Introduction: Handmade Coasters

Picture of Handmade Coasters

These easy, personalized coasters make the perfect last-minute (handmade!) gift for anyone on your list.  With a few simple, easy to find supplies, you can create unique coaster sets in one afternoon.

All it takes it some cork (pre-cut coasters make the job easy), Mod-Podge or white glue, and some interesting paper to cover them with.  You could even print out personal photos to make them a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

Step 1: Materials

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Assemble your materials:
  • Interesting paper - I used some scrapbooking paper and an artist's map of San Francisco
  • X-acto knife or scissors
  • Cork coasters
  • Mod Podge - an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish, found in craft shops and some sewing stores, comes in gloss or matte finish (white glue will also work, and might I recommend some sort of shellac for a nice, glossy finish?)
  • Craft paint brush

Step 2: Cut

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Cut out circles of paper the same size as your coasters.

Either lay the coaster down on the paper and trace around it with your X-acto knife or a pencil and use scissors to cut the circles out.

Step 3: Glue

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Coat the cork coasters with a layer of Mod Podge.

Align the paper on top of the coaster and rub down with your finger.

Step 4: Coat

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Apply another layer of Mod Podge on top of the papered coaster. 

Mind the edges of the coaster as well.  Use your brush or finger to smooth the glue around the edges.  It will dry clear.

Step 5: Dry and Repeat

Picture of Dry and Repeat

Let the first round of glueing dry.

Repeat layering with Mod Podge several times - I did five, I think.  The brush strokes will still be visible when you're done, but only if the light hits them at the right angle.  If this is of concern, try using a sponge brush instead of a fiber one to apply the Mod Podge.

Step 6: Coast

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That's it!

It takes about an hour to create a really unique set of coasters that you can then tie up with a ribbon and gift to everyone you know. 

The Mod Podge helps make them waterproof, so they can be wiped off with a damp cloth as needed.

Show me what you come up with!


caroliine222 (author)2014-10-22

Does anyone know where I can buy cork board?

SarahS36 (author)caroliine2222015-08-06

You can also get a 2' x 3' x 1/4" sheet of it at home depot. If you have an X-acto knife, blades, and the skills to use it steadily then this is the best option.

audreymika (author)caroliine2222014-12-12

Joann's has sets of 4 square ones for about $2; I'm sure Michael's and and other craft stores have them as well.

SarahS36 (author)2015-08-06

How well does the modge podge hold up to the condensation of a water glass? Does it stick, or stain, or anything else? Looking for something that will stand up to daily use.

rfrick1 made it! (author)2014-07-11

my brother and fiance moved into their new home, I gave it to them as a gift. They loved it!

jo_12345 (author)2013-12-19

Just tried this - saw some comic book covered ones in the shop and I've just made some for a fraction of the price. Just waiting for glue to fry then I'm going to cost with a water based acrylic. Thanks for the easy guide!

angelfoley (author)2013-03-25

Try printing photos of grandkids or whatever--on Kodak paper and the kids can help making presents for family

AnaSC (author)2011-10-30

This is great! i have kept all those maps from cities i visited... now you gave me a nice use for them!! thanks!

DoDo729 (author)2011-09-07

What a great idea, I am going to make some using photos of the grand kids.

crazycorncake (author)2011-03-17

Could you use book paper? I was thinking about cutting out the circles from old book pages and give them to my grandpa but I'm not sure if they're thick enough

vorpal_forklift (author)2010-11-28

I love that you used a San Francisco map. Being born in the City and raised in the bay, it's one of those "OMG awesometastic, close-to-the-chest" sorts of things that I love.

PMSandaGun (author)2010-05-27

 If one would like to get rid of the brush strokes (I think it adds character, but hey) the Mod Podge says that after at least 5 coats, wet sand with 400 Grit sandpaper until smooth, then wipe with a damp cloth. Tried it and it came out beautifully; like the image in embedded in resin.

PMSandaGun (author)2010-05-27

 Gorgeous, and nice tutorial!

PMSandaGun (author)2010-05-27

 yes, definitely varnish it with an acrylic urethane (water based!) or some kind of shellac...Mod Podge doesn't cure hard, and the tackiness that's left over makes it want to stick to things. Found that out the hard way, lol.

TimBTodd (author)2010-02-07


TimBTodd (author)TimBTodd2010-02-07

Do you know a place to get the coasters for cheap?

Kanein Encanto (author)2009-12-23

I like the idea of the maps for the coasters, but if I get the chance to play with this idea myself, I'll probably find a good way to encase them using liquid acrylic. I'll be sure to post at least a pic if I do 'em.

Nice Idea. :)

Yes, do that!

One of these somehow got stuck to a dish and made its way through two cycles in the dishwasher.  It looks awesome now, but nothing like the coaster it once was!

knexsuperbuilderfreak (author)2009-12-21
=O just what my aunt loves! now i need some stuff to make them very nice job
Creativeman (author)2009-12-21

Nicely done, scooch! a fun project, for sure. I see you are at 99 ibles. Is there a club for those who reach 100?  Just a thought. Cman

scoochmaroo (author)Creativeman2009-12-21


No, I don't think there is just yet.  Kiteman's minions got together to have a guide made for him upon the completion of his 100th, but a lot of mine are guides, so I don't know if that counts!  If it does, I'll top that 100 before Christmas!

scoochmaroo (author)scoochmaroo2009-12-21

Current count:
30 Guides
69 Instructables

50 patches received,
69 sent

etc etc.

There will be plenty more before the year's end!  Then I might take a breather.

About This Instructable




Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
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