Coaster-ing through the holiday
BY KAREN SCHWALLER
ESTHERVILLE – Christmas break can often lead to bored school-aged children, and parents who wish their children had something to do.
In light of that, the Emmet County 4-H program offered a workshop during Christmas break for their members on making ceramic tile coasters.
Sarah Chrestiansen, a student at the University of South Dakota, worked with local 4-H’ers on this project at the United Methodist Church in Estherville. Chrestiansen is a nine-year veteran of the 4-H program in Emmet County and was an intern with 4-H last summer. This also gave her something to do over Christmas break, she said.
“I found this idea on Pinterest,” she said. “I thought it was simple enough and would be cool for the kids to do.”
Chrestiansen purchased four 4-by-4-inch ceramic tiles for each of the participants, along with scrapbook paper and Modge Podge adhesive glue.
Participants cut the paper to fit the tiles, while others brought pictures of family members or of their varied interests.
The paper was glued to the tiles. Once dried, a piece of felt was adhered to the back of each tile to guard against scratching furniture. Then each was sprayed with a polyurethane coating that would seal them and protect them from scratches.
The 4-H’ers can take this project to the couinty fair as exhibits this summer.
“We try to do a few workshops over the summer, and one or two workshops over Christmas break,” said Chrestiansen, who said she gets ideas the Internet, as well as thinking about workshops she did as a 4-H’er. “One time we made clocks out tree trunks.”
These workshops provide an opportunity for young children to do something they possibly wouldn’t get to do at home, Chrestiansen said.
Ariana Umscheid, 11, daughter of John and Elisa Umscheid, of Terril, is a sixth grader at Graettinger-Terril Community Schools and is in her third year in the Wallingford-based Horsin’ Around 4-H Club.
“Mom said this would be a great opportunity for me to learn how to decorate tiles,” she said. “I’ve never done it before, but I liked it. It was really fun.”
Umscheid brought pictures of horses that she printed from the Internet. It turned into a learning experience for her.
“I learned that the ink doesn’t do very well (with the Modge Podge), but the tiles still look good,” she said.
Umscheid said her favorite part of the project was getting to do something by herself, away from her family and with friends, over the holidays.
She said she will use one of her coasters as a fair exhibit, and plans to use them at home as well.
Domanique Richardson, 13, daughter of Kevin and Shannon Richardson, of Estherville, is in her fourth year with Ellsworth Go-Getters 4-H Club, and is a seventh-grader at Estherville Lincoln Central Community Schools. She came to the workshop because she thought it would be something fun to do.
“Mom told me about it. I thought it would be fun, and we weren’t doing anything else today anyway.” she said. “It’s a time to talk to my friends.”
Richardson, who used pictures of herself and family members on her set of four coasters, said she learned that pictures need to be cut very straight so that they don’t look crooked, once applied to the perfectly square coaster. She paused to tell Chrestiansen that it might be a good idea to use a paper cutter to cut papers to be used on the coasters. Chrestiansen agreed.
“I also learned that I should use photo paper instead of Internet pictures printed out on paper, because the ink smears,” she said. Her favorite part of the workshop, she said, was the result of the work she did on her coasters.
Richardson said she plans to use her coasters as an exhibit at the Emmet County Fair this summer.
There are 11 4-H clubs, and 180 members in Emmet County 4-H altogether.
Anyone may join 4-H in Emmet County before May 15 by calling the Extension office at (712) 362-3434.
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