UPDATE (4/29/15): This DIY has been made into a Darby Smart craft kit! You can Shop This DIY project right now!
These little coasters are easy to make and require very few materials! They’re perfect for setting a cold glass of iced tea or a hot mug of coffee on to protect your furniture. They also display your state pride!
I just submitted this craft design to Darby Smart, an online crafting community that sells craft kits and supplies. Hopefully a kit for my State Pride Coasters will be available on Darby Smart soon!
The materials you need for this project should be readily available at your local craft store, or you could purchase supplies from Darby Smart.
You will need:
- Wood slices (also called “tree cookies”), these can be cut thinly or thickly, depending on your preference and what is available. If you’re handy with a saw, you can cut your own!
- Sandpaper or a sandpaper block, fine grade
- The outline of the state you wish to paint (I chose Ohio!)
- Transfer graphite paper
- Pen or pencil
- Acrylic paint, whatever colors you prefer
- Paint brushes, small and medium-sized brushes are best
- Mod Podge
Gather your materials – let’s make some coasters!
First you will need to sand the cut sides of your coasters. This will make it easier to transfer your design and give the finished coaster a polished look. I sanded both the front and back sides of my tree slices. Be careful around the edges if you want to preserve the bark, it can flake away easily. If you don’t want any of the bark on the outside of your coaster, go ahead and peel it off before sanding the outer edge of the tree slice.
I hate the texture of sandpaper and the sound of sanding (it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me!)! To get through this part of the craft I wear my gardening gloves and try to sand as quickly and carefully as possible. To avoid making a mess with the wood shavings, sand over a trashcan.
The next step is tracing the shape of your state on to the coaster. I used Google Images to find an outline of the state of Ohio. I then copied an image I liked into a Word document. I reduced and enlarged the size of the image so I had several options to choose from before printing the outline. Just print your state outlines onto regular computer paper, decide which size is best for your tree slices and cut it out! My wood slices are roughly the same size, so I was able to use the same shape for each coaster.
To transfer your state onto a wood slice, you will need transfer graphite paper, a piece of tape and a pen or pencil. Decide where on your tree slice you would like your state outline to go and tape it in place. Then put the transfer graphite paper in between your state outline and the tree slice, shiny side down. Trace the outline of the state with a pen or pencil, pressing down hard with the tip of your writing tool. When you’re finished, take a peek at your tracing before removing the transfer paper and state outline. You can always go over an area where the tracing is too light.
This is what your tree slice should look like at this point!
Repeat on all of your tree slices!
The next step is to paint! Use a small brush to make it easier to fill in the tiny nooks and crannies of your state. I painted two coats on each coaster. This was enough paint for full coverage, but not too much that the rings of the tree slice are covered up. I prefer this look, but you can add more paint if you’d rather the tree rings not be visible. Allow the paint to try between each coat.
Once the paint is dry, you can add Mod Podge. Mod Podge is a glue, sealer and finish all in one. In this project, it acts as a sealant and makes your coaster more water-proof. Mod Podge goes on white, but dries clear. You don’t want to use too thick of a layer, just enough to lightly coat the surface of your coaster. Allow to dry before using.
Wasn’t that easy?
Ready for tea time! These would make excellent gifts! If you get started in now you could make a set for everyone on your Christmas list! You could even choose colors to represent a favorite college or sports team, or the recipients favorite color. Have fun with it!