Party Conversation Starter: Map Coasters

Do you ever come back from a trip and not know what to do with the city maps, museum brochures, tickets, etc. you collected on vacation?

Martha Stewart Living's August 2009 issue has great idea to let you hold on to these mementos without cluttering up your house. Create decoupage coasters.

This got me thinking that these special coasters would be great conversation starters at parties, especially at ones were a lot of the guests don't know each other. Guests can ask you about trips related to a particular coaster. The coasters might remind them of a quirky vacation story of their own. Unacquainted guests can ask each other if they've been to the place featured on a coaster and might discover mutual interests in the answers to follow. The conversation possibilities are infinite.

I like to think of these as a subtle icebreaker game without the awkwardness that sometimes accompanies these activities.

Here are directions for the DIY decoupage coasters:
(source Martha Stewart Living, August 2009)

Tools and Materials
Maps, cutting mat, round cork coasters, craft knife, foam paintbrush, glue sealant (such as Mod Podge)

  • Place map (or other paper souvenier) on a cutting mat, printed side down, then place coark coaster on top.

  • Cut out circles from the map by tracing coaster with a craft knife.

  • Use brush to apply gule sealant to one side of coaster, covering completely. Adhere back of map circle to coaster, smoothing to remove bubbles.

  • Brush top and sides of coaster with a thin layer of glue sealant, and let dry. Repeat to make a set.

Let me know if you have any subtle icebreaker ideas
or if you try this at your next event. Happy hosting!

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