Creative LMent

I believe that creativity is a powerful skill that can be practiced and developed. I hope my blog inspires you to find your very own "creative lment". ~LM

DIY Cork Coasters

Of all the items we don’t have an abundance of, its coasters – but its not that I haven’t tried!  Many times I’ve found myself at the local home decor store with a commercial set in hand…but have never really loved anything enough to actually make the purchase.  I lit up when I found plain cork coasters at the dollar store and decided it was time to make my own.  Long replaced by our trusty GPS, I selected an old map of my home province, Nova Scotia, as the inspiration for this project.  I chose parts of town which held significance to us such as the Public Gardens where we first said our vows and one of hubby’s local golf spots.  I love how handsome the map coasters look against our dark office furniture and am impressed that this only took me 20 minutes to make.

This is a versitile project – since you could easily substitute the map for many other types of materials.  Here are a few you might consider on your project:

  • Maps
  • Designer scrapbook paper
  • Photographs
  • Old greeting cards
  • Stamped images
  • Collages made from old magazines
  • Original artwork
  • Fabric
  • Pressed flowers

If you don’t already have some of these materials on hand, they can easily be purchased at your local craft or dollar store- so be sure to take a look the next time you are in.  This set of 4 personalized coasters only cost me $1 to make since I already had so many of the materials in my craft studio.

Materials:

  • Cutting mat/surface
  • Cutting knife
  • Scissors
  • Cork coasters, plain
  • Decorative material (I used an old map)
  • Foam brush
  • Mod Podge

Instructions:

  1. With cutting mat down to protect your work surface, place your intended coaster surface material face down and place your coaster over top.  Using your coaster as a template, trace around it with your cutting tool.
  2. With your foam brush, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on one side of the coaster.  Then carefully place your decorative material over top, quickly removing all bubbles.  If needed, trim off any overhang with your scissors.
  3. To seal, brush the top and the sides of the coaster with Mod Podge.  Let dry.
  4. Optional:  To remove any visable brush strokes, coat with 5 layers of Mod Podge and wet sand with 400 grit sandpaper until smooth.
  5. Optional:  To fully harden the surface, apply a thin layer of acrylic urethane.

Martha Stewart offers up a nice tutorial on the process.  I couldn’t compete with the fine job they did at photographing the steps, so I recommend you take a peek at her tutorial as a visual suppliment to this.

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3 comments on “DIY Cork Coasters

  1. jim
    May 27, 2012

    which side goes up and which down? i have friends who say cork up and friends who say cork down,which is right?

    • CreativeLMent
      May 27, 2012

      Hi Jim, In the end, you really end up with a referable coaster, one with a cork side and one with a side featuring your chosen material, but since the intent of this project is to have a decorative side, the “up” side would feature your chosen material. In the end though – if you want to show the cork side “up” to change things up, thats okay too! There really is no “right” or “wrong” – it’s all up to you.I hope this helps! ~LM

  2. Bipasha
    September 20, 2014

    what a simple & smart idea, thanx for sharing!

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