Drink and Be Merry | Skillshare Projects

Sarah Barton

graphic designer/type lover



Drink and Be Merry


I'm creating pieces to sell at a holiday bazaar. I have tons of ideas floating around in my head, but for the sake of this course I'm narrowing it down to a set of wooden coasters. They will be stained with a stain pen and coated with varnish, so my design needs to be a simple 2-color piece.


I really enjoyed the process of actually copying what I liked about each piece in my mood board. For some reason, it never occurred to me to do that before. I usually just look at pieces and draw inspiration from them.

Many of the things I like on my mood board are intricate. It will be a fun challenge to simplify those details for the coasters. I haven't bought the stain pen yet, but my guess is that the tip will be thicker so I will have to watch out for that.


These are my sketches recreating the pieces I liked from my mood board. I combined a couple of the ideas just to see what they would look like together. I also played with seeing how the designs would look using the words from my project instead of the original words from the packaging.

I really, really like the circular designs in the bottom picture. That small detail is from the red "Prep" tin at the bottom left of my mood board. It would be a great way for the pieces to look similar, but still be different.

I'm struggling figuring out what circular design to do for the words "and" and "be." Should I make them completely different from the circular designs? Or if I make them circular, what designs should they be? The two words are so short, it's hard to make them fill up space on the coaster.

My Plan B right now is to just put the whole quote on each coaster. Any suggestions are welcome!


I decided to use the wreath/circle design around the letters for a different project (greeting card). I went back to square one and roughly sketched one of my favorite pieces from my mood board. This helped me to come up with a different approach for the coasters. Beside it are two thumbnails that nail down the look.

I then created some more refined sketches based on the new design.

Here is an even more final sketch that I did on tracing paper. (Side note: I've never used tracing before, but I've been missing out! I can't believe I've gone this long without using it. I just bought a cheap pack from Target, and I love that my pencil lines don't smear.)


Finally! My original plan was to use stain pens on unfinished wooden coasters. Boy, did that fail. The stain smeared into the grain of the wood so everything looked awful. Plan B was to use paint, so that's what ended up happening. The colors I chose were a deep red/crimson and metallic gold. They didn't turn out as perfect as I wanted because I don't think I simplified my design enough. However the imperfections add to the handmade look!


Please sign in or sign up to comment.