The irony of me writing a blog post about making your own coasters is as thick as the stack of “discard” coasters sitting on my coffee table (those hundred or so we deemed too smudgey, off-center, or illegible to send).
You are about to read DIY advice from someone who tried to paint a set of bedside tables, ran out of spray paint, and waited so long to finish the project that the hardware store stopped carrying the shade. But don’t worry! If I can do coasters, you can definitely do coasters, and make them look pretty amazing. Everything you are about to read is true.
What You Will Need:
- Blank coasters. You will actually need these! I learned this the hard way when, materials in hand, I showed up at my expert DIY girlfriend’s house… only to realize that the blank coasters I had looked at on Amazon were still sitting in my cart. You can get these in bulk from a paper supply store—1,000 go for about the same price as 100 on Amazon.
- Stamps of your choice. Etsy is your friend! I got a custom design for the text from Stampout Online for about $50, and the Seattle skyline and pig diagram from Terbear Collectibles.
- Ink of your choice. Waterproof is key for these to be truly useable coasters. I used Ranger Archival Ink’s Sap Green and StazOn’s Midnight Blue.
- Duct tape. Always.
- A ruler or measuring tape (helpful).
- Wooden paint stirrers (4-6). You can grab these for free at a hardware store.
- A 6-pack or bottle of your favorite beverage. You’ll need it.
- Expert DIY girlfriend. She’s going to help you drink the beverage.
Step 1: Test your stamps.
It took us about four coasters and four sets of eyes to realize that the skyline we were stamping on the Save the Dates for our Seattle wedding was, in fact, Las Vegas. Even Etsy pros make mistakes sometimes! (Luckily, we were sent a replacement right away).
Step 2: Make a date with DIY friend.
Pick up the beer/wine/Diet Coke on the way.
Step 3: Make a jig or two.
What is a jig, you ask? This is where your expert DIY friend comes in—she explains that it’s just a fancy, hardware-y term for a way to hold down your coasters and align the stamps so that you get them in the exact right place.
Duct tape two paint stirrers together to make an “L” shape. Make sure the tape is flush to the wood on the inside so that it creates a sharp corner (you can use an exacto knife to clean it up if you have one). You’ll want two of these.
Step 4: Secure the bottom jig.
Tape one of the jigs to a piece of cardboard, or directly to your table (if you tape lightly, it should come right up when you’re done). You want the bottom jig to stay in place. Slide the coaster into the jig.
Step 5: Secure the top jig.
Figure out exactly where you want the stamp to land on your coaster (this is where the ruler comes in handy). Tape the second jig to the bottom jig around the stamp.
Step 6: Stamp! And repeat.
Align the stamp with the top jig, ink up the stamp, and press. For each new coaster, slide the coaster into the bottom jig (underneath the top jig), then align the stamp and stamp away. We set up an assembly line situation with one person holding the coaster/jigs in place and the other person stamping. It took us a few hours to do 300-400 coasters.
Step 7: Once dry, repeat for additional ink layers.
In our case, we stamped the pig and the skyline first, then went back through for the text since the dark blue text overlapped the skyline.
We obviously made these as our Save the Dates—nothing says “let’s party!” like a coaster, right? But you could create these for any event, or just add a fun pop of color to your living area.
A friend of ours was visiting last month and saw the stack of “discard” coasters in my living room. “Oh my gosh!” she exclaimed. “Are you mad that the company that did your Save the Dates messed up so many of them?” I’m choosing to take that as a compliment.