Picture of Elephant Shaped Coasters
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Coasters are such an under appreciated gift, especially if the receiving party can get to participate in the decoration process.  

As a nice house gift, I made my girlfriend and her three roommates a set of coasters, (in the shape of her favorite animal), that they could decorate to their own liking.  I don't normally let other people in on my projects, so this allowed me to share the joy and pride of making something and being able to actually use it.


1/8" hardwood board (oak looks nice)
acrylic or oil paint (for the decoration)
polyurethane (for the waterproof finish)

Total cost is about $8 if you just buy the wood and have the rest of the materials handy.

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Step 1: Find a picture

Picture of Find a picture
A quick Google search does the trick, then off to scale in Word, and then cut out the picture.

The coasters can be any shape really, as long as they're bigger than the diameter of the average coffee cup, which is about 3-1/4", so any shape longer than 3-1/2" both ways will work.

Step 2: Made a template

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I found a scrap piece of 1/8" wood in my shop, taped the paper elephant to it, and cut it out with my jig saw.  After cutting it out, I sanded it down on all edges so that the outline would be smooth.  

The purpose for making this first elephant is to have a template to trace the coasters (and not waste time printing out patterns, cutting, taping, etc).  This decreases deviation, so that they all look more or less the same.  Also, I can save this template and use it for any future projects that may come up.

After it was sanded to my liking, I traced four elephants onto the wood.

Step 3: Cut them out

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I used my jig saw to (very carefully) cut out all the elephants.  A table jig saw with a 1/4" blade would have been perfect for this, but I made due with my hand-held.

Very whimsical - I like! Can we do coaster shaped elephants as a follow-up project?
guyzo35 (author)  Mr. Potato Head4 years ago
I'll post a genetic engineering ible as soon as the FDA passes some regulation laws
ChrysN5 years ago
Cute elephants!