There are literally dozens of ways to make coasters, most of them easy as pie. Get a piece of cork and cut it into four circles. Use contact cement to surround the cork with shells or small beads. Use fabric glue to attach two circles of cloth, with a slightly smaller piece of felt in between. Glue wrong sides together, then glue on pre-gathered lace or ruffling. The cloth coasters are pretty and washable, too.
Lids make great coasters, particularly lids that are large enough to hold an average glass but have a narrow rim. Paint the lid, line the bottom with cloth, then outline the cloth with cord. Braid cord, yarn or ribbon together, and then fashion it in a circular pattern, starting small and getting larger. When it’s the appropriate size, snip and glue to hold the end. Now glue a round piece of cork on the bottom to hold the coaster together. Curtain tie-back ropes are also great for use this way. To hold each round of the circle together, use fabric glue, or attach cork upon completion.
Make coasters from unused CDs by attaching a small piece of lace or ribbon around the edges. You can first laminate a picture on the cd, or glue on a large foam shape. You can do the same with a cd case. Slide a picture on the inside of the case, and then border the case with rawhide sticks or tumbled rocks. You don’t have to use a picture; you can use a piece of wallpaper, cloth, or even colored sand. Or, eliminate the cd’s altogether and cut a photo, laminate it, then edge it with lace. You can even make a coaster out of cardboard. Cut the cardboard into circles or squares, and then wrap it in tape or plastic. Now glue a piece of cork or fabric on it. Enhance the edges by painting them with metallic paint. These coasters are not washable but dry quickly after use.
Metal tins are available in many different sizes and shapes and their lids are perfect for using as a coaster. Treat the inside of the tin lid with clear nail polish to keep it from rusting, and then line the bottom with cork or cloth. And don’t toss out the matching tin; use it to store folded napkins when serving drinks on your matching coasters.
Small picture frames make unique coasters, especially ones that have a plastic frame that’s not too wide. Laminate a photo then put it in the frame. Remove the standing hardware from the back of the picture frame, and then set on the table. Small round or square mirrors are great for this purpose, too. You can laminate a photo that is smaller than the mirror and attach it in the middle, or just glue lace or ruffles around the edges of the mirror.
Crafting foam is very inexpensive and can be purchased by the sheet. Cut unique shapes from the foam to use for coasters, like apples, suns, hearts, triangles, kitten faces, or the shape of a pocket. You can use ink markers or paint markers to embellish the foam shapes with smiley faces, whiskers or other enhancements. Thin pieces of styrene work as coasters, too. Just paint them or place a large sticker on the top of the styrene. Glue your choice of objects around the perimeter.Crafting foam