will be heading to new homes in a week’s time. These were SOOOOO much fun to make that I decided to share the process…
Draw out your fish coaster pattern – pattern does not HAVE to be a fish as the process will work for any coaster design. Hook your fish – I used mostly left over worms from my stash. The only non scrap was the outside edge which was a wonderful bright plaid that incorporated all the fishy colours. Once I was done hooking I sealed the edges (on the back) with clear kitchen and bathroom silicone. This dries in 24 hours but remains flexible and is easier to cut out than if the edges are sealed with glue. I spread the silicone, which comes in a small tube (and should be used up quickly as it tends to dry up inside the tube and turn into a rock! SO MAKE LOTS OF COASTERS) about 1/4 inch wide along the last row of hooking ensuring that I covered not only the last row of loops but over the edge onto the unhooked backing as well. Let this dry for 24 hours and then you can cut out your fish right up against the last row of hooking.
At this point you can stop – you have lovely flexible coasters that will work fine as is. However, I wanted to finish off the back so that a hot cup of coffee would not mark the surface of the table below. For the backing I chose a thick stiff wool that was unhookable. I spread white glue all over my fingers – no no I mean all over the back of my cut out fish – well yup a lot ended up on my fingers! Use a good glue – I think I actually used carpenters glue! – and make sure you cover the entire surface especially the edges (I squeezed a big blob of glue on the back and then spread it with a spongey brush). Then place your backing (do not cut out the shape yet) on top of the glued back of your fish and place something really heavy on top for 24 hours. The glue will dry clear and stiff! Once it is dry cut the excess backing wool off right up against the edge of the fish.
Again, at this point you can stop. However!!!! I am somewhat anal and did not want to see the edge of my last row of hooking so I cut an 8.5 strip of the wool that I used for the outside hooked edge making sure it was long enough to go all the way around my fish with maybe half an inch overlap. I have a wonderful bottle of glue with a nozzle that never clogs (from the dollar store). I Spread glue all along the length of the strip (one side only) and starting at the nose (do fish have noses? 🙂 ) I pressed the glued strip to the edge of my fish. Now this really requires three hands!!!! Having only 2 of course! glue got on me, table, fish etc. however I learned quickly that to make the strip stick to the sides I could push in the occasional straight pin (especially where the tail starts and ends and in the dip in the tail) to hold the strip on until I had finished pushing it on all the way around the fish. Although the ends are glued on top of each other, I did not want to take the chance of them coming apart later on, so stitched through the ends into the loops; also did this at the 3 points on the tail and then removed the pins before they BECAME GLUED INTO THE FISH – just in case little fingers might play with these fish! Let dry for 24 hours et voila fish coasters ready for your favourite beverage!!!! NOT FISH CHOWDER – fish became very distressed when I said FISH CHOWDER!
So have fun and let me know how your coasters turn out!
A very important notice – THE BARN RAISING PROJECT will be held at the Brockville Museum from September 19th to October 16th. If you have not seen these amazing rugs try not to miss the show. For more details check out http://www.brockvillemuseum.com.