DIY Home + Garden

Published on July 13th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe


Turn Disposable Coasters into Forever Coasters


Turn disposable bar coasters into customized, reusable coasters in just a few simple steps!

Last time I was out at the bar, someone was handing out free, cardboard coasters to promote a TV show premiere. Do you know the sort that I mean? They’re thick cardboard, and after resting your beer on them for the evening, they’re pretty much kaput. I’m not sure why, but I grabbed four of these puppies and stashed them in my purse.

Of course, I’m not a fan of disposables, so when I discovered those coasters in my bag the next morning, I decided to turn them from a one-use promo item into something reusable and cute! Here’s what you need to turn disposable coasters into a forever coaster:

  • 2 cardboard coasters
  • book or magazine that you’re OK cutting up
  • pencil
  • glue stick
  • mod podge
  • spray varnish (I know, this isn’t the most eco-friendly supply, but you need to seal your coasters so that they last! If anyone has a greener option, please share. I’d love to use something more eco-friendly next time.)

coaster supplies

Once you’ve got all of your supplies together, you’re ready to go! Here’s how to assemble your coasters:

  • To get started, flip through your book or magazine and choose the image that you want on the front of your coaster. Trace your coaster’s shape onto the page, and carefully cut it out.
  • Now, you’re going to do some layering. Glue two of your cardboard coasters together with the glue stick and glue your cut out page on top. Once everything is glued, stack some books on top of your coasters and leave them to dry for about an hour.
  • Grab your mod podge, and use a paint brush to get a nice, even coat. You want to make sure you coat the sides, too, to protect those layers. Once the top is dry, paint mod podge onto the bottom of your coasters too.
  • Once that’s all dry, head outside. Turn your coasters upside down and spray them with a thin coat of the varnish. Let it dry for about an hour, then flip and spray the fronts. You’ll want to let everything dry overnight before you set your frosty beverage on top.

Have you guys seen any other crafty uses for those cardboard coasters? I’d love to swap more ideas in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

5 Responses to Turn Disposable Coasters into Forever Coasters

  1. lousomers says:

    how about gift tags, alphabet cards, number cards, games of match-ups for kids, ornaments, frames by cutting an opening in one and backing with a second. All of these would be easy with ModPodge and old book, wrapping paper, sequins, buttons, and, of course, some glitter

  2. Ajg220 says:

    Hmmm.  What about dipping them in some beeswax a couple of times?  That would keep them dry when you put drinks on them.  I haven’t tried that, but it seems plausible.

  3. Cindy Loo says:

    I use these coasters to make banners. I just made one for my best friend’s daughter. I cover them with patterned paper, cut out the letters in her name using my cricut, use dimensionals to make the letters pop, then punch holes in the coasters and string them together using pretty ribbon. They are a little heavy, so they are more of a decor item. I also use coasters to make jacob ladders. They are great for that. You can also make board books for little ones by decorating them then use o rings to hold the book together. I always grab coasters when I see them at the thrift stores because there are so many things you can do with them!

  4. Groovybree says:

    I had decided I wanted to make my own coasters because reusable ones can be SO expensive. I actually bought a pack of those cork ones from Michaels and decorated them. I put sprinkles on some of them, pictures on a few and the others I put some pretty colored seed-beads all over. After that I just topped it all with epoxy resin and let it dry. They work great and I don’t have to worry about sealing the bottom or sides because the cork is so absorbent!

  5. Coleen says:

    There are eco-friendly paints, stains and varnishes, if you google you should fin.d

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