Wednesday, 2 July 2014

DIY Game Of Thrones Coasters, Aw Yiss...

Difficulty - 3/5  
Duration - 3/5

Dutiful followers, I give you Game of Thrones coasters.

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters Arryn Lannister Stark Greyjoy Tully Tyrell Baratheon Targaryen
You know you want them...
I really shouldn't be as proud of these as I am but goddamn are they pretty! I've recently started reading, or, more accurately, devouring, A Song of Ice and Fire (I'm trying to get ahead of the TV show) and at the back of each book you find the house sigils and family trees and such, and they're so lovely looking that I've decided to immortalise them in the form of slabs of stone that you put your drink on. As is customary on The Pop Culture Cynic I've provided a handy How-To guide below, but you might also have noticed the "Difficulty" and "Duration" ratings up top there (and now on all the previous crafting posts if you take a look back). They're there to give you an idea of how much of a commitment any of these projects are on a scale between 1 and 5; 1 being drawing a stick man on a napkin and 5 trying to build your own toaster.

Simpsons toaster homer time machine
Or trying to fix one. Or inadvertently turning it into a time machine.
5s are pretty much reserved for all toaster-related activities.
Coaster drawing equipment
If only life was more like a Wes Anderson movie...

This particular endeavour is relatively painless but if, like me, you don't have a great deal of experience drawing then you might find that it takes a little more effort than it otherwise might. OK, so first off you'll need:

- A set of coasters (oh look, a handy hyperlink)
- Some little sticky foam circle things that should come with the coasters
- A porcelain pen or two
- A craft knife
- Some printer paper (and a printer)
- Cellotape
- A paperclip (I'll explain later)
- Hands - yes, I'm afraid this is not a phocomelia-friendly activity

Once you've acquired these essentials we can get started. Now I had a heck of a time finding any of the sigils from the books online, the internet is predominated by fan versions or the sigils from the TV show, so I've scanned them in (completely against copyright, of course; all credit still goes to the original artist though) and uploaded them for you to use. That said, if you'd rather use your own design or the TV sigils, then yeah, cool, whatevs. Not like I took the effort to give you these ones. No, it's fine. Really.

Step 1: Templates

First thing you'll need to do is pick a sigil to start with and print it out in a size that will fit your coaster. Again, as I said earlier, this is the civilian-friendly version of doing things; if you're a fancy shmancy artist who can do shit free hand then go be talented where the rest of us normal people can't see you. Dick. We're happy with our safety scissors and tracing, thank you very much.

Cut off some of the excess paper and get yo' slice on, fo' shizzle dawg. Use the craft knife to cut out the picture, like so:

Game of Thrones Lannister sigil paper template
I'm like fucken Zorro with this thing.

Step 2: Drawing

Now we want to position the template wherever we want it on the coaster and stick it down nice and flat. Take the porcelain pen and start tracing round the edges:

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters Lannister
I'm way better at staying between the lines than I was in primary school.
Then fill in the rest, being sure to draw in eyes or other features that are on the body, and peel the paper off.

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters Lannister
As you can see the drawing still looks pretty shit, with obvious pen lines and little splodges outside the picture, so the next thing to do is a little refining. Here's where our paperclip comes in; bend it out so you've got a straight bit and you can use it to scrape off any excess marks. Using that and the pen, you'll want to colour back over the picture probably at least twice to get a nice deep black fill.

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters Lannister
Oo, yeah, I like it deep...

Step 3: Mottos

Once the sigil is dry you can go back and do the same for the house mottos. There's a great online Game of Thrones font generator that you can use to get an approximate style of font to use for the template, which you can then copy and position wherever you like on the design. Obviously because you're cutting out letters this bit is a lot more pernickety (a technical term) than the sigils, so take extra care not to tear the paper when doing so; I found that putting a strip of tape on the back of the paper gives it a little more durability when cutting. Then all you do is stick down, fill in, peel off, recolour and scrape away any stray bits of ink as before. Job's a good'un.

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters text lannister
That tiny little white speck is really getting on my nerves... *tries to wipe screen*
That's you finished one coaster! Now go do the rest and meet me back here. All done? Sweet.

Step 4: Baking

The last thing to do is a bit of baking; I know, this project has it all! Depending on which porcelain pen you've got this might change, but with the one I used (and linked to above) you need to bake each coaster in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for half an hour; that's 30 minutes if you're using Imperial measurements.

Once done leave them to cool and then stick the foam circle things on the back:

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters underside
Do not eat the foam circle things. They are not marshmallows.
And you're all done. You are now the proud owner of some lovely Game of Thrones coasters; feel free to place a beverage of your choice on them for the best effect. You could even use them at a party as a drinking game: each person takes a coaster and has to represent that house for the night. You know, usual drinking game malarky.

Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire DIY Coasters use
A demonstration of safe coaster use. If you're having trouble, please ask an adult to help you.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! The plan is to keep building the collection along with the books, so eventually I'll be wading through them, finding House Tarly in my slipper and such.

  2. So good. . Can't wait to make my own :)

    1. Thank you so much! I implore you to send me pictures of any results if you do; I'd love to see other people's efforts.
      (NB: Just removed your duplicate comment, hope you don't mind unless you thought these were so good x 2)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Cute! And simple! Thanks for these tips! By the way, you were featured here: