As I get older I’ve started realizing that the most valuable gift we can give someone is our time. Think about it, if you try hard enough you can get more of almost anything; we can buy more things, find more friends, create more stuff or make more money. The only thing we can never get more of is time. It trickles through our fingers like fine sand and when we look again it’s all gone. For this Father’s day I wanted to give my Dad something special that would show him how much I love him and how much he means to me. The thing with my Dad is – he has everything, seriously!! He collects vintage cars as a hobby, he has a gorgeous wife and a very successful company. He’s time is a precious commodity, he doesn’t have a lot to give because he’s really busy running the company, entertaining people and trying to make everyone around him happy, in his own quiet, dignified way. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could give him. He loves cake, but I can’t bake. He loves old cars, but I struggle to change a tyre (Lefty Loosey and Righty Tighty) and I wouldn’t know the difference between a Triumph Spitfire and a TR2 (they both have wheels don’t they?) The only thing I can do is make stuff. So I made him something, these “made with love and lots of thoughts” coasters with a twist.
Making them didn’t take a lot of time but thinking about what message to put on the coasters did. And I didn’t just want to give him coasters. I really wanted to see him smile and one thing I know about my Dad is that he loves surprises, something different and unexpected. I think it’s because he studied Engineering…….he’s an inquisitive problem solver with a heart of gold. He’s one of those quiet resourceful types, you know 🙂 So here’s the twist that made him smile, these coasters also open bottles.
The coasters were made from old pallets that we cut into 10 cm x 10 cm squares. The Graphics Fairy, as always, was my go to place to get inspiration and stunning images that I could play around with. I also found this site to download some awesome background textures (all free). To make the coaster you need a pallet that’s at least 2 cm thick, a 32 spade bit, a 20 spade bit, some 18 mm washers and screws.
We used the 32 spade bit drill a hole in the bottom of the 10 x 10 pallet square that’s deep and wide enough to fit a beer bottle top comfortably (about 15 mm).
I didn’t want the coasters to wobble (beer is precious – don’t waste!!) so we counter sunk the washers using the 20 spade bit to make a small hole on the side of the bigger 32 mm hole. We found that the edge of the washer needs to overlap the hole for the beer top by about 5 mm. Anything less than that and there wasn’t enough leverage to open the bottle. Anything more than 5 mm meant that the beer bottle top wouldn’t fit in the hole. (P.S. for all my American friends, you can use this online app to convert cm/mm to inches).
We used a Dremel to sand away any rough edges and then screwed in the washer.
To fill the hole left by the tip of the spade bit we used wood glue and some sawdust and waited patiently for it to dry.
I used Mod Podge to glue and seal the custom made images to the front of the coasters and then added three coats of heat resistant polyurethane. Not everyone in our family drinks ice cold alcoholic beverages 😎
This is for you my Dad, you are my hero and I will love you till the end of time and then a little bit more. Happy Father’s Day.