My table is looking so neat and pristine in this picture – very unnatural for ‘my’ working space. Usually, it has books, the laptop, papers, pens, fabric pieces, teacups, water glasses and the inevitable marks they leave behind, allover all the time. The cup marks have disappeared with some cleaning; books and other things, I have swept aside for taking this shot. I like the uncluttered unmarked look, though it is difficult to maintain.
Teacups and cold glasses leave ugly round water marks on wood tables – on treated wood more than on original wood. And they are a pain to remove. Some refuse to disappear completely. Using mug rugs or coasters are the obvious answer. Here are some easy ways to make them – by sewing and without sewing.
The usual way of making a coaster
This is a coaster with a bound edge. Any self indulgent sewist who loves to sew, would swear by this method – the fabric piece with a bound edge.
To make these, you can use a heavy weight fabric. I have used the fabric I made with small fabric scraps. You can checkout the post “make fabric from scraps” on how to make it.
Cut out two circles of diameter 4 inches.
Use a thin piece of bias binding tape to bind the edges. Keep the two circles together, right sides to the outside. Fold the short edge of your binding tape to the inside and start binding. Find tutorials to make bias binding tape and how to do bias binding.
Because it is a small circle, the curves make the binding somewhat (no, a lot) wrinkled(atleast for me) – I made satin stitches along the edge of the binding to hide these tiny wrinkles. The satin stitches made with tight zig zag stitches add an attractive lip along my coaster edge.
Use denim scraps to make an easy coaster
This is my favourite. Denim looks fantastic against wood. Much better than the photograph.
To make this, cut out 4.5 inch circles – 2 of them, from old jeans which you have kept for such recycling ideas. You also need a 3.5 inch circle cut out from a cardboard- this will be kept inside your coaster. Take white color embroidery thread 2 strands and a sturdy hand sewing needle to make stitches.
On one of the denim pieces keep the cardboard you have cut out (3.5 inch circle). Mark along the outer edge with a chalk or pencil. It should be close to the outer edge. Keep the cardboard piece aside.
Now Keep the two denim pieces right sides to the outside.
Start stitching the 2 circles together along the mark you have made – use back stitches. Check out the post on sewing backstitches here.
Stop stitching when you have stitched half of your circle. Now insert the cardboard piece inside the denim pieces and resume your stitching along the edge.The cardborad is now nicely enclosed inside your pieces.
When you have finished stitching, cut the extra edge outside the stitching line.
No-sew method of making a coaster
If you are not ready to sew anything, you can still make a coaster. You need cardboard, fabric and a piece of felt.
You can use novelty fabric like the sequin fabric I have chosen, but ensure that fabric is not too bulky- the fabric has to be folded to the back and glued and too much texture will make it look too bulky at the edges and back.
Cut out your circle (3.5 inches diameter) from a cardboard. Cut your fabric a little bigger than the circle of cardboard. The extra edge would have to be folded to the back and glued there. So leave enough extra edge – but not too much that it cannot be neatly folded.
Keep the cardboard on the back of your fabric and clip the extra edge as in the picture below.
Get a fast drying glue and turn the edges to the back piece and glue in place, each clipped edge piece at a time.You mayhave to overlap the edge pieces. Ensure that the front side is kept taunt against the cardboard, as you glue.
Cut the felt into a circle some 1/2 inch smaller than the cardboard circle.
Glue the felt circle on the back to hide the whole fabric folds. The felt also makes a nice matt No-slip surface for your coaster.
Another easy coaster DIY
Cut out two 4 inch circles. Interface the pieces.
Keep them together rightsides to the inside. Sew them together along the edge. Leave some space unstitched.
Turn the thing rightside out through the opening.
Now sew along the edge – closing the opening and making the edge strong. I have made satin stitches along the edge and as a circle inside.
This is another easy peasy coaster – cut out 2, 3.5 inch or 4 inch circles from felt.
Keep the circles together. Take thick yarn or the 6 strands of embroidery thread and make blanket stitches along the edge. Check out this post on making blanket stitches.
Weave your won fabric coaster
If you have 6 inch by 6 inch cardboard piece and some yarn you can make your own coaster – from the scratch.
Use cotton yarn if you intend to keep very hot mugs on your coaster.
Check out this post on weaving fabric with a cardboard loom to learn how to make this.