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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
D-ring
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!

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