two colors and don’t blend them. I put a blob of white and a blob of blue next to each other on my palette and grab a chunk of paint from the middle. Again, don’t blend the colors, but allow them to streak.

paint backbone of letters

When painting, I usually start by sketching out the drawing in pencil on whatever I’m painting. I found that this wasn’t possible on the cork as it has such a rough surface. Instead, I started by painting the main lines of the initials, looking to the invitation as a template. If the invitation doesn’t have a monogram on it and you are uncomfortable freehanding, find an elaborate font online or on your word processing software and print out the letters as a reference.

first layer paint

After the skeleton, add on the details. Don’t worry about getting all the loop-de-loops exactly the same as your template. This is your work of art.

finished intial cork board

After the initial painting, I went over a second time with the lightest white and darkest blue, thickening lines and adding highlights to give the painting depth.

paint side of cork board

I like the way the mats look with the edges painted – it’s still rustic but helps to frame and define the cork circle.

epoxy hook to back of board

To add a D-ring so that you can hang the mat on the wall, use epoxy or Gorilla glue, following the directions on the package. Set the D-ring in it and wait for it to dry. Make sure that your D-ring is pointing up so the painting will hang the right direction!

Ooh! Show Me More!

Carolyn of Allspice Abounds on Sewing & Style

Today in my series of interviews with sewing bloggers on their connection between sewing & style, I’m delighted to feature Carolyn of Allspice Abounds. I love what Carolyn has to say about how sewing is liberating, both physically and emotionally, and (as someone who rarely makes the same thing twice) I particularly enjoy seeing her […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

The Last Wool Mill in New Zealand

In a nondescript town (called Milton) on a quiet highway, we found the last wool mill in the south island of New Zealand. The brick buildings line the road and, were it not for the modern cars, I could almost imagine I was in Dickensian London. The Bruce Woolen Mill was built in 1897 and […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Laser Cut Logo Keychains

I played with lasers! It was fun! One of my girlfriends was working on prototyping a fancy tool to hold her microscopy slides and it involved getting trained on (and access to) a laser cutter and a 3-D printer. Before leaving San Francisco, I simply had to get the chance to play on use the […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

The Geeky Seamstress on Sewing Through Grad School

Finally finishing graduate school this year was the hardest thing that I have done in my life. Working through the challenge, I learned so much about myself. Part of that was learning how important it is to me to sew – to work with my hands, to design, and to create. Sewing is my rock […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Lightweight Lilac Linen Archer

I brought a very small selection of clothes on our giant honeymoon. 4 months worth in one small backpack. So I carefully considered every single garment, bought a selection of fabric so that every piece coordinated, and then ran out of time to make most of the “perfect travel wardrobe” that I had envisioned. (I […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Sop Jam Weaving Village, Laos

Sop Jam is a small village in northern Laos. On the bank of the Nam Ou river and surrounded by limestone cliffs, the scenery couldn’t be more beautiful. Of course the only thing that could make such a setting even better in my eyes is textiles and that you will find aplenty in Sop Jam. […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Thirty, Flirty and Thriving!

I’m pretty stoked to say that today I am 30 years old! Yes, the big 3-0. And I am so very happy to be turning 30. I think that a lot of your 20’s is about finding yourself. And I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the last decade, and I’ve done a lot […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic on Sewing and Style

Today in my series of interviews with sewing bloggers on their connection between sewing & style, I’m delighted to feature Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. I love what Carolyn has to say about sewing for her lifestyle and she definitely puts the creative into “creative corporate” style! I’m delighted to share her thoughts on the connection between […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Nanny’s 1940’s Silver Thimble

The night before I got married in Santa Barbara, Nanny Sheila, Adam’s grandmother, gave me a silver thimble to carry as my “something old”. The thimble was given to her in the 1940’s by Nanny Clara, the mother of her sister-in-law, Marjorie. Nanny Sheila and Marjorie were friends from the age of 7 years old. […]

Ooh! Show Me More!

Hmong Hemp and Indigo Textile Art

The Hmong are an ethnic group from China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. Before our travels to SE Asia, the Hmong were one of the few SE Asian ethnic groups with which I was already familiar as there are many Hmong refugees in the United States (and other western countries like France and Germany). The Hmong were recruited […]

Ooh! Show Me More!