DIY: Coasting with PicMonkey

BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENT: I closed my first home of the year yesterday.  It was a short sale (a realtor’s nightmare and quite a challenge) and after a year of working on it, the buyer’s agent and I were able to finally get my seller out from under this financial burden of a townhome and her buyer into the perfect fixer-upper.  It was magical really.  There will eventually be a post on how to handle buying and selling short sales in the future.  Right now, I just need some time to breathe after that one. 

The coffee table in the living room is holding up beautifully. However, even with the top coat of polyurethane, I really need something to protect the table whenever I put my hot drinks on top of it. So coasters were the order for the day on Sunday.  I originally wanted to have a couple for whenever Holly and Mike came over for our epic barbecue/video editing/blogging extravaganza.  Sadly, Goodwill was not allowing me to pop tags that day.  Not to mention, Tim wanted to projectile vomit everytime he heard me sing “Thrift Shop.”  He actually has post-traumatic stress disorder from editing that video.  It turned out fabulous.  The performers were amazing Friday night and, in my opinion, should have won for most entertaining.  But I was pressing buttons so no voting for me.  Check it out!

Back to the story,  Tim came up with an awesome idea to cheer me up AKA bring me back from the ledge of buying oversized plates from Dollar General to use as coasters.  Make some out of unused CDs and put our songs on each coaster with some pretty design so they look uniform.  Seriously, he’s my token ungay gay man.  It scares me sometimes and Tim admits it freaks him out to; his powers of interior design. Ahem…anyway. I was so excited about the idea, I was actually going to work on it Sunday.  I didn’t really have a full-fledged idea yet so I let it marinate, went to Pinterest and looked up some great ideas.  Then it hit me like a ton of CDs showering down around me.

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Create coasters using an online free photo editing site called PicMonkey!  My friend and fellow blogger mistress Caty turned me on to this site.  Since my laptop doesn’t have a good photo editing software, I simply hop on and start editing.  So easy.

First thing’s first, I picked out my four favorite photos of Tim and I and came up with a few song lyrics that correspond with the photos themselves.

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When you go to PicMonkey.com, you will be able to edit a photo instantly.  Just click on Edit Photo at the top and it will pull up your documents for you to browse photos.  Pick your favorite then click “Open.”

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The tools are simple to use.  I cropped all of them down to a square so it would be easy to pop them into my CD case Microsoft Publisher file later on.

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You have a multitude of free features you can choose from.  For this project, I tweaked the size as well as played with a few effects (noted in the side bar as a little beaker).  I used Cross Effect for all the photos so that there was a continuity.

So once the photos were edited and cropped, I was able to add the lyrics.  The text tool (marked with the P in the sidebar) is actually one of my favorite tools. You can change the font as well as the size and color of the text.

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I used Special Elite for the text.  It gave the design a little bit more of an edgy, rock band feel that went well with the CD cover idea.

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After some simple centering and tweaking, my CD cover is complete!  Up until I discovered PicMonkey, I was forced to use Paint on my computer.  This led to tons of frustration and grainy photos.  With PicMonkey, I can edit to my heart’s content without having to lose my progress and once I am done, I get to pick what quality I want the photo to be.

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Once the photos were saved into my computer, I opened up Publisher and opened an existing CD cover template which can be found whenever you start a new document.  I inserted the photos, and allowed them to expand only slightly past the margins so everything fit and then I printed the photos off.

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I flipped the photo over and placed a CD on the back of it to draw the pattern to cut.  Since the photos were so dark, it was easy to figure out where to draw the lines along the margins.  Then I just cut around the edge to make my little coaster fronts.  It looks like a lot of work, but the editing went so fast, I was able to have all four finished in half an hour.

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Once I got home, I pulled out the Mod Podge and 4 CDs.  They were awesome colors but they look pretty darn cheap as-is.  Good thing to watch while you’re Mod Podging CD’s: Family Guy. I know that’s weird but I have been on a real kick lately.

051513175422Apply the mod podge directly to the CD and don’t use too much.  The thinner the coat, the better.  The more you use, the better chance it has to bubble up in spots.  Also with a thinner coat, it dries faster.  Perfect for someone who has the patience of a gnat like me.

051513175509Then there are only three steps left.  Adhere the picture to the CD, let it dry then apply a top coat to water proof the coaster.  I did two coats but one is fine.  It’s water resistant once it dries.  Finally, pull out the hot glue gun, cut out circles about 2 inches in diameter and adhere them to the backs of the CDs once they are dry.

051513183333All done!  The felt prevents the CD from scratching the table.  I feel a “you scratched my CD in clear daylight” reference coming on.

051513183613These coasters are awesome and since they were made from things I already had laying around the house, they cost me virtually nothing.  Wunderbar!

Have you done anything crafty lately?  Even better, what have you done on PicMonkey.com? Share your projects in the comment section below!

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One thought on “DIY: Coasting with PicMonkey

  1. So glad you are enjoying PicMonkey! It’s fabulous. I would love to give you another suggestion if I am not coming off like a little-miss-know-it-all. I noticed you took picture of your computer monitor. While yours are not as grainy or line-y as I’ve seen in the past, there is a simpler way! Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard. It usually looks like PntSrn and is either where the NumLock key is, or is one of your hotkeys. Anyway, press that, and it takes a picture of the screen is its entirety at that moment. Open Paint and select Paste (or just hit Ctrl+V). Voila! A screen shot. Then just save the picture and you can crop or fix or whatever. 🙂

    *SUPER sorry if you already knew that. I just wanted to share a little help, not pull an encyclo-pay-dea like Ted.

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