Introduction: Concrete Coasters
These coasters are easy to make and can be completed in an afternoon. They use a plastic cookie cutter as the mold for the cement where the cutter can be used multiple times to make a set of coasters. They would make a beautiful gift!
1. Rapid Set Cement All: This makes a smooth white cement that is not sandy. A 25-lb box is ~$10-15; you will not need much for this project (~1 cup/coaster).
2. Disposable cup, gloves, water, and stir stick for mixing the cement. I used a plastic drink cup, Popsicle stick, and thin disposable gloves.
3. Plastic cookie cutter: For this Instructable I used a round one 3.5-inches in diameter. These sell at Walmart or Michaels for about a dollar.
4. A leaf for imprinting: I used a fresh hydrangea leaf from my garden.
5. Wax paper to protect the surface you are pouring concrete on.
6. Coarse sandpaper (I use 60 grit)
7. Paint and acrylic sealer for decorating the coaster.
8. Optional: Felt for the back of the coaster.
Step 1: Get Ready to Pour Concrete
The Cement All sets quickly (~30 seconds) so be prepared. For the coasters I made, I wanted them to be only ~1/4-inch (or ~1 cm) thick so I marked the pour line on the cookie cutter. Find a flat even surface and cover with wax paper to protect it. Get your leaf and put it between the wax paper and cookie cutter. Have the veins faced upward to make them imprinted into the concrete.
Step 2: Mix and Pour the Concrete
Put ~1/4 cup of water in the disposable cup. Don your gloves and add ~1 cup of Cement All, and stir it up. You want a consistency of a thick milkshake or runny peanut butter. Add more water or Cement All to get the consistency you want. Pour the wet cement into the cookie cutter, filling it up to the desired thickness.
You can make more than one coaster at a time using mulitiple cookie cutters, but I would recommend only two at a time because the Cement All sets so quickly.
The cement will cure in about an hour. If your pour was a little runny, it may take a little longer.
Step 3: Remove the Cement From the Cookie Cutter and Sand
The cement will turn white when it is dry. Pop it out of the cookie cutter and peel off the leaf. Sand the back and edges to make them even using a coarse grit sandpaper. I actually use the sidewalk to sand the back...
Step 4: Paint the Coaster(s)
I paint these with a solid color, fully covering the front, sides and back. In this example I am using black so the veins from the leaf will stand out against a lighter color I apply later. I painted these using a low cost acrylic (~99 cents), but spray paint would be faster and easier.
Once dry, a lighter color is dabbed on the surface but not in the veins. This can be done easily by dipping a paper towel or napkin in a little paint and removing any excess. Touch the paper towel to the surface of the coaster, adding a little color. I started by using two shades of green, with a darker ring around a lighter interior. I wanted more contrast so added a darker green to the outside. I then did a light touch of gold. Very little paint is needed - a little dab'l do ya.
Step 5: Protect the Coaster(s)
Add a coat of acrylic sealer to the front and back of the coaster when the paint is dry. Felt can be glued to the back if desired.
Step 6: Enjoy!
There are many different cookie cutter shapes and paint colors that all make beautiful coasters. Each one will be unqiue. My favorite is the standard round shape with dark veins, but make this Instructable your own!
Runner Up in the
Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge