Drink coasters are a fabulous way to give your space a bit of sass and charm. If you’re in the market for new ones, it’s easy to make your own at home, and a few of these ideas can make a great weekend project for the kids. Here’s a few ideas to get you going:
Kid-designed coasters. The kids will have a ball designing their own drink coasters. Using poster board in the color of their choice, measure and cut 4-inch squares or circles. Kids can decorate the squares with rubber stamps, stickers, paint, drawings or a favorite photo. Clip fun pictures from magazines or catalogs. Glue in place, but let it dry thoroughly. Snazzy up the coaster by outlining with glitter pens. Apply several layers of craft sealant or clear contact paper or laminating sheets over the coasters, and cut to fit.
Tile coasters. Look in your basement, check garage sales or scour the clearance bins at any home improvement store for tiles. You can nab tiles for as little as 15 cents each. Bath or kitchen tiles are best because of the size, but if you find a set of large tiles you like, you can have them cut to size in your local home improvement store. If you find plain tiles, the decorating possibilities are endless: Try using porcelain paint in bright colors, or use acrylic paint to paint petite flowers. Have each family member decorate a tile the way they want. When you’re done, attach four small felt or rubber pads to each underside to keep the coaster from scratching the surface beneath it.
Greeting-card coasters. You need one sheet of cork, sandpaper, a craft knife (or strong scissors), a ruler, some old greeting cards, and laminating sheets. Measure 4-inch squares with the ruler on the cork and cut them out with the craft knife or a strong pair of scissors. Using the cork square as a template, cut the portion of the greeting card that you want to highlight to fit the square. Trim the card so the edge is clean and aligned with the cork. If necessary, smooth the cork edges with sandpaper. Apply laminate sheeting, covering the entire coaster. Trim extra laminate.
Photo coasters. There is a story behind every photo: a wedding, a birth, a vacation, a success. Why not capture those stories in coasters? They make terrific conversation pieces. Most craft stores carry inexpensive plain round and square cork coasters. For this project, you will need cork coasters, all-in-one decoupage sealer/glue/finish and a sponge brush. Using the coaster as a template, center and carefully cut the photo to fit. Trim the edges. Brush a layer of the sealer on the coaster and the back of the photo. Apply photo to the coaster. Smooth out any air bubbles using your fingers. Apply several layers of the sealer over the photo, but let dry between applications.
T-shirt coasters. T-shirt coasters are a fun project for reusing an item you already have around the house. Cut out several coaster-size circle or square shapes from an old T-shirt, especially if it has some fun embellishments. Spray each of the fabric circles with a layer of acrylic spray (which you can find at any craft store). Once dry, apply a few more coats of the spray to continue to stiffen the fabric. Let the coasters set overnight before using. In addition, sweatshirts and old sports jerseys also work great for this project.
Mosaic coasters. Mosaic coasters are a great way to add boutique style to your space. Use a small hammer to break old ceramic teacups, dinner plates, etc. into 1-inch pieces. If you don’t have any dishware you’d like to use, check out your nearest thrift store or any neighborhood garage sales to find a cool pattern. Use a bit of tile epoxy glue to secure the ceramic bits onto a plywood circle or square, then fill in any gaps between the mosaic pieces with a light tile grout. Let the coaster dry overnight before using.
You can use any of these ideas to make a new set of trivets, too! Just follow the same steps, but using a bigger tile, cork pattern, t-shirt section, etc.